RE: DSM: Education/Science

Bruce Smith (
Sun, 10 Dec 2000 11:11:27 -0700

I think it would be wise to avoid the dichotomy of science=good vs.
science=bad/intuition=good. When science reports on someone's exploration
into the unknown, it's worth celebrating. Typically, we're all better off
for having something new to consider and discuss. The problem, and the gist
of Joe's argument, as I perceive it, is not science per se, but rather
those who place too much faith and trust in it.

A key part of the Sudbury model involves thinking for oneself, not trusting
external authorities and experts over one's own judgment. Make your own
decisions, based on your own observations: don't look to Science to tell
you what you should do. Science can be extremely useful, but let's not
forget for a second that it is generated by fallible human beings, each
with his/her own experience, cultural context, assumptions, bias, etc.

On that note, I also believe that it is possible to make too much of the
differences between cultures. I do not wish to underestimate cultural
differences, nor do I wish to minimize the harm that's been inflicted
through ignorance and insensitivity. But I think that overemphasizing our
differences can, potentially, lead to maintaining and reinforcing, rather
than reducing, barriers.

(I realize I've set up a distinction between acknowledging and
overemphasizing without really delineating it. But I still believe the
distinction is there, and valid. If anyone wishes to help locate this fine
line, I'd love to hear from them.)


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