I took the kids downtown this afternoon to get them acquainted with the big central library in Hamilton. While there, I saw the September issue of Harper’s Magazine and an article by Mark Slouka caught my eye. It’s entitled “Dehumanized: When math and science rule the school.” In the article, Slouka argues that utilitarian and economic ends have biased American education towards math and science. The humanities, with their civic ends, have received the short end of the stick. The article is worth reading, even as a Christian would interpret the problem somewhat differently, as well as possibly proposing a different solution. Unfortunately, the article is only available on-line if you’re a subscriber.
Slouka argues that the sciences are, by nature, generally non-threatening to governments and not subversive. Even where they might be subversive, their nature often works to subvert their subversiveness. I found this quote interesting: “Not only are the sciences, with a few notable exceptions, politically neutral; their specialized languages tend to segregate them from the wider population, making ideological contagion difficult.”