I recall more than once offering the opinion that practically no one understands Darwin or the evolutionary theories he spawned, so that it is nonsensical for belief in Darwin, whatever that may mean, to be the dividing line between benighted rubes and enlightened super-beings. I was answered with the assertion that of course everybody who isn’t a total idiot understands Darwin and evolution! There’s nothing hard about it! And, as an article of faith, I guess there isn’t!. Silly me. I didn’t get a chance to ask their opinions on group selection, or extended phenotypes or any other fundamental yet tricky parts. Too bad, I bet the answers would have been fascinating, in a train-wreck way. (I don’t really claim to understand it very well myself, just enough to know it’s not as simple as all that.)
So why is the one essential and obvious thing about science – that science is not something one believes in, but something one conditionally assents to based on evidence – so hard to grasp for so many people? I suppose many people lack a religion, and therefore yearn for something to fill the void. Maybe. Or perhaps they have been trained out of using their minds for anything other than conforming, scoffing at those who refuse to conform, and performing 2-minute hates as required? ,
Most people, it seems, entertain feelings about intellection, a suspicion that somebody is trying to pull something by being reasonable. Of all things. You see this implicitly in all the ad hominem arguments, where somebody’s *person* is the objection to an *argument*. For anyone who has reached even intellectual adolescence, such a tack should cause embarrassment, like the jokes of a little kid who understands the form of humor without the content.
This suspicion that reason is being used as a tool for nefarious ends is explicitly stated by the spawn of Hegel, who himself asserted there is no room for reason as understood by anyone other than Hegelians in his ‘speculative philosophy’. Critical Theory, which is Marxism repackaged for delivery through academic channels, states that Science, Logic, Reason are all social constructs. The euphemism ‘Social Construct’ means in practice nothing more that ‘something I don’t like’. I really don’t like things that make my cherished beliefs look stupid. Applied with rigor, it has been immediately recognized that rigor itself is a social construct. (2) In fact, the rules – and there are rules, as rigid as any dogma – say that the social construct label is to be used only as a *tactical* weapon. Use of social constructs strategically is MAD, as it quickly, instantly, even, becomes obvious that nothing means anything, that we are all each an oppressed oppressor in a class of one, completely and impenetrably alone, and utterly meaningless and worthless. This is why death by suicide pact has long been popular among your better grade of commie.
Moving on to Adolescent Reasoning 201, Faith is in things unseen. Science results when we apply a few of those unseen things (think math and logic – ever seen a 2? A syllogism?) to that subset of things we can see, touch, hear, etc. Since science is limited to the measurable properties of physical things, and some things, like math and logic, are not measurable properties of physical things, science is not the appropriate tool for studying everything.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. People who ‘believe’ in science may merely be immature. They may also be critical theorists, for whom belief in a thing makes it true for you, which may or may not be a good thing depending on how woke you are. I’ve long said that our schools fail most specifically and egregiously those students who do well in them. The dropouts and troublemakers stand some chance, however slight, of escaping with their minds intact. Those who get good grades and awards and are otherwise patted on the head? All but doomed.
All elite educators read Freire, who explains that it’s the teacher’s job to make good little revolutionaries out of the raw material of students. Toward the end of his foundational tome he explains the Marxist position that rights exist only insofar as the (non?) person is a good communist – not a good commie = no rights. Of course the vanguards of the masses may then take a break from killing each other (which they lamentably have been known to do from time to time) to take the unwoke’s stuff or even lives, if that’s what the good of the many demands of them.
What ever could go wrong? The people in charge of our education schools, in charge of training the people that our children will spend more time under the guidance of than any other adults – mom is at work; dad, when there is one, is not around either – decided to make Freire required reading. Nuff said.
It’s hard enough to grow out of thinking like a child. It becomes well nigh impossible when our kids are schooled this way.
- As I’ve mentioned before: it’s not enough to render people stupid, one must also convince them that they are the moral and intellectual apex of humanity. That the trick to keeping the herd manageable and immune to any badthink.
- For depressingly copious examples of ‘research’ claiming that rigor is some sort of (white, male, privileged) conspiracy to oppress, I suppose, non-rigorous people, see the New Peer Review.