Some people are complaining that allowing students and teachers to question and debate scientific theories will harm economic growth and raise unemployment.
Evolution News explains:
One common piece of rhetoric being lobbed against academic freedom legislation is the claim that the bills would kill jobs and have a negative overall economic effect. An anti-academic freedom op-ed in The Tennessean stated that Tennessee’s academic freedom bill would have “adverse economic consequences for the state” and asked “What high-tech employer will want to open up shop in a state that allows ideology and prejudice to trump science education?”
If you actually read that op-ed, you will find that the authors make the following arguments against academic freedom:
- scientific theories favored by the secular left should not be subject to falsification by scientific evidence
- the only reason why some people oppose secular left ideologies like naturalism (e.g. – in the origin of life) and socialism (e.g – man-made global warming) is because of religious beliefs
- some religious clergy accept ideologies like naturalism and socialism, so therefore everyone should have no problem with naturalistic speculations about the origin of life and doomsday predictions about catastrophic global warming – since there is no scientific reason to oppose these theories
- scientific theories should be accepted or denied based on the pontifications of organizations like the AAAS or teacher associations, not on the basis of repeatable experiments and measurements
- lawyers should be able to settle disputes about science using their ability to file lawsuits against school boards
- although the new law explicitly forbids bringing religion into the classroom, it would bring religion into the classroom
- environmental regulations, chevy volts on fire, green energy solyndra grants, cap and trade, drilling moratoriums, drilling permit delays and carbon taxes don’t hurt the economy, but allowing students and teachers to ask questions about scientific theories would hurt the economy
Now look at that last argument (#7). Is there any evidence to show that allowing academic freedom and free discussions about scientific theories and scientific evidence would hurt the economy and raise unemployment?
More from Evolution News:
In late 2010, two-and-a-half years after it passed its Science Education Act, Louisiana won the “State of the Year Award” from Business Facilities magazine, in part because of its burgeoning high-tech industry. As the magazine noted:
“The diversity and growth potential of Louisiana’s top projects in both high-tech and traditional manufacturing, as well as healthy total investments, overall job creation and innovative incentives made Louisiana a clear winner of our annual State of the Year Award,” said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers.
[...]To determine the winner, Business Facilities reviews each state’s top five projects in terms of overall investment and job creation. The magazine also evaluates the state’s execution of its economic development strategy, and the diversity and growth potential of its target industries.
“We were particularly impressed with the diversity of Louisiana’s strategy for developing high-growth sectors, including digital media, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, and modular nuclear power plant components,” Rogers said.
The Business Facilities editor noted that Louisiana “has emerged unbowed from a series of disasters that would have brought less-determined locations to their knees — including a major hurricane, an oil spill and the national economic downturn — and charted a course for the future that positions the state to be a national leader for years to come.”
So despite a massive recession, manmade and natural disasters, and — most terrifying of all — an academic freedom law, Louisiana’s economy appears to be doing better than most all other states that don’t have academic freedom laws. It appears that in the experimental laboratory of the real world, the Darwin lobby’s claim that academic freedom bills harm the economy is resoundingly disproved.
To me, it seems intuitively true that students will be more interested in any topic where there are two sides presented fairly. No one likes to be preached at – it’s boring. I realize that some people who are lazy-brained ideologues will try to bypass a fair investigation of scientific disputes and just jump right to agreeing with their government-paid educators, but that’s not a good way of becoming educated. A better way to be educated is to consider the evidence for and against propositions, and not jump to believe whatever the people in authority say that you should believe in order to be considered “smart”. It’s better to really be smart rather than just to be told that you are smart because you agree with everyone.