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Dissily Mordentroge

Science education and ideology

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At the risk if triggering a discussion that may not belong anywhere on SCIENCEFORUMS.NET I’m hoping to understand the anti-science direction taken by so many conservative political groups over the last several decades. At times I feel it’s as if The Enlightenment never happened. My post was triggered by an article today in The Melbourne Age newspaper describing an organised, well financed program to promulgate within primary and secondary schools in Australia the idea climate change/global warming is no more than an alarmist falsehood. The ostensible justification given is children shouldn’t be scared out of their minds by false prophecies. It will be interesting when this program unfolds this year to see if any focus is given to the nature of scientific method. 

Bacon is rolling in his grave. 

Edited by Dissily Mordentroge

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It is disappointing to see this sort of thing spreading outside the US. I suppose the fact that a lot of rich and powerful people in Australia made their money from coal might be something to do with it.

It is not all bad news though:

Quote

Public schools in Italy will soon be required to offer one hour of climate-related lessons per week. The move, which will come into effect in September, makes Italy the world’s first country to introduce mandatory climate education in state schools. Subjects such as physics and geography will also be taught from a sustainability angle.

https://www.positive.news/society/education/climate-education-added-to-national-curriculum-in-italy/

 

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Beyond the obvious personal financial interests of these individuals, there’s also the broader cultural implications, namely control. Those sharing the lies are like puppeteers making our fellow citizens often akin to marionettes. 
 

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.“

~Voltaire

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The problem goes beyond simple lies.  Prior to the Internet, the principle source of knowledge for people was books.  Getting a book published took lots of effort, and the only thing that reached our schools were the textbooks selected by the school system.  This was not foolproof-- but it tended to screen out some of the lies and misinformation.  Now, anybody can 'publish' any sort of nonsense and reach a large audience.  Virtually anyone who wishes some fact was not true can find plenty of support on the internet for their misguided hopes.  It's the same as the political situation-- people with politically extreme ideas seem to have no difficulty finding some 'news' source that tells them what they want to believe.

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I am not aware of any actual program to teach climate science denial in Australian schools. If that is not the case I would like to see a link. Perhaps within the non-government private schools sector? The disgraced Cardinal George Pell certainly encouraged climate science denial within the Catholic school system, despite the current Pope's position - he consistently portrayed concern about climate change as a kind of paganistic false belief and pricing on emissions as false offerings to false heathen Gods.

The idea that toxic stuff from the bowels of the Earth, that burn fiercely with a notable brimstone fragrance, that offers wealth and power beyond all prior imagination might come with a catch was apparently as outside his reckoning of how the world works as the idea that thousands of scientists could be conducting their studies honestly and presenting the conclusions that observation and data and reason led them to without bias or ulterior motives.

There has been a proposal by Senator Pauline Hanson - one of those "I'll fight for what I believe in and fight for the right to not examine or think deeply about what I believe in" nationalistic jingoistic populist type politicians - to introduce such an "education" program in Australian schools (with a strong anti gay rights component) but, despite the current Australian government being dominated by climate science deniers who would probably wholeheartedly approve, the Morrison led government prefers to maintain an outward pretense of taking climate seriously, to avoid having to debate the issue and look stupid; I suspect they find obstructing climate and emissions actions easier that way. Which position supporting Hanson's bill openly in parliament would jeopardise. It is currently unlikely such a program would get sufficient support to get introduced.

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