4.15.2008

Academic Freedom - lol who needs it?

Teachers in Texas aren't supposed to teach students about evolution.
Texas biology teacher fired for teaching evolution.

Legislators in Florida have been told that (undisclosed) teachers in their state are afraid they will be threatened if they *offer* alternative theories to their students. (Alternative to evolution that is.) Note, this is opposite to what happened in Texas.

Even though the NATIONAL STANDARDS offer no mention of the existence of such alternatives.
Even though no national organization of scientists offers any alternatives.
Even though all of the world-wide organizations of scientists say that evolution is the only theory that makes sense.

Does it make sense? Texas teachers get fired for teaching evolution. This doesn't happen in any other state. But in Florida, someone in the legislature has heard a rumor that the evil forces of Science will come down hard if they offer students a choice in what are apparently imaginary alternatives.

Who are the bad guys here? Just who is being nasty and horrible?

If I may skip back to Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed, where it is stated that the evil forces of Science routinely expel the forces of God from their ranks, there is offered one example. An "employee" of the Smithsonian Institution supposedly was fired. Unfortunately for Ben Stein, the man is a researcher who is NOT a Smithsonian employee. AND he is still trundling along doing his research.

4.13.2008

Disasters beget regulation - Forseeing the Future of Continuing Education

After the Savings and Loan meltdown of the 1980s, Real Estate Appraisers were blamed for banks making loans in anticipation of future market value - or what was termed exceeding fair market value. A special class of appraisers was created, they were given gold stars, and continuing education was prescribed as the solution to the awful state of ethics that allowed the innocent banking industry to be taken advantage of.

I have two questions.

First, given the current mortgage failure rate, who will end up doing continuing education?

Second, when will a professional organization have to balls to end stupid and pointlessly shallow professional education?

Now comes the fun part. Having read my rant, here is a lovely bit about continuing education mania gone wild in the U.K. The quackometer: Medical Astrology - Forseeing the Future of Regulated Alternative Medicine. Thanks to Andy Lewis, Le Canard Noir.