Wednesday, May 11, 2005

An Inquiry

An Inquiry

An Inquiry (2000)

The term inquiry seems to have several connotations. One is to make a careful examination of facts and principles or to request information. Another is to engage in a systematic investigation often of a matter of public interest.

A quick Googling of the term produces a number of professional and academic journals/sites that seem to have taken the spirit of inquiry to heart:

Free Inquiry -- from the Council for Secular Humanism...

Center for Inquiry Transnational -- "Working to promote and defend reason, science, and freedom of inquiry in all areas of human endeavor."

The Inquiry Page -- "...a dynamic virtual community where inquiry-based education can be discussed, resources and experiences shared, and innovative approaches explored in a collaborative environment."

Environmental Inquiry -- "...a website and curriculum series developed at Cornell University to help students conduct environmental science research and participate in communities of fellow student scientists."

Inquiry -- "An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy."

Critical Inquiry -- "An interdisciplinary journal devoted to publishing the best critical thought in the arts and humanities."

The Society for Philosophical Inquiry -- "...a grassroots nonprofit organization devoted to supporting philosophical inquirers of all ages and walks of life as they become more empathetic and autonomous thinkers who take active part in creating a more deliberative democracy."

Exploratorium: Institute for Inquiry -- "Created in response to widespread interest in inquiry-based science instruction, the Exploratorium Institute for Inquiry provides workshops, programs, on-line support, and an intellectual community of practice which afford science reform educators a deep and rich experience of how inquiry learning looks and feels."

Studio for Creative Inquiry -- "...founded in 1989 to support experimental and cross-disciplinary work in the arts."

But, strangely enough, none of the following produced even a single hit:

George W. Bush
Republican Politicians
Fox News (et. al.)
Focus on the Family (et. al.)
Ann Coulter (et. al.)
Rush Limbaugh (et. al.)
Clarence Thomas (et. al.)
The "morals values" crowd
The "culture of life" gang
The "intelligent design" mob
The Heritage Foundation (et. al.)
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (et. al.)
Powerline (et. al.)
Falwell/Robertson (et. al.)
The War in Iraq
The War on Terrorism
The War on Drugs
Any War at All

Nope. All of the above are inquiry-free. No information is necessary. No facts are required. No principles could be found.

And as for that public and their interest? Better make sure both are scrupulously pre-screened.

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