Educator Suggests Inoculation Technique Against Creationism
Give them some ID, then swamp it with counter-arguments. That’s the new method of “educational intervention” that Stephen Verhey of Central Washington University has found most effective in overcoming college student objections to evolution, reported EurekAlert. Verhey tested 103 students with prior exposure to creationism. He assigned the book Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells, followed by three works by prominent evolutionists, including The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins, a point-by-point refutation of Wells’s book and a book discussing the evolution of sex. The teacher then facilitated a discussion about the nature of science. Most of the two-thirds of students who reported “some change in their beliefs” were found to have become at least a little more sympathetic to evolution after the exercise.
Verhey’s study was inspired by an influential theory of cognitive development advanced in 1970 by William G. Perry. Perry’s theory holds that students pass through distinct modes of thinking. Verhey’s intervention was designed to support students as they progressed toward a more sophisticated cognitive mode by engaging them at the level of their initial understanding–including their initial ideas about creationism. Although alternative explanations are possible, Verhey maintains that his results suggest engaging prior learning “was an effective approach to evolution education.” (Emphasis added in all quotes.)
Verhey published his results in the November issue of BioScience, a journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). His method contrasts strongly with the official position of the AIBS which calls intelligent design and creationism “fundamentally unscientific” and feels teaching it is wrong. “Prominent evolution educator” Craig E. Nelson opposes this method in high school, but grants that doing so in college will “help future teachers and other leaders understand why there is no contest scientifically between creationism and evolution.”
Good grief; now the Darwin Party wants to treat creationism like a disease. They’re looking at students like lab rats and studying their cognitive development, as if creationism is just a developmental abnormality. Presumably creationism is a bug some students pick up in their youth, like chicken pox. Since cold turkey doesn’t appear to work, maybe injecting them with a weakened form of the disease, followed by antibiotics, will cure them and help them get on with a “more sophisticated cognitive mode” that appreciates the truth of evolution.
For this therapy to work, the experimental conditions must be carefully controlled. Jonathan Wells must not be given a chance to rebut the rebuttals, for instance (see ARN). The Darwinist doctor must be careful not to give more toxin than the student can handle. As long as the Darwinist facilitator always gives Charlie the last word, and reassures the class with the MAD strategy (Most Accept Darwin), this new method might help contain the growing pandemic. Hopefully the virus will not mutate and start spreading from birdbrains to humans.
These are methods the communists made famous. To them, religious people who did not accept their atheism and political philosophy were mentally ill, and needed treatment. There was no open marketplace of ideas; just analysis of the best psychological means to achieve conformity.
The anti-evolutionists believe in a more benign approach toward their opponents. They don’t want to put them in cages and experiment on them; they want to talk. They want all the evidence out there on the table for rational discussion and evaluation. They want to remind their opponents of a reasonable strategy suggested by their own Pope Charles, who said, “A fair* result can only be obtained by balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”