Tuesday, July 26, 2011

National Science Board Caves In To The Answerist Lobby

Bad news to report today, Math Skeptics.

After last year's successful campaign to convince the National Science Board to remove the blatant answerist bigotry of poll questions on evolution and the Big Bang from the 2010 edition of Science and Engineering Indicators, we in the academic freedom community were feeling quite victorious. No longer would this valuable data resource be tainted by the answerist stain it had carried since 1985, when the publication first started treating public opinion on unproven hypotheses like evolution and the Big Bang as indicators of scientific literacy.

Our victory, I'm sorry to say, was short-lived. An all-out lobbying campaign by the scientifico-mathematical hegemony has succeeded in overturning the National Science Board's 2010 decision.

This is unadulterated answerism. Pure and simple. It is discrimination against those with differing factual viewpoints. People with alternate understandings of any controversial topic - from cosmic origins to speciation to multiplication - are being treated as second-class citizens at academic institutions from grade school to grad school.

However, there is a silver lining to this answerist cumulonimbus cloud, in that the NSB will be fudging the data a bit. According to the National Center for Science Indoctrination:
the 2012 Indicators will compare "knowledge indices measured with and without the evolution and big bang questions," and the survey for the 2014 Indicators will test versions of the questions prefaced with "According to evolutionary theory" and "According to astronomers."
So I suppose we can celebrate a partial victory.

But I'm still outraged. And so are you.

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