Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I supported robber barons!

After all of the comments on my posting yesterday, I thought it's be worthwhile to take another stab at the "controversial" subject of Evolution.

A new Zogby Poll commissioned by the Discovery Institute suggests that the majority of people want to see “both sides” of evolution debate taught in our schools.

Some findings:

According to the poll, Democrats (82%) and liberals (86%) are even more likely than Republicans (73%) and conservatives (72%) to support the academic freedom of teachers and students to discuss the “strengths and weaknesses of evolution.”

The poll also shows a dramatic 9-point increase over 2006 in the percentage of likely voters who agree that “Biology teachers should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.” Support for that position has jumped to 78%, up from 69% in 2006. The percentage of likely voters who favor teaching only the evidence for evolution suffered a corresponding decline of 7 points, from 21% in 2006 to just over 14% this year.

Dr. John West, of the Discovery Institute; “Clearly, the Darwin-only crowd is losing public support,” said West. “There seems to be a backlash against the strong-arm tactics that have been used in recent years to censor and intimidate scientists, teachers, and students who raise criticisms of Darwin.”

Now, those who follow my blog know where I stand in the argument; However, I feel that presenting all sides as possibilities helps students engage in critical thinking. I recall a debate class I once took, and I was given the daunting task of “supporting the robber baron’s” of the 19th century. I was clearly against this side of the argument, and felt it was unfair to put me in the position of support; however, through that exercise I was required to do the research and found some very interesting, and supporting elements, of how the robber barons helped shape our country. Though it was a team effort, we won the debate. I thought to myself, how could this happen? How did we win? Even after the debate I felt the great Robber Barons did more harm than good. It was then that I realized an incredibly persuasive argument, regardless of personal feelings, will sway popular opinion. This was a very necessary lesson.

My biggest concern, regardless of which side you support, is the fear of our future generations learning environment will be controlled by political correctness. This is in regards to all aspects of a student’s curriculum.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When are you going to update your blog? I'm itching for a debate!