Thursday, November 17, 2005

When did ignorance become a virtue?

The irritating thing about the dustup between Dilberts Scott Adams and Pharyngulas PZ Meyers is the attitude of Scott Adams and some of his fans that being ignorant about something and being too lazy to look stuff up are virtues, while actually investing the effort to educate yourself means that you are biased and 'compromised'.

I ran into this attitude occasionally when I used to teach intro biology back in Kansas... there would invariably be someone in the class who was extremely opinionated (usually on evolution), but didn't know a thing about the subject, were too lazy to learn, and were damn proud of the fact. One young woman in particular stands out in my mind... bottom of the class, spent most of her in-class time surfing the net or chatting with friends, couldn't explain what evolution was if her life depended on it, yet adamant that evolution was wrong. The truly frightening thing? She was planning on becoming a teacher.