My mind is not entirely made up on this issue, and looking around the internet, it seems everyone else is very certain this is the worst thing imaginable, but do you think that there is a chance we’re potentially overlooking an opportunity here?
For starters, I’m of the opinion that the only people aware of Creationism and ID are those either fighting against it and those fighting for it, or those who think it’s hilarious.
Is it not possible that if students are made aware (as we are) of the fallaciousness of Creationism and ID, say in a history class as a topic of controversy, that the students will be (like us) better equipped to deal with it in future?
There is quite allot of compelling evidence that teaching science alone does not aid in the development of critical thinking skills, let alone the abandonment of unscientific beliefs.
The up side of this is the growing body of evidence suggesting that teaching critical thought using paranormal, pseudoscientific and other anomalous phenomena as examples, does significantly decrease students belief in such things and increases their ability to apply critical thinking in other areas of their lives.
This is new ground for us and we should be really, really vigilant that this curriculum is taught as intended and not manipulated by those we know will attempt it. We also need to make sure that the teachers have adequate resources to be able to give accurate and evidence based teaching and answers to students.
However to dismiss this as another attack on our schools by the ‘enemy’ could mean we lose credibility as followers of the evidence and marginalise ourselves as merely one side of an issue. I hope I don’t put anyone off side, I just think the issue may be worthy of further consideration.
Sorry I was in a hurry so my references are in no particular order:
Ede, Andrew. “Has Science Education Become an Enemy of Scientific Rationality?” Skeptical Inquirer 24.4 (2000): 48. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 10 Jun. 2010.
Broch, Henri. 2000 Save our science: The struggle for reason at the university. SKEPTICAL INQUIRER 24(3):34-39.
Goode, Erich. “Education, scientific knowledge, and belief in the paranormal.” Skeptical Inquirer 26.1 (2002): 24+. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 10 Jun. 2010
Rodney J Vogl. Skeptic. Altadena: 2002. Vol. 9, Iss. 3; pg. 24,
Michael Shermer. Skeptic. Altadena: 2003. Vol. 10, Iss. 2; pg. 62
Michael J Dougherty. Skeptic. Altadena: 2004. Vol. 10, Iss. 4; pg. 31,
Howard Gabennesch. The Skeptical Inquirer. Buffalo: Mar/Apr 2006. Vol. 30, Iss. 2; pg. 36,
Phil Molé. Skeptic. Altadena: 2006. Vol. 12, Iss. 3; pg. 62,
Massimo Pigliucci. McGill Journal of Education (Online). Montreal: Spring 2007. Vol. 42, Iss. 2; pg. 285,
Raymond A Eve. Skeptic. Altadena: 2007. Vol. 13, Iss. 3; pg. 14,
Jayson D Cooke