Even within the United States, the education system has proven itself to be extremely vulnerable to the detrimental influence of intellectual corruption by the excessive entanglement of ideology and formal education. Specifically, the infamous Scopes Trial featured the criminal prosecution for teaching evolutionary biology because it conflicted with prevailing religious dogma (Davidson, 1999). Much more recently, a conservative political agenda has dominated the educational systems of individual American states in which educational administrative authorities have sought (in some cases, quite successfully) to promote religious or quasi-religious dogma under the very thinly veiled guise of teaching nonsense such as "Intelligent Design" (Feldman, 2005; Mooney, 2005). Specifically, that approach (in conjunction with renewed attempts to challenge the legitimacy of established evolutionary science) was a deliberate attempt to promote particular religious beliefs in a manner designed to circumvent very explicit constitutional prohibition against that church-state entanglement (Feldman, 2005; Mooney, 2005).
Ultimately, the purpose of formal education is simply to convey the substantive information and skills necessary for students to become productive citizens. It is not an appropriate mechanism for promoting philosophical beliefs, religion, or political ideology. If anything, the one of the most important responsibilities of education is precisely the opposite: to teach individuals to think critically and independently.
Davidson, K. (1999). Carl Sagan: A Life. New York: Wiley & Sons.
Feldman, N. (2005). Divided by God: America's Church and State Problem and What
We Should Do about it. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
Goldfield, D., Abbot, C., Argersinger, J., and Argersinger, P. (2005). Twentieth-Century
America: A Social and Political History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-
Mooney, C. (2005). The Republican War on Science. New York: Basic Books.
Rooney, a. (2006). Einstein: In His Own Words. New…
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