“Logic! Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?” That’s the question posed by the professor in C.S. Lewis’ classic tale, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” He was lamenting the lack of critical thinking on the part of the Pevensie children. But, he also was expressing Lewis’ frustration concerning the academics of his day. As a professor at Oxford University in the mid nineteen-hundreds, Lewis knew well those academics who were rejecting logic and replacing it with deconstructionist nonsense.
Well, now comes a study that would make old Clive roll over in his grave. The study is published in a new book, called “Academically Adrift.” And, it found that 45-percent of college students show no significant improvement in critical thinking and complex reasoning by the end of their sophomore year! The authors of the study blame the findings on students failing to study and colleges valuing research over good teaching. And certainly, those factors play a role. However, I believe this dearth of critical thinking naturally flows from our narrow-minded and politically correct educational system.
You see, schools no longer teach kids how to think; they teach them what to think. And, if students oppose the pedagogical “group think” with truth, they’re often marginalized and ridiculed.
Take Global Warming. A friend of mine has had numerous interactions with science teachers on this topic. On a Parent-Teacher Night, he heard a biology teacher boldly assert that man-made Global Warming is the “biggest threat facing mankind.” But, when asked what the current global ice-coverage was for the world, the teacher had no idea – nor how to find out.
On another occasion, my friend asked a science teacher why earth’s temperature wasn’t following all the various Global Warming models. The teacher dismissed the question by explaining that all “real scientists” by a margin of 99 to one believe in man-made Global Warming.” When my friend asked for the source of his data, the teacher replied, “This is just common knowledge,” and repeated the 99 to one ratio.
Of course, this same uncritical adherence to the party line exists when teaching life’s origins. In 2002, Congress passed a landmark statement declaring that when controversial topics like evolution are taught, “the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views.” Yet, science teachers refuse to acknowledge that a controversy between evolution and Intelligent Design even exists. Recently, a friend of mine complained about this to two members of our local high school board. They erroneously replied that federal law prohibits teaching Intelligent Design!
The truth is, teachers and school boards shield students from evidence that contradicts their belief system. Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, expresses it well. She says evidence against evolution will only confuse high school teachers and students. This evidence must remain the sole possession of the “scientific community,” which can then “filter” the information for the uneducated masses. With thinking like that, it’s a wonder anyone learns to think at all!