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December 07, 2004

Critical thinking

PZ Myers provides a link to yet another wonderful riff on those insanely stupid and demeaning warning labels some ideologues would slap on textbooks that contain discussion of evolution. The proposed label reads:

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

Plenty of folks have provided plenty of wonderfully devastating responses to the above nonsense, some of which you can read at PZ's blog. Me, I'm entranced by the words that are implicit in, but not spelled out by, the label:

By comparison, any other topic in this textbook, or in any other textbook provided by your school district, or in fact in any other material or presentation you receive from your instructor should be swallowed uncritically, memorized for purposes of passing your exams, and not otherwise considered or remarked upon. Now sit down and shut up.

Posted by Chris Clarke at December 7, 2004 08:10 AM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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I was just talking to a British/Finnish scholar today who asked me if it was really true that states in the US are considering banning or controlling textbooks on evolution. He was agog when I said yes. Americans don't realize how crazy and - yes - backward - the rest of the world thinks we are.

Posted by: beth at December 7, 2004 05:09 PM
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