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Sunday, February 12, 2017

183. The Scientific Curriculum: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

The Scientific Curriculum 

The particulars of the scientific curriculum designed to replace the Christian curriculum 
look like this: 

First, it asked for a sharply critical attitude toward parental, community, and traditional 
values. Nothing familiar, the children were told, should remain unexamined or go 
unchallenged. The old-fashioned was to be discarded. Indeed, the study of history itself 
was stopped. Respect for tradition was held sentimental and counterproductive. Only one 
thing could not be challenged, and that was the school religion itself, where even minor 
rebellion was dealt with harshly. 

Second, the scientific curriculum asked for objectivity, for the suppression of human 
feelings which stand in the way of pursuing knowledge as the ultimate good. Thinking 
works best when everything is considered an equally lifeless object. Then things can be 
regarded with objectivity. Of course kids resist this deadening of nature and so have to be 



trained to see nature as mechanical. Have no feeling for the frog you dissect or the 
butterfly you kill for a school project — soon you may have no feeling for the humiliation 
of your classmates or the enfeeblement of your own parents. After all, humiliation 
constitutes the major tool of behavior control in schools, a tool used alike to control 
students, teachers, and administrators. 

Third, the scientific curriculum advised neutrality. Make no lasting commitments to 
anything because loyalty and sentiment spell the end of flexibility; they close off options. 

Last, the new scheme demanded that visible things which could be numbered and counted 
be acknowledged as the only reality. God could not exist; He could not be seen. 

The religion of Science says there is no good or evil. Experts will tell you what to feel 
based on pragmatic considerations. Since there is no free will nor any divine morality, 
there is no such thing as individual responsibility, no sin, no redemption. Just 
mathematical decision-making; grounded in utilitarianism or the lex talionis, it makes 
little difference which. The religion of Science says that work is for fools. Machines can 
be built to do hard work, and what machines don't do, servants and wage slaves can. 
Work as little as you can get away with — that's how the new success is measured. The 
religion of Science says good feelings and physical sensations are what life is all about. 

Drugs are such an important part of feeling good we began to need drugstores to sell the 
many varieties available. People should try virtually everything; that is the message of the 
drug- store and all advertising. Leave no stone unturned in the search for sensual 
pleasure. With science-magic you don't even have to worry about a hangover. Simply 
take vitamin B and keep on drinking — nor need you worry about incurring the 
responsibility of a family with the advent of cheap contraceptives and risk- free legal 
abortion. Lastly, the religion of Science teaches that death, aging, and sickness are 
ultimate evils. With pills, potions, lotions, aerobics, and surgery you can stave off death 
and aging, and eventually the magical medical industry will erase those scourges from 
human affairs. 

There. It is done. See how point for point the curriculum of Science, upgraded from an 
instrument to a religion, revokes each of the penalties Christianity urges we accept 
gladly? See how Science can be sold as the nostrum to grant absolute absolution from 
spiritual covenants? 

Everson v. Board Of Education (1947) 

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