We are heartened, at Point of Order, to find some of our scribblings have been drawn to the attention of Jerry A. Coyne, Ph.D and Emeritus Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago.
On his website, Why Evolution is True, he has posted an article headed More news from New Zealand about the big science vs. indigenous “knowledge” ruckus. In this, he has referenced our recent report that Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, has set aside $1.6 million to hook kids on “science”, but by using “traditional knowledge”.
We have been rewarded, too, by keeping an eye on what Coyne is saying about science and matauranga Maori and its place in our education system on his website.
For good measure, we have been given examples of the wit and wisdom exercised by Professors Joanna Kidman (University of Wellington) and Siouxsie Wiles (University of Auckland) when they rebut ideas expressed by people who disagree with them. Age and gender seem to be over-riding considerations – in tweets, at least – which seriously corrode the validity of a contradictory argument.
On December 14, Coyne says he suddenly had been inundated with emails from disaffected Kiwis who take issue with the New Zealand government’s and academia’s push to teach mātauranga Māori , or Māori “ways of knowing”, as coequal with real science in high-school and university science classes.
Of course. We are injecting notions of Treaty partnership into our science curriculum.
And if it’s good enough to debase our democracy with these partnerships, why should science be exempt? Continue reading “Bring on the Wiles v Dawkins debate and prospects of our being demystified (but he might be disqualified as a dinosaur)”