Monday, June 30, 2008

Misconstruing Science

"Intelligent design is currently not in the Louisiana state science standards and so could not be taught. But this allows scientific criticisms of Darwin's theory to be taught," said John West, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute.

"Scientific criticism?" Jesus and Einstein wept. When these people learn the difference between a theory and a hypothesis, then they can talk. From Suite101:

So science has tossed the use of "law" in favor of "theory". This "theory" does not mean "hypothesis" which is a speculation. In this case, think of music theory - definitely not a hypothesis, but a working set of rules that define a body of knowledge.

Now, personally, I believe that God began all creation, and evolution is the method he has used to create mankind. But I don't make the mistake of thinking that's a "scientific theory." It's a religious belief, and while perfectly legitimate for discussion in a philosophy class, it has no place in a biology classroom discussion.

Besides which, Kitzmiller v Dover re-established that I.D. may not be taught in class:

Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United
States (and Article I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution) because
intelligent design is not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its
creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."

Most distressing of all:
A nationwide survey conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 45 percent of U.S. adults did not think evolution was the best explanation for the origins of human life.
Seems to me there was a time when the prevailing opinion was that the world was flat, as well. Good thing science isn't supposed to be ruled by opinion.


scripto said...

I guess it's now up to the Louisiana State Department of Education (or whatever it's called) to determine what constitutes a "scientific" crticism. That's comforting. I wonder if there is anyone, anywhere (yoo hoo, calling Casey Luskin) who can help?

Jamie said...

In the spirit of the current ignorance movement, I'm reposting a book review I did fairly recently in the sidebar under "Posts You Should Read."

Sometimes I wonder if we ever went throught the Enlightenment.

Pat said...

Yes, it's still hard to believe that in 2008, 45% do not believe evolution explains the origins of humans. And we saw that there were presidential candidates that said they did not believe in evolution. What an embarassment! But it seems like we excuse ignorance and bigotry when it comes from religion for some reason, as if that makes it okay.

I'm guessing that if they broke down the survey in terms of age and the amount of education, that it would show more younger persons believe evolution explains the origins of humans. Same for more educated persons.

More people are finding that religious belief and evolution are compatible. And no matter whether God is responsible for every action including evolution, God created the world and then took a hike, or God does not exist, it doesn't matter when it comes to science class. Those things, and intelligent design must stay out of science classes.