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the school refusing to engage those arguments may give the impression that either the arguments are weak or that this is a prestige conflict

To be fair, with many people prestige signaling is much more effective than logic. So if the one’s only goal is to impose a certain view, signaling that the contrary views are low-class can be more effective than logical arguments.

I wonder what would be your choice if you were living in a place where young earth creationists were fully in control of the education system. Would you allow proponents of the evolution theory to present their arguments to children?






I like to think I would allow them to present their case, though I can't know if I would be that high minded in actual practice.

Prestige signally can work batter than logic with the uncommitted or loosely committed. But if you signal to someone that they and their parents and the whole community they see as fundamental to their identity is low-class, that can backfire. They may seize on any hint that the signaled is arguing dis-honestly to decide that rather than their group really being bad the signaler is a dishonest person of group who is unfairly using their prestige to attack the people they are labeling low-class.

This can lead to them discounting the source of the prestige signaling in later arguments. I think part of the problem with getting action on global warming is that there exists a large group of people in the US and other countries that were already prepared to take any "consensus of the scientific community" with a grain of salt because they felt already that they had been disrespected, dismissed and argued against dishonestly in the evolution debate.
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aliad
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