Apart from bringing shame to rational New Zealanders and disgrace to the venerable Royal Society’s reputation, what’s specially outrageous about this ratbag outfit is it’s funded by taxpayers.
An academic friend of mine was recently declined research funding by the Society for not being maori. In fact she is, at least like all maoris, in part, but hadn’t mentioned it.
Labour will do nothing about this racial bias but it offers rich pickings for the Nats in the next election to promise an end to our apartheid system as there’s deep anger about it.
In case readers haven’t seen it, below is a copy of Richard Dawkin’s letter sent to the NZ Royal Society a few days ago.
Myths Do Not Belong in Science Classes: Letter to the Royal Society of New Zealand
Education Original Science
Dec 4, 2021
Dr Roger Ridley
Royal Society of New Zealand
Dear Dr Ridley
I have read Jerry Coyne’s long, detailed and fair-minded critique of the ludicrous move to incorporate Maori “ways of knowing” into science curricula in New Zealand, and the frankly appalling failure of the Royal Society of New Zealand to stand up for science – which is, after all, what your Society exists to do.
The world is full of thousands of creation myths and other colourful legends, any of which might be taught alongside Maori myths. Why choose Maori myths? For no better reason than that Maoris arrived in New Zealand a few centuries before Europeans. That would be a good reason to teach Maori mythology in anthropology classes. Arguably there’s even better reason for Australian schools to teach the myths of their indigenous peoples, who arrived tens of thousands of years before Europeans. Or for British schools to teach Celtic myths. Or Anglo-Saxon myths. But no indigenous myths from anywhere in the world, no matter how poetic or hauntingly beautiful, belong in science classes. Science classes are emphatically not the right place to teach scientific falsehoods alongside true science. Creationism is still bollocks even it is indigenous bollocks.
The Royal Society of New Zealand, like the Royal Society of which I have the honour to be a Fellow, is supposed to stand for science. Not “Western” science, not “European” science, not “White” science, not “Colonialist” science. Just science. Science is science is science, and it doesn’t matter who does it, or where, or what “tradition” they may have been brought up in. True science is evidence-based not tradition-based; it incorporates safeguards such as peer review, repeated experimental testing of hypotheses, double-blind trials, instruments to supplement and validate fallible senses etc. True science works: lands spacecraft on comets, develops vaccines against plagues, predicts eclipses to the nearest second, reconstructs the lives of extinct species such as the tragically destroyed Moas.
If New Zealand’s Royal Society won’t stand up for true science in your country who will? What else is the Society for? What else is the rationale for its existence?
Yours very sincerely
Richard Dawkins FRS
Emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Science
University of Oxford