Information in the information society

In the information age, most people very quickly realize that not all information is equal. Some ideas are half-baked and some assertions are just that, assertions and not facts. One of the most important elements of the making the information economy work is the ability to judge the validity of information.
In this light, President Bush has made what is seemingly a reasonable request: schools should teach all sides of the evolution controversy. I say “seemingly” because this request is not as straight-forward as it appears. The request is not for a free flow of information, but to elevate the credibility of one side of the controversy – creationism, aka “intelligent design”. This is a well known rhetorical trick of trying to compare apples with oranges by saying they are both round (see my earlier posting, Science or not science).
Evolution is a scientific theory subject to the scientific method of empirical verification and falsification. Creationism is a dogmatic religious assertion – no amount of facts can prove or disprove it.
Teach creationism if you must; but teach it in religion classes where you also teach all the major world religions.
I wish all those who are so keen on proving that theories like global warming are nothing more than “junk science” would turn their attention to the attempt to junk-ify science by equating creationism with science.
Unfortunately, that is what the President has just done – endorsed the ultimate of junk science. And by doing so, he has undermined one of the key pillars of our information age.

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