Are Reason and Empirical Evidence Suitable School Subjects?
The Opinion of Edward Tillich,
The Onion's Crime and Science Editor
Science! The word is thrown about nowa- days as if it were a miracle of our Age. To hear its fanatical, wide eyed supporters talk, one would think that Science could explain every- thing in all Creation, and that these "Scientists" were privy to the very secrets of the universe. They say that this century will be ruled by Science, and that the nation's might depends on its adaptation and comprehension by every man. They claim that, if we are to be a great civilization, we must even teach this Science to our school children.
As a man who holds that the welfare of this country takes precedence over any other human concern, I must stand firmly against the teach- ing of Science in our schools. This Science has already caused turmoil among God-fearing folk who did not wish to learn that they, as human creatures, may have descended from apes. What if Science were to champion other truths, provable and real, which people do not want to hear? Should we allow our citizens to become aware of facts which go against their chosen beliefs, it would cause untold turmoil and strife among our people! The people's reaction would cause division and conflict in our nation that would doubtless outweigh any benefits of the actual Scientific discovery. Should we teach our children facts? No, I say, a thousand times no! As they grow into tomorrow's farmers, housewives, mill workers, and coal miners, facts are the last things they will need. Manners! Subservience! Above all, obedience! To speak only when spoken to, and not to cause trouble! These are the principles upon which our educational system was grounded. Why in the name of God should we replace it with a system that actually encourages an ignorant man to ask questions? A good citizen does nothing of the sort. He is content with the reasons he is given by his betters.
Humanity's noblest heroes were not men who cared about facts. They were men who stood up for what they believed in, and to Hell with facts! To hell with any truth not their own! Our most cherished heroes would fight to the death, bludgeoning their enemies repeatedly, wholly uninterested in whether they were right or wrong.
Once something is accepted as true, it should be true forever. This noble ideal, with its emphasis on unquestioning acceptance of and obedience to authority, is what we should teach our children. It is the rock upon which we have built our government, our religion, and our American way of life, and it is the very ideal which Science seeks to thwart with its new "discoveries" and impersonal ledgers of "facts"
Learning! Why should we provide our citizens with learning? Does learning math- ematics aid a man who will spend the rest of his life smelting iron in a foundry? Does knowing that Man comes from apes --if he indeed does, which seems to be a subject of some debate-- change the lot of the farmwife who lives out her years shuttling between the birthing-bed and the milking-stool? I say it does not. Furthermore, it fills the brains of children with useless facts which do not help them to become good citizens. Does a fact have any inherent moral value? Does Science? We know that Science allowed the Germans to develop the mustard gas and the motor-gun. Has religion ever been used in so evil a fashion? Of course not.
It is possible that we, with our motorcars and aeroplanes powered by the new internal- combustion engines, have already started down a slippery slope of destruction. We were not content to stay with time-honored steam, to travel in our dignified trains and coach-and- fours. But we can take action now, before ape-worshiping scientists turn us one against the other. We must cease our deadly march of Progress now, and there is no better way to achieve this than to keep the hellborn demon Science, and his diabolical Facts, from coming into contact with our dear children.