Too often, the implicit goal of evolution education is to encourage student belief in evolution. Students from families who dissent are sometimes made to feel unwelcome in public schools, as if their dissent disqualifies them as science students. Instead, we argue, the goal of evolution education must be to foster knowledge and understanding of evolution. If students choose not to believe it, that is their right.
But is it possible? It seems difficult to know something and not believe it. Do I really know that 2 + 2 = 4 if I don’t believe it, like some sort of Orwellian thought-victim?
I’m starting to wonder why we don’t ask such questions to scientists about creationists. After all we ‘know’ that creationists are just as rational and scientific as anyone else. We ‘know’ belief in evolution tells you nothing about someone’s intellect. We especially ‘know’ that people can reject evolution and still become scientists. And yet, scientists–and many journalists–don’t seem to ‘believe’ these facts. How is that possible? Are us scientists victims like some sort of Orwellian though-victim? IMHO, fairness demands we apply this analysis to scientists as much as creationists.