People are such exasperating creatures. Why can’t they just accept what their betters tell them? That was the tone of an interview on RNZ’s Morning Report this week in which American biology professor Kenneth Miller bemoaned stubborn opposition in the United States to the teaching of evolutionary biology.
Even in New Zealand religious groups were encouraging resistance to evolutionary theory, the professor complained. Dammit, why must these people insist on defying the experts? It’s plain inconsiderate.
Asked by Geoff Robinson whether it really mattered, Prof Miller insisted it did, because if people rejected scientific consensus on fundamental matters such as evolution, it became easier to disregard scientific consensus on other issues such as (and I could see this coming) … climate change.
Sorry, Prof, but a free society allows people the right to disregard orthodoxies of all types. It’s downright subversive, I know, but there it is.
I don’t line up with creationists but neither do I trust academic zealots, who can be just as intolerant of dissent as the most rigid fundamentalists. The illustrious professor should get used to it.