The closed minds of California’s education establishment…
Ray Haynes] 10/10/05
A new debate
has begun over the question of the origin of the species, and
our Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell,
has weighed in on the subject. Last week he announced that
California schools would never teach the theory of “intelligent
design.” No mater what the science says, he proclaimed,
California would always teach evolution.
I can understand
how anyone who has spent most of his life in government, like
O’Connell, would come to the conclusion that creation
is an act of pure random chance, since most government action
is purely random, and largely unsuccessful. Most government
programs spend eternity crashing into peoples’ lives,
occasionally ruining them, mostly annoying them, and generally
costing them money unnecessarily. There is certainly no intelligent
design in government.
Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside
and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and
Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website
at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]
however, is beginning to question the origin of the species.
with evolution is that, although it purports
to be a complete theory about how we came about, it cannot explain
some of the things that science is discovering about how we work.
Evolution says more complex biological systems “evolved” from
less complex systems, so, as we study the more complex systems,
we should be able to figure out from which less complex systems
the more complex systems evolved.
But we can’t. In fact, some scientists have discovered
the problem of “irreducible complexity,” which essentially
means that no less complex system can be found from the complex
system being studied.
In his book, The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn talks about
how scientific theory is explained. Most of
us are taught from high school that science develops tests to
study the facts, comes up with a theory about how those facts
relate to each other, and that is how knowledge is developed.
Kuhn disputed this explanation. He claimed that science comes
up with a theory, which he calls a paradigm, develops tests based
on those paradigms to discover the facts to prove the paradigms.
When the tests, however, come up with facts that dispute the
paradigms, anomalies as he calls them, the paradigm begins to
break down, and a “paradigm shift” occurs. Some in
academics cling desperately to the old paradigm, but soon, all
science begins to reject the old paradigm, and a new “theory” of
science replaces the old.
Evolution is reaching
the point of a paradigm shift. As scientific and technical
knowledge advances, new tests based on evolution
are being developed, except these new tests are developing facts
that cannot be explained by the theory of evolution. The response
of the defenders of evolution in some cases is to attack those
who question the theory, rather than seek to develop facts to
prove their critics wrong. Evolution, in some quarters, is accepted
as an article of faith, and those who don’t accept the
faith are figuratively burned at the stake as “scientific” heretics.
I thought we had
moved beyond hemlock, prisons, and witch hunts in academia
with the passing of Socrates, or the jailing of Galileo.
Unfortunately, evolution has become a sacred belief, with Darwin’s
writings as the scripture, and those who question the church
of evolution are treated as heathens. Shouldn’t science
be about discussing and testing alternative theories of nature
and natural occurrences? Do we simply reject a fact of nature
because it doesn’t fit into our “world view” of
how nature is, or should be, organized? Certainly Jack O’Connell
thinks so. No longer the Superintendent of Public Instruction,
he has chosen to become the High Priest of Darwinian Evolution.
I thought our left wing friends were the chief proponent of
an open-minded approach to education. This latest attack on the
critics proves them to be exactly what they are, doctrinaire
censors of open scientific discourse, true heirs of the collectivist
ideology they promote and protect. CRO
Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside
and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.