Category Archives: Education

Losing His Marbles

I have to agree with Derb:

I’ve always liked Ben’s stuff — used to read his diary in The American Spectator way back in the 1970s. Smart, funny, worldly guy, with just that endearing streak of eccentricity. I’m sorry to see he’s lost his marbles.

Me, too. Some conservatives have this very strange blind spot when it comes to evolution.

[Update a few minutes later]

Derb eviscerates Stein’s thesis. As is usually the case, his attack on evolution (or as he calls it, “Darwinism”) is founded on a profound ignorance of the subject.

[Late afternoon update]

Well, this is a heck of a way to celebrate the old man’s 199th birthday:

Florida’s department of education will vote next week on a new science curriculum that could be in jeopardy, because some conservative counties oppose it.

Nine of Florida’s 64 counties have passed resolutions over the last two months condemning the new curriculum that explicitly calls for teaching evolution. The resolutions, passed in heavily Christian counties in the state’s northern reaches, demand that evolution be “balanced” with alternative theories, mainly creationist.

That’s not really Florida. It’s more like deep southern Georgia, culturally…

Cranking Out Code Monkeys

I’d been wondering about this. Apparently, computer “science” degrees are no longer teaching computer science. There’s no doubt that there isn’t as much demand for actual CS types as there is for programmers, but if that’s the case, they should shrink the CS departments and start up a different one, perhaps called computer applications, to teach the programmers. As it is now, I’d consider it academic fraud.

This is a generic problem, to me. The word “science” has gotten too watered down, even (especially?) in academia. Of course, it all started when someone came up with the oxymoronic major, political science…

Pet Peeve

It’s not as bad as “lose”/”loose,” but I see quite a few people, including people who write for a living, mistakenly hyphenating “no one,” as in “No-one believes that.” It looks very strange to my eye, and irritates me. Where does that come from?

The Real Debate

Perry de Havilland discusses the real issue in the creation-evolution wars, that never gets discussed, because it’s taken as a given that the government will fund education:

I have no problem with people believing whatever wacko things they want (and for me that includes all religion), but the evolution vs. creationism debate should be a non political one and the only way that can ever be true is when the state is no longer involved in education.

I think creationism is nuts and it makes me think less of Ron Paul that he has a religious objection to the theory of evolution. But frankly this should not be a matter for political concern and he at least is highly unlikely to force state schools to teach it (or anything else for that matter). The fact that it is a political matter shows something it very wrong and the correct ‘something’ that needs debating is not evolution, it is state schooling. Return all schooling to the private sector and the whole issue goes away from the political sphere. Let the market decide if there is demand for schools that teach creationism, I have no problem with that at all.

Nor do I.

Grammar Rant

I was going to just link something, but after quite a Google search, I couldn’t find a good explanation on line that focused on just this issue (I found lots of hits, but none of them satisfied). It’s been bugging me for decades now (ever since I first went on line, and found so much misuse of the words). I don’t know if it’s a new phenomenon, or if we just see a lot more of it because we see a lot more people’s written material. I also don’t understand why it’s so hard for some people to get right, though perhaps because of the “oo” sound in “lose.” Anyway:

“Lose” = “to not win, or to misplace.”

“Loose” = “not tight, or not bound.”

“Loser” = “someone who has lost.”

“Looser” = “making less tight (or more loose).”

“Losing” = “in the process of achieving a loss, of a sporting event, or political race, or valuable assets.”

“Loosing” = “to set free (e.g., loosing the horses to let them run free, or loosing the dogs to chase a criminal).”

[Sunday update]

Behold, a blog devoted to needless quotation marks.

Making It More Explicit

Apparently academia is no longer satisfied with marinating students in a politically correct on-campus environment. Now they’re being sent to the reeducation camps.

[Evening update]

John Leo has further thoughts:

The indoctrination program pushes students to accept the university’s ideas on politics, race, sex, sociology, moral philosophy and environmentalism. The training is run by Kathleen Kerr, director of residential life, who reportedly considers it a “cutting-edge” program that can be exported to other universities around the country. Residential assistants usually provide services to residents and have light duties, such as settling squabbles among students. Kerr and her program are more ambitious. She has been quoted as saying that the job of RAs is to educate the whole human being with a “curricular approach to residential education.” In this curricular approach, students are required to report their thoughts and opinions. One professor says: “You have to confess what you believe to the RA.” The RAs write reports to their superiors on student progress in cooperating with the “treatment.”

The basic question about the program is how did they think they could ever get away with this?

Good question. But maybe, given the history of the past thirty years or so, it’s not really surprising that they thought they could. And the depressing thing is that they still may.

The deeper follow-on question is: where are the parents, who are paying the bills for these atrocities against the Enlightenment? Maybe if the word gets out, they’ll show up…