2013-04-11

Is Globalisation Spreading Religious Interference and Presenting a Future Threat to Learning?


Papua New Guinea: Woman tortured and burned to death for sorcery http://borneobulletin.com.bn/index.php/2013/02/08/png-woman-tortured-burned-alive-in-sorcery-case/



USA: Four states considering laws that challenge the teaching of evolution

The Problem in a Nutshell

Indoctrination and dogma, in any aspect of the human condition, is undoubtedly one of the greatest evils still to pervade human society.

We are constantly bombarded by reports of unbelievable, shocking, even laughable official decisions. Decisions that in any other context would be considered nigh-on impossible.

Why Educators must Defend Truth, Reason, and Freedom against Dogma

We have all read histories of authorities deciding what is truth and acceptable.

The Spanish Inquisition is infamous of course. In England, prior to the dawn of the modern age in the 1700s, believing anything that was not sanctioned by the church, would land one in very serious trouble. Rome regularly persecuted those who challenged ‘accepted doctrine’. For example, when it was suggested the Earth orbited the Sun.

One of the foreseeable, but largely overlooked, consequences of an increasingly connected world is the ability for people to connect and organise with those of a like mind to undermine the scientific method and seek to replace it with dogma.

In our increasingly inter-connected world ‘educators’, especially in the west, are increasingly likely to encounter such attitudes. One does not need to travel far. Four American states (see link above) are considering laws that challenge the teaching of evolution.

It is possible Darwin was not completely exhaustive in his proposition for evolution (his world was so much smaller than ours), but it has withstood the test of time and scientific rigour.

I am increasingly concerned by the almost imperceptible attacks on learning and scientific rigour, launched by extremists of various hues. The sum of the parts is clearly increasing. I hear many platitudes of the like “the majority are reasonable and moderate people”. This point is in fact completely irrelevant. The majority are, to all intents and purposes, often silent, and may as well not exist.

The voices of dogma are becoming increasingly loud and forceful.

Educators do not simply have a duty to be good teachers and pedagogues (in the classical sense), they have a duty to defend truth, rigour, learning, and most importantly, the freedom to learn.

What to do?

This blog does not offer solutions to this ancient phenomenon, other than to be aware of its gathering momentum, and not to join the silent moderate majority.

Perhaps you have considered this matter, and have already taken action. If so, please share your experience.

Stand fast. The consequences will be trivial compared to the return of a pre 18th century mentality.

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