No Funds For Teaching Creationism, Nye Says

31 Aug

Children At WarBill Nye, the “Science Guy”, rips into the teaching of creationism in schools, and spending public money, as “inappropriate” (via Jennifer Ouellette).

Skeptics and science boosters will love it; religious partisans, not so much. And, there’s really very little use in populating the world with more heated rhetoric on the issue. But, Nye’s advice to the children of creationists is provocative, like talking to the victims of addicts.

Hang in there.

There is another amazing, exciting, inspiring way to know the world, one that will fill you with joy and reverence. Pick your battles with grownups. These creation ideas are important to the grownups in your life right now. Accept that.

On the interpersonal level, I think Nye has a point. Dealing with family is perhaps a harder battle than dealing with politicians and media. Family members are more proximate and impact our lives far more readily and powerfully than a scientist. And, the ways we deal with family members helps children to decide how to deal with those we disagree with in our adult lives. “Picking battles” is as prudent a course of action as can be devised, especially when children don’t have the money and coercive advantage parents have. I don’t want to discourage children from figuring out how to fight a battle, but I don’t want them to lose that fight before they have had the time, both in terms of maturity and in education, to learn how to wage it.

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