Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How dare they?

The following paragraphs are taken from the plaintiffs' closing argument in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case (400 F. Supp. 2nd 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005) ), where the plaintiffs successfully argued that the psudo-science of intelligent design is not science but religion, and as such may not be taught in public schools. Words in brackets are mine:

How dare they. How dare they stifle these children's education, how dare they restrict their opportunities, how dare they place a ceiling on their aspirations and on their dreams. Griffin Sneath [son of one of the plaintiffs] can become anything right now. He could become a science teacher like Bert Spahr or Jen Miller or Bryan Rehm or Steven Stough [science teachers in the Dover, PA schools] turning students on to the wonders of the natural world and the satisfaction of scientific discovery, perhaps in Dover or perhaps some other lucky community.
He could become a college professor and renowned scientist like Ken Miller or Kevin Padian [expert witnesses for the plaintiffs]. He might solve mysteries about the immune system because he refused to quit [alluding to intelligent design proponent Prof. Michael Behe's assertion that the immune system is too complex to have evolved naturally]. He might even figure out something that changes the whole world like Charles Darwin.

How dare they indeed? And I ask the same question of our Elyashivs, Feinsteins, Kotlers et al. How dare they close our children's minds instead of opening them, how dare they narrow their horizons instead of broadening them? Where I come from educators are supposed to show students how to think, not tell them what to think.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, rebbeim are supposed to teach us what the Torah tells us to think and believe. Of course, there can be no fact about the material universe such that it is k'firah to believe the truth.

The sheer foolishness of many of the pronouncements of some great Talmudic scholars on science (about both process and content) is clear proof that they ought to either learn enough science to speak intellegently on the subject, or leave the matter to those Rabbinic scholars who have.

Wed Oct 25, 09:43:00 AM EDT  
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