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[Phys-L] Re: Anti-Americanism creeps in to science teaching debate

Several senders quoted:
"It is extraordinary," Taverne went on, "that a Government and a Prime
Minister who say they are in favor of science have allowed the
into our schools of the worst features of American fundamentalist,
anti-science, pseudoscience nonsense."

and accused Taverne of anti-American sentiment.

Gee, I don't think it's anti-American at all. He is railing against
one aspect of American society--the Fundamentalist, anti-science,
etc.etc. . . . And that *is* one aspect of American society. I see
his statement as simply an accurate reflection of an aspect of
America that he doesn't want introduced into England. I agree with
him 100%. I'm not anti-American, but I am seriously concerned that
one seriously flawed aspect of America is gaining an ascendancy that
I think is dangerous, and I don't like the idea that is seems to be
being exported.

What I am concerned about is the assumption that since that sick side
of our society seems to be in the ascendance, others will assume that
any American will hold similar views. That, unfortunately is a pretty
common human trait--stereotyping. I have heard of tourists visiting
foreign countries and wearing t-shirts, or buttons, saying, such
things as "Don't blame me, I didn't vote for Dubya," and the like.

But I think it is entirely proper to inveigh against the introduction
of one aspect of American life that you don't like into your country,
and that, it seems to me is exactly what Taverne was doing. I don't
read his statement as arguing against all things American, just this
one thing.


Hugh Haskell

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