Saturday, December 4th, 2004
I’ve never liked the use of the word tolerance in public discourse because in my mind tolerance implies a superior/inferior heirarchy. Those who are tolerated get the short end of the flag pole, in other words. I tolerate is an ironic expression of power “over” someone.
Heterosexuals must tolerate homosexuals and so forth; gay men aren’t generally viewed as tolerating the straight. It doesn’t matter that logically such language and means of organizing are, in my mind, pointless.
To tolerate is, however, a better condition than outright hatred.
Now that the creation/evolution fight is back in full force all around the country with religion being presented as science, it would seem that even the slightest disagreement with the pious, in terms of religion or politics, is met with scorn, ridicule, and abstention from reality (and very little tolerance). A recent CBS poll claims that 55% of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form. Current young earth creationists insist that the Grand Canyon was the result of the Biblical Flood. Intelligent Design proponents claim that nature is too complex to have happened via evolution. Nature demands a designer, they claim. Interesting “belief.” Belief for me is fine, but it shouldn’t be a part of a science curriculum. Belief is a matter of choice. Science doesn’t really ask anyone to “believe” anything, an idea which can be taken grossely out of context.
To tolerate ignorance is unethical. Why should I conclude that the Grand Canyon was forged a few thousand years ago and that humans were created by “God” in present form? What is the evidence for these contraptions? Where are the experiments?”