Robert Bakker on Science Education

Paleontological Profiles: Robert Bakker was written by Brian Switek in April, 2008. The article is interesting overall, but this section particularly resonates with me:

[Switek] Finally, as someone who works with the “bones of contention” and the fossil record, what do you think about the current controversy surrounding evolution in the United States? How can we do a better job of communicating science to the public?

[Bakker] We dino-scientists have a great responsibility: our subject matter attracts kids better than any other, except rocket-science. What’s the greatest enemy of science education in the U.S.?

Militant Creationism?

No way. It’s the loud, strident, elitist anti-creationists. The likes of Richard Dawkins and his colleagues.

These shrill uber-Darwinists come across as insultingly dismissive of any and all religious traditions. If you’re not an atheist, then you must be illiterate or stupid and, possibly, a danger to yourself and others.

As many commentators have noted, in televised debates, these Darwinists seem devoid of joy or humor, except a haughty delight in looking down their noses. Dawkinsian screeds are sermons to the choir; the message pleases only those already convinced. Dawkins wins no converts from the majority of U.S. parents who still honor a Biblical tradition.

There’s a lot of discussion about this lately on Scienceblogs, and probably other places as well, specifically in relation to some drama happening around the release of Ben Stein’s new film, “Expelled.” It’s been quite interesting to follow, but also a bit disheartening, as some of the pro-evolutionists can be quite strident, something which is one of my biggest pet peeves about the science community. Science and spiritual belief are NOT mutually exclusive, even though loads of people on both sides seem to believe that they are.

You can read the entire article here:

Leave a Reply