Texas School Board holding public hearing on evolution
When you read this phrase, undoubtedly, like me, the first thing that comes to mind is “why would you hold a public hearing on evolution? And why would you do this in Texas of all places?”. I personally loath these joke hearings meant to ask the public what they want taught in their schools. It’s not really up to them. Strange as that may seem to some, education standards are not decided by the general public, simply because they are not educated enough to make that decision. Sure, it sounds elitist. There’s an obvious and simple explanation as to why that is. It’s meant to be elitist!
In today’s anti-intellectual society, elitism is seen by many Americans as a group of individuals who think they are better than everyone else who are interested only in themselves, and have no care for the common man. Sure, there are elitists who feel that way, but people specializing in any complex and difficult to understand field of study can often seem dehumanized by their intellectualism, but it does not make them any less human than the rest of us. The motivation of an intellectual may seem different than a laymen, but why are they the ones who are mistrusted? Is the ‘common’ man less selfish, or somehow a better human being? I refuse to believe an education somehow makes a person unconcerned and corrupt. There has been a complete erosion of trust in scientists and other well meaning intellectuals, and this has been the result of the attack by religious pundits who have a different agenda in mind. They want children to be improperly educated so as to make them more malleable and easier to manage. If a student is taught creationism is as valid as evolution, they are far less likely to question the merit of their religion. Intellectualism is untrustworthy to these people specifically because of how it makes us question values and ideas that cannot stand scrutiny.
Texas wants to play the evolution ‘debate’ game”, but what everyone seems to forget is how sad and pathetic the American education system has become with each successful attempt to undermine science. Students test so poorly that their closest counterparts live in third world nations which often lack basic educational tools. How a first world nation can do so poorly is a testament to the priorities many citizens place on science, math, and reading comprehension compared to religious indoctrination.