Criticism of Darwinian evolution and modern science is finding a hearing among non-Christian groups far beyond American fundamentalist and evangelical creationists.
Postmodern philosophers and scholars involved in the new field of the sociology of science question notions of objectivity that hold that scientific fact is independent of subjective interpretation and the influence of culture, ethnicity,and class, while feminists are also increasingly criticizing Darwinian biology [See July-August ’97 RW for more on this subject].
This “anti-science” mindset has brought such sociology of science scholars into close proximity with creationists and conservatives, in some cases defending the teaching of creation in the classroom, writes Walter Olson in Reason magazine. More recently, these postmodern critiques of science have become popular among believers in the less developed world. Hindu nationalists have been attracted to the Western multiculturalist concepts proclaiming the superiority of “local ways of knowing.”
Such ideas have aided the Hindu rightist Bharatiya Janata party in gaining support among intellectuals for reforms of curriculum aimed at “awakening national pride,” such as in promoting a distinctly Vedic mathematics and downgrading algebra with its Islamic-Western associations. Meanwhile in Pakistan, proponents of “Islamic science” and “Islamic epistemology” are citing the work of Western feminist critics of science in their campaign to purge many Western ideas from their schools. In turn, feminist scholars favorably “cite the Islamicists right back” in their own work, writes Olson.
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