Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Uncle Charles Needs YOU!

Carol Cruzan Morton has an article in Paradigm Magazine, the organ of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, entitled "A smart battle against intelligent design." Ms. Morton starts off by noting:

For the last 100 years, scientists, teachers and parents have been relying mostly on lawyers to keep religion out of public school science classes in this country. So far, the lawyers have been doing a pretty good job.
But according to Morton, "the burden is shifting to the scientists themselves."

Quoting George Annas, professor of law and public health at Boston University, to the effect that Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District ended the most recent resurgence of anti-evolution teaching activity in the United States, Morton goes on to say that "if the past offers any precedents, the same concepts will be repackaged under different names."

"In a way, it is a classical example of evolution at work," Steven Gey, a leading scholar on religious liberties and free speech at Florida State University, told an audience there in May. "ID is creationism that evolved in response to a series of legal decisions that said creationism is not going to fly under the First Amendment."
Next up (indeed, already advocated by the Discovery Institute) is "a seductive campaign to 'teach the controversy.'"

"It’s one of the three pillars of creationism: Evolution theory is in crisis, evolution and Christianity are incompatible, and it’s only fair to balance evolution with something," [Eugenie] Scott says. "The fairness argument is incredibly powerful in a country like ours."
Georgetown University theologian John Haught, one of the expert witnesses for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller, urges scientists to keep religion out of the science classroom and avoid that trap:

There are prominent science thinkers and writers who have themselves unconsciously folded evolutionary science into a world view that nature is all there is, so there cannot, a priori, be any other explanations. The irony is that this sabotages and subverts the whole mission of scientific education.
As Ken Miller puts it:

You are not trying to convert partisans on the other side. You are trying to reach out to the great middle ground of American people ...
Morton sums up the role scientists should play as "to teach evolution better in classes and communicate the accumulating pieces of evidence and the nature of science more clearly and more often to the general public."

Sounds like good advice to me.

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