Kristna högern vs Upplysningen

I veckan dog USA lite mer inombords. Förra veckan togs nämligen många dåliga beslut i Texas utbildningsstyrelse som kommer att påverka hur skolböckerna ser ut i USA de kommande decennierna. Varför spelar besluten i Texas en så stor roll? Kelly Shackleford förklarar:

[B]ecause Texas is one of the largest consumers of textbooks in the nation, publishers use these curriculum standards for textbooks that are distributed in nearly every state in the union. Thus, what happens in Texas will impact the nation.

Så länge staten bestämmer över utbildningen kommer undervisningen att politiseras. Och det kommer då att finnas olika intressegrupper som kommer att försöka lobba för hur indoktrineringen ska se ut:

Probably for that reason, a liberal onslaught has been unleashed to try to influence these education standards. An unelected review panel, not the elected members of Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), attempted to push through a number of highly questionable changes to the standards – removing Independence Day, Neil Armstrong, Daniel Boone, and Christopher Columbus – from them.

Tyvärr är det inte bara postmodernist vänstern som envisas med att skriva om historien av filosofiska skäl. Även den kristna högern, som dominerar i Texas utbildningsstyrelse, vill hjärntvätta framtidens generation. New York Times:

In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who have fought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation of church and state.

Det är inte bara vetenskap, i form av darwins evolutionsteori, som den kristna högern motsätter sig. Högern vill inte heller att framtidens generation får veta varför USA har religionsfrihet:

Mavis B. Knight, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced an amendment requiring that students study the reasons “the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others.”

It was defeated on a party-line vote.

Så, naturligtvis, tog man bort också upplysningstänkaren Thomas Jefferson och ersatte honom med medeltidsfanatikern John Calvin:

Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)

“The Enlightenment was not the only philosophy on which these revolutions were based,” Ms. Dunbar said.

Den kristna högern vet att Upplysningen och förnuftet står i konflikt med den religiösa fundamentalism de själva representerar. Carl Zimmer som rapporterade live från styrelsemötet noterade att Dunbar ville ta bort just referenser till Upplysningen. Det var Upplysningens idéer, framför allt respekten för förnuftet och principen om människans rättigheter, som gav upphov till USA, inte kristendom. Så genom att underminera Upplysningens idéer underminerar man också USA:s framtid.


Samuel Arbesman i Boston Globe Ideas:

When people think of knowledge, they generally think of two sorts of facts: facts that don’t change, like the height of Mount Everest or the capital of the United States, and facts that fluctuate constantly, like the temperature or the stock market close.

But in between there is a third kind: facts that change slowly. These are facts which we tend to view as fixed, but which shift over the course of a lifetime. For example: What is Earth’s population? I remember learning 6 billion, and some of you might even have learned 5 billion. Well, it turns out it’s about 6.8 billion.

Or, imagine you are considering relocating to another city. Not recognizing the slow change in the economic fortunes of various metropolitan areas, you immediately dismiss certain cities. For example, Pittsburgh, a city in the core of the historic Rust Belt of the United States, was for a long time considered to be something of a city to avoid. But recently, its economic fortunes have changed, swapping steel mills for technology, with its job growth ranked sixth in the entire United States.

These slow-changing facts are what I term “mesofacts.” Mesofacts are the facts that change neither too quickly nor too slowly, that lie in this difficult-to-comprehend middle, or meso-, scale.

Vad är det för epistemologisk princip som man bryter mot här? Och vad är problemet med att man bryter mot den?