Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Minimum Wage is Good" is to Economics as "Evolution is Unproven" is to Biology

This is an intentionally provocative statement to provoke thought--but there are some very interesting similarities. Economists overwhelmingly believe that raising the minimum wage is destructive to low-wage jobs: 77%, according to a survey of economists cited in this news release. Among biologists and chemists, the percentage who agree that evolution is more than a theory, but a fact, is probably higher. Still, just like the small minority of economists (650, according to this leftist think tank) who think raising the minimum wage is a good idea, there are scientists who think that evolution has some room to go to be proved. This list of over 600 PhDs subscribes to the statement:
We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.
Now, some of these scientists may be operating out of their area of specialization. I see some astrophysics professors in there, and a fair number of computer science professors--although there is an argument based on information theory that argues against the random selection mechanism, so perhaps this isn't as far off as it appears. Still, there are a lot of PhDs in Genetics, Biology, Bacteriology, Entomology, and related fields on that list--people that are clearly knowledgeable about the subject.

Now, professional opinion in the field of economics is clearly on the side that minimum wage laws are destructive nonsense--something that you tell ignorant and foolish people (i.e., the majority of the population) to make yourself popular. Doesn't that sound awfully similar to how the High Priests of Darwinism portray those who are skeptical of evolution as proven fact?

Anyway, to my point: imagine if a school district or a state legislature passed a measure requiring that economics teachers discuss the minority idea that minimum wage laws are a good thing. Do you suppose that the ACLU would file suit to have such a law declared unconstitutional?

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