(Quote) Peter-449116 said:
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:
How does being taught creationism put s...
(Quote) Peter-449116 said:
Quote: Jerry-74383 said:
How does being taught creationism put students at a disadvantage in competing in science and engineering, save for a narrow segment of the biological sciences?
Good point. Rejection of evolution would compromise the study of geology in adition to anthropology, paleontology, archaeology, etc. As Nye said, it seems to be unique to the US, although there are some advocates in Great Britain. It concerns me because it is driven by Christian fundamentalists who take literal pretty much everything in the Old Testament, thereby limiting the career options of their own children.
I seem to have a talent for opening hornet's nests here on CM. You can bet I will definitely avoid discussing the Middle East again- I fully expected to see a mob outside my door with torches and pitchforks!
I agree with what you are saying, Peter. But, as a scientist myself, I'll put it a little differently.
The problem with Fundamentalism, or Creationism understood as the literal interpretation off the Genesis creation stories, is that it teaches us to deny our own senses. It teaches us that knowledge that has been passed down to us by word of mouth for thousands of years is more true than what we can observe, measure and test with our experiements.
Such a philosophy is anathema to Science, because science is all about NOT accepting a premise just because someone said so, but going out into nature and observing with your own eyes and testing each hypothesis with experiment. A good scientist takes nothing for granted as revealed truth but tests each hypothesis against the reality of nature. Only when practically observed results confirm or reject various hypetheses does he then construct theories. And, a good scientist is ever ready to change or discard the therories when more data comes to light, shifting our understanding by what we have observed. A scientist is a slave to the data, not the idea. He lets the facts shape the idea, rather than letting the idea distort the facts.
Ultimately, good science is about seeking the truth, but it rejects the idea that we can just accept as fact a statement because somebody said so; it must be practically testable or it is not scientific truth. Thus, a person who is taught to reject observable, experimentally testable facts is fundamentally unprepared for a career as a scientist.
Of course, some Truth is not, so far, testable. These truths can be taken on faith. Science has nothing valid to say about those truths: the spiritual truths. But, once something is within our ability to test, then to reject the evidence of our eyes to hold on to old notions is, well, foolish. A person who would reject evidence because of preconceived notions, even religious ones, would have no credibility among the community of scientists. Bringing up your kids that way just sets them back.
Of course, as an adult, a person can learn to open his mind to reality and overcome such an upbringing, but he or she is starting out life with a parent-given handicap. An example of someone who overcame it was William H. Welch, first head of Pathology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and leader of the American scientific revolution around 1900. His valadictorian speech at Yale was all about revealed truth, but he later learned to open his eyes and embrace experimentally testable truth...and revolutionized medical practice in the process.