Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Beyond Expelled" Upset in Florida

By Rick Pearcey

Amid pounding and shouting over at a blog titled "Florida Citizens for Science," one might think that Fort Walton Beach and perhaps Western Civilization may never be quite the same again after Nancy Pearcey shows up and gives a talk on the topic of "Beyond Expelled" this week.

This group, this blog, announces itself dedicated to the defense and promotion of "sound science in Florida." Yet the tone of that site seems inconsistent with such a laudable goal.

In its aggressiveness and bluster, one detects a certain lack of confidence, defensiveness, and lack of encouragement to let people think things through for themselves. A bit of "sales resistance," and perhaps ear plugs, seems in order. (For more on "sales resistance," etc., see the conclusion of "Christmas Spirit in the Dirt.")

Truly free thinkers, let us also say, welcome the kind of reasonable dialogue that Nancy's lectures invariably exhibit and invite. In many ways, this humane approach goes back to her own agnosticism and willingness to consider basic questions from all angles.

Throw in a little respect for the individual, as well as critical distance vis-a-vis contemporary fantacisms and accepted orthodoxies, and you've got the makings of a terrific evening.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report (articles).