Hi all, ready to start reading The Top 10 Myths About Evolution? I sent the authors, Cameron M. Smith and Charles Sullivan, a list of questions this morning, and will be posting their responses to my interview questions later this month.
In addition to questions about the 10 myths and about evolution, I sent them these 2 general questions. I’d love to hear what you think about these questions so we can all compare notes when I hear back from the authors. As I’ve said, these questions are not directly about evolution, but more about general science education, specifically in America. I know many of our readers have had different experiences in other countries, let’s talk about that as well.
QUESTION 1: Many people are afraid that science will rob them of their spirituality and will even cause them to lose their faith, some even believe that this will doom them to eternal damnation. In fact, I used to be a born again Christian, but after I started reading about science in my mid-20s, I did lose my faith. I still consider myself a spiritual person, however. I just look for my spiritual fulfillment in different places now. As you state in the introduction, myths are quite powerful. You also say, “Many of these myths are based on ignorance, for which the best remedy is knowledge.” Do you believe that knowledge of science and the ability to think logically can actually cause people to stop believing beloved myths? Do you think this result is desirable?
QUESTION 2: I’m disturbed by the prevalence of libertarian thinking in the United States, and especially within the skeptical community. Many people seem to believe that the United States would be better off without a public school system. In my state of Colorado, a bill was recently introduced to the legislature that would have allowed students to opt out of classes that did not coincide with their religious beliefs (fortunately this bill did not make it to the floor.) Do you think that by improving public education we can cut down on the amount of pseduo-science that is believed by the general public? Or will more people simply take their children out of the public school system and even lobby for an end to public schools, claiming that parents should be able to control what their children are taught?
I’ll be posting more about this book throughout the month, ending up with the actual interview.