Alabama is considering removing the infamous disclaimer sticker from its text books... I think that if the teacher were to actually give the students a good base in the scientific method, this whole sticker controversy would be unnecessary... not many graduate with a firm understanding of how science works, the distinctions between a strongly supported hypothesis, a theory, and scientific dogma.
I think you misunderstand the purpose of the Alabama sticker. It isn't intended to draw a distinction between "scientifically proven" and "working hypothesis". The distinction it really intends to make is between "what a bunch of godless secular humanists think" and "Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-3".
The whole concept that truth might not be etched in stone for all eternity is completely foreign to the people who put that sticker there. Asking them to understand the difference between an experimentally-verifiable theory and a hypothesis is unreasonable.
And what, by the way, is a "scientific dogma"? My dictionary says that a dogma is something that is considered to be "absolutely true". I am probably being idealistic here, but I thought everything in science was at least potentially subject to revision based on future experimental results, which would imply that "scientific dogma" is an oxymoron.
Yes, scientists do nasty things like hurt monkeys. Deal with it.
You're rather cavalierly glossing over a difficult ethical issue here, presumably because your academic training has been guided by representatives of the viewpoint that humans can do anything they want and who cares about a bunch of dumb animals anyway. Try thinking outside the box once in a while; it's good for you.
The usual defense, which you more or less stated in your article, is that while it's regrettable that we have to cause animals pain, the benefits to humanity are worth it. Of course, the humans who decide that it's justified are a subset of the humans who benefit; this sort of situation is commonly called a "conflict of interest" in other contexts. You wouldn't want the judge who hears your lawsuit to be in a position to benefit from you losing the case, would you?
More fundamental, however, is the question of whether there really is any net benefit to humanity for many experiments. The more obvious examples would be in the cosmetics industry, where substances that have no real benefit to humanity (unless the vanity of women is really that important, which I don't think is the case) are routinely tested on animals. Oh, this mascara causes blindness if it drips into a rabbit's eye? Better not put it on the market, then.
But even more medically-relevant experiments may be of questionable value in the long term. Let's say you're trying to find a cure for a deadly bacterial infection. Over a period of several years, you intentionally infect hundreds of monkeys with the disease, inject them with various drugs, and watch (not, one hopes, gleefully) to see whether the disease or the drugs kill the monkeys first, or whether the monkey recovers. Let's further say that eventually you do find a drug that cures the infection in monkeys, and also works nicely in subsequent human trials. So, after FDA approval and whatnot, your drug gets on the market and people start taking it and getting cured. But, of course, after a while you start getting reports that the bacteria in the wild is developing a resistance to your drug, and people are dying again. Your drug has had a favorable short-term effect, but a necessary side-effect of that was to breed a stronger bacteria. Eventually, this stronger bacteria will take over more or less completely from the old non-resistant strain, and your drug will be useless.
So what we see here is that it isn't a simple matter of killing a few hundred monkeys in order to permanently rid humanity of a deadly disease. In reality, you killed a few hundred monkeys to buy a brief respite, like ancient Incas sacrificing virgins to the volcano god. The whole hideous process will have to be repeated every so often to develop new drugs to deal with new strains that are resistant to the old treatments. And also like the Incas, you have no guarantee of success; how many animals have died in the quest for a cure for cancer or the common cold? This clearly alters, for the worse, the cost/benefit ratio. A cheap jackboot response like "Scientists do nasty things, deal with it" trivializes the whole problem.
Personally, I accept that medical experiments on animals benefits us enough to keep doing them, although I could never participate in such actions because I'm simply not cruel or heartless enough to be willing to subject an animal to such suffering. But I would have no objection to banning medically-useless experiments, such as those related to cosmetics. If that means cosmetics will be unsafe, fine; any woman who values her life more than her painted-on beauty can do without them.