Sunday, March 29, 2009
Why Politicians and Education Don't Mix
Here is Don McLeroy on "stasis" and "sudden appearance" in the fossil record during his "impassioned plea" to keep his amendment to the Texas science standards, which read: "analyze and evaluate the sufficiency or insufficiency of common ancestry to explain the sudden appearance, stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record":
It's so scientific. It's not complicated. It doesn't take mathematics. I disagree with these experts. Someone has to stand up to experts ...
Of course, what McLeroy is doing -- tearing a factoid out of context and ignoring the explanations of the very expert he caged it from -- is the very opposite of science or of good scholarship. It is called "cherry-picking" (not to mention "quote mining") and is a quick path to failure in any rigorous course of study.
Unfortunately, that doesn't include politics.