A friend writes to say that
A school district has decided to require students to sign a pledge to not do anything "inappropriate or illegal" online and is taking the extra step of attempting to monitor their blogs on MySpace.com. Aside from the naivete of school officials in thinking that students will just give over their blog ID's and not create new ones secretly, it will be interesting to see exactly what will count as inappropriate to school officials. Would the high school equivalent of an IDEA club pass muster? Where is the ACLU in all this? Aren't they supposed to swoop down and slap the school with a law suit protesting this blatant violation of the students' rights of free speech and expression? IDEA
clubs are student discussion clubs on the ID controversy.
Yes, some school districts may see it as their duty to prevent student discussion of ID, but what they or the ACLU will do is irrelevant in the long run.
Attempting to prevent students talking about ID among themselves would do more for a responsible discussion than even the materialists over at the Edge caterwauling
about the ID "Visigoths," thus underlining the ID guys' importance.
The students will simply sense that the school and the ACLU are promoting an ideology and get around them. And they'll grow up, too.
Here, as with cases involving school boards and textbooks: The best and surest way to make education irrelevant is to outlaw teachers talking about what students are thinking about. The second best way is to make teachers recite a formula. The third best way is to keep them guessing about what's allowed and what's not.
After all, students hear about the intelligent design controversy in the news. If they ask the teacher about it, what is the teacher to say?
(a) I'm not allowed to talk about it.
(b) Here is the prescribed rant I am told to deliver.
(c) This is my personal opinion - and don't tell anyone I said anything.
(d) Ask your preacher. (That guy in the headdress who regularly raves on the Coming Judgment of Satanic America?)
(e) Let's have the head of "Godless - and Proud of It!" in to speak, shall we?
The goal of education - teaching students to think - is not met by such strategies.
Teachers should be given optional resources that prepare them to say something useful - IF the subject happens to come up in class in an after-class question.
Such resources, I might add, would not merely assume that Darwinism is true, and that all else follows. In a nation where most people
realize that Darwinism, as preached by Darwinists
is not true, that will wash no more.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well. Are you looking for one of the following stories?
A summary of recent opinion columns
on the ID controversy
A summary of recent polls
of US public opinion on the ID controversy
A summary of the Catholic Church's entry
into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.
O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove
An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win
when they lose.
O’Leary’s comments on Francis Beckwith, a Dembski associate, being denied
tenure at Baylor.Why
origin of life is such a difficult problem.
Blog policy note:Comments are permitted on this blog, but they are moderated. Fully anonymous posts and URLs posted without comment are rarely accepted. To Mr. Anonymous: I'm not psychic, so if you won't tell me who you are, I can't guess and don't care. To Mr. Nude World (URL): If you can't be bothered telling site visitors why they should go on to your fave site next, why should I post your comment? They're all busy people, like you. To Mr. Rudeby International and Mr. Pottymouth: I also have a tendency to delete comments that are merely offensive. Go be offensive to someone who can smack you a good one upside the head. That may provide you with a needed incentive to stop and think about what you are trying to accomplish. To Mr. Righteous but Wrong: I don't publish comments that contain known or probable factual errors. There's already enough widely repeated misinformation out there, and if you don't have the time to do your homework, I don't either. To those who write to announce that at death I will either 1) disintegrate into nothingness or 2) go to Hell by a fast post, please pester someone else. I am a Catholic in communion with the Church and haven't the time for either village atheism or aimless Jesus-hollering.