Friday, February 15, 2008
Into the Future
In this information age, when science is the key to national prosperity and to protecting the planet, there needs to be more emphasis, not less, on understanding the concept of a scientific theory..
A scientific theory is not conjecture. It is a coherent framework that successfully explains natural phenomena. For the last 150 years, the theory of evolution has been affirmed by observations in the natural world. The more we learn about biology and genetics, the more evolution becomes undeniable. There is no alternative to it as an explanation for life on Earth that has any scientific foundation.
Supernatural offerings such as intelligent design or creationism, in which the hand of a designer is presumed, are not alternative scientific theories. They have never been tested and cannot be. To teach them in a science class is to purposely subvert learning in order to appease certain religious sensibilities. Instead, they belong in the realm of faith and in religious instruction. ...
Twenty-first century businesses in biotechnology and other sciences are watching Florida's efforts to create an educated work force. Right now, our unwillingness to accept well-established scientific theory is making headlines - just the kind of thing that keeps us a low-wage, tourist-dependant state.
Tuesday's vote is about Florida's future, and nothing less.
- St. Petersburg Times Editorial, February 15, 2008
Bad, bad idea. Intelligent design and creationism belong in the dustbin; and any religion which incorporates them as part of their faith belongs in the dustbin also.
Any such teaching, anywhere, is still purposely subverting learning to appease religion induced ignorance, and though it may take place in many churches or families, it should be bluntly singled out for derision and contempt; even though it may be strictly legal.
But the notion of God and of a creator does not have any necessary association with the notions of intelligent design and creationism. Whatever we think of those religious teachers and believers who do reconcile belief in a creator with recognition of how natural processes work out over time in the world, I think that we should recognize that there are religious and theological conceptions which do not involve creationist and intelligent design claptrap.
Hi, Chris. While I agree with the likes of Howard Van Till and Simon Conway Morris that ID and creationism are bad theology as well as bad science, there is no way that government should be in the business of heaping derision and contempt on the theology or other personal beliefs of its citizens. ... That's our job! ;-)
Government, including in its function of publicly funded education, given it's majoritarian bias, should stay out of it. After all, the derision and contempt our government would exercise, if the majority of voters had their way, would be reserved for atheists and other secularists of all stripes.