Re: Peer review, please

From: Keith B Miller (
Date: Mon Sep 04 2000 - 16:13:13 EDT

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    Dan wrote:

    > Eugenie C. Scott is either a clever user of literary allusion or the
    >victim of a deep irony. Scott states in “Not (just) in Kansas
    >anymore–Higher education must help protect the science curriculum” (AFT
    >On Campus, Sept., 2000), “Scientists and philosophers have examined
    >[irreducible complexity and the design of inference] and found them
    >wanting.” (The article is excerpted from the May 5, 2000, issue of
    > The latter term harks back to the account of the “handwriting on the
    >wall” in the biblical book of Daniel, when God crashes an idolatrous,
    >drunken victory celebration with a prophecy of impending accountability.
    >The inscription that appears in the plaster of the royal palace is
    >interpreted, in part, “You have been weighed on the scales and found
    > If indeed evolutionary methodology is correct, which is the more
    >substantial model for its application––morphing it into an incomplete
    >science (Where did it all start?), a vicious Social Darwinism, and a
    >philosophy of meaninglessness and alienation––or seeing it as simply a
    >methodology open to alternate interpretation?


    I'm not usre of the point you are trying to make in this letter. But it
    seems that you may be misunderstanding Genie's position. I have had a fair
    amount of dialog with her and she is quite firm in emphasizing that it is
    inappropriate to extend evolutionary science beyond it methodologic
    limitations in the name of science. That is, any attempt to use evolution
    to promote a non-theistic position or to argue for a particular political
    or social agenda is stepping outside the bounds of science.

    She has emphasized that science is defined by a particular methodology
    which is limited in the type of questions that it can address. She
    strongly argues that extrapolations of evolutionary concepts outside the
    methodological limits of science are not appropriate in the sience
    classroom. Science should not be presented in a way that opposes or
    belittles religious belief.

    Similarly, she argues that ID arguments fail as scientific proposals. I
    certainly agree with her here.


    Keith B. Miller
    Department of Geology
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506

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