Rational thinking

February 25, 2011

So… I’ve blogged a bit recently about equity and distribution (of power and of material things).

Now it’s time to point to some ideas about science education and rational thinking:

“students are being cheated out of a sound science education” is a quote from:
http://www.bigquestionsonline.com/features/darwin-pushed-to-margins
— an article that discusses the reluctance of many teachers in the US to teach evolutionary ideas.

It’s a frightening perspective that, as the authors say, could have a negative impact on critical thinking skills and how citizens in the future view policy decisions that could impact health, environment and other important matters.

Fortunately, there are authors presenting ideas that support the notion that it’s NOT okay to abandon the foundations of scientific investigation in order to support concepts of spirituality. For instance,

http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/02/18/lifestyle/examining-the-evolution-creationism-divide/?ref=mostReadBox

gives reasons why those who embrace religion don’t have to deny science and says:

“Such wild-eyed radicals as Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis and Pope John Paul II have all convincingly argued that the Bible should not be read as a science textbook and that the scientific truth of evolution can coexist with the spiritual truth of God.
Given this and the overwhelming scientific evidence, the real question is not whether evolution exists or whether it can coexist with religion. It does, and it can.”

And there are many other sources with this point of view. Daniel Goleman and the Dalai Lama, in “Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama – 2003”, have helped millions to see that science and spirituality don’t have to be at odds with each other.

Here is a 2007 video clip showing the Dalai Lama’s open-minded perspective

In 2010 the Dalai Lama said
“While looking for solutions for improving the future, one should give more importance to reality and science rather than adopting anything on the basis of beliefs and prejudice” http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_science-can-provide-solutions-for-better-future-dalai-lama_1480012

———–

March 3 update with a quote from the New York Times article on politics and environmental protection:
“It was like the science didn’t matter”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/us/04gas.html?_r=1&hp