Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, January 17, 2005

Warning Stickers on Textbooks

I won't say, "for once", but here is something the ACLU did that I agree with: they successfully sued to get warning stickers removed from Atlanta's biology textbooks. The stickers insisted on by creationists challenging evolution said, in part:

This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.
[Thanks to Lisa at London Fog for the pointer; Dave Friedman has some additional links.]

I love the part of the warning sticker that I quoted above. I wish publishers would put a sticker like that in nearly all textbooks.

What I don't love, is the part that preceded it:

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things.
Let's extend such warnings to other textbooks. Here are some that might be reasonable:

  • Warning! This textbook contains arguments that gubmnts do good things. That is just a theory, not fact.
  • Warning! This textbook teaches socionomology. That is just a theory (in the loosest sense of the definition), not fact.
  • Warning! This textbook teaches "rational maximization". That is just a theory, not fact.

Also, see this New Yorker Cartoon.

Update: Tom Hanna thinks the warning sticker quoted at the beginning of this post should be placed on a banner for every school!

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