Monday, October 04, 2010


What Can Statements Like These Get You?

What will happen if you say ...

If textbooks state explicitly that human beings' origins are to be found with monkeys, I would want students to pursue and grapple with other opinions. There are many people who don't believe the evolutionary account is correct.

There are those for whom evolution is a religion and are unwilling to hear about anything else. Part of my responsibility, in light of my position with the Education Ministry, is to examine textbooks and curricula.

If they keep writing in textbooks that the Earth is growing warmer because of carbon dioxide emissions, I'll insist that isn't the case.
Well, if you are an American politician something like that can get you laughed at and may hurt your chances of being elected. But if you are the chief scientist of the Israeli Education Ministry, saying the above can get you fired.

Sources familiar with the affair said [Dr. Gavriel] Avital was fired over past statements he had made, in which he questioned evolution and the global warming theory.
Politicians are allowed ... even encouraged ... to be stupid but chief scientists?

On the other hand, Avital is also a politician, having run for a Knesset seat in 2006, so maybe it was that part of his brain that farted.

Mr Avital doesn't seem to have had much to commend him as chief scientist of anything. A quick check of google scholar turns up only 4 publications the last in 1997. Sounds like he got his job because he's a politician who had once been some variety of scientist (I suspect him of engineering!).
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