Joined: May 2006
I think your comments about education are very astute - but I am not so sure about the link to creationism.
First on education
I have two sons going through the UK education system and I am doing an OU degree myself (I can't speak for the US). Everything you say about essays is true and I find it frustrating - but you have to compare it to the alternative. I believe that on balance UK secondary school education has improved over the last 20 years and higher education has improved out of recognition over the last 30 years (at least in the humanities - science, maths and technology may have been OK). My OU course has its limitations, but it is far, far better than the "education" that I got from Cambridge in 1969-72 which comprised a weekly meeting with a series of postgrads who would clearly prefer to be somewhere else and some optional lectures from academics with no training or interest in education e.g. Roger Scruton who wasn't even audible. It was strictly a DIY job and much of your time was spent trying (unsuccessfully) to determine what the curriculum was. (You can see this is a sore subject of mine )
The link to creationism
I believe creationism has been strong in the US for over 100 years during which time the education system has presumably changed a good deal and surely there have always been academics on the fringe of science with bizarre beliefs? What has changed is that creationism/ID has gone international, and become more politicised and organised. I would put this down to a general resurgence of religion and the extraordinary growth in communications.
A interesting post - I look forward to seeing other comments .