Re: So. Baptist Spin on BOE Vote

Date: Mon Jun 04 2001 - 14:34:13 EDT

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    Bill wrote:
    >The current scientific consensus is an iron collar choking free inquiry.
    >Professionals in America get fired if they challenge the reigning
    >paradigm. Ask me how I know.

    Comment from me:
    Stavanger is the oil capital of Norway and through the 13 years I have
    been here, I have been in contact with a good number of
    geologists/geophysicists working for Oil Companies. Of those who have
    attended the same church as me (Baptist affiliated with So. Baptist), only
    two were outspoken YEC proponents. These gentlemen nevertheless carried
    out their projects for their companies and moved up the ladder obtaining
    similar promotions as I observed for OEC/Theistic evolution proponents.


                        (Keith B Miller) To:
                        Sent by: cc:
                        asa-owner@udomo5. Subject: Re: So. Baptist Spin on BOE Vote
                        04.06.01 18:14

    Responsews to Bill:

    >IOW, if the student happens to believe something other than what you
    >evolutionists believe about origins, the student should be prepared to
    >resist the schools' effort to indoctrinate.

    You seem to be suggesting that the schools should either 1) teach all ideas
    held by students on any subject, or 2) avoid teaching on any subject in
    which there are students who hold ideas contrary to consensus science.
    This is not education.

    >The evidence for coal being transported rather than in situ is glaringly
    >obvious to those of us who are not committed to OEC. Yet all the
    >textbooks teach that which is contrary to "the available evidence," so
    >that there is no undermining of the lockstep march of uniformatarianism.
    >I agree with you about geocentricity, and possibly the steady-state
    >universe - although that one isn't empirically verifiable AFAIK.

    Bill, we've been through this before. There are a variety of coal-forming
    environments. Some clearly overlie paleosols, and most occur associated
    with sedimentary facies bearing a whole spectrum of sedimentary and fossil
    evidence indicating various coastal, deltaic or fluvial environmental
    systems. One of my areas of personal research is on paleosols, and I can
    state categorically that paleosols are incredibly common features of the
    geologic record. I have given you bibliographies of this literature in the
    past, for which you seem to have little interest.

    The are many things the seem "glaringly obvious" to many people that have
    been categorically disproven.

    >The current scientific consensus is an iron collar choking free inquiry.
    >Professionals in America get fired if they challenge the reigning
    >paradigm. Ask me how I know.

    That is false! One of the neat things about the professional scientific
    community is that it is a very independent and cantankerous group. I have
    seen some pretty intense arguments at professional geology meetings. There
    is no lack of scientists who would love nothing less than to bring down
    some major consensus view in their discipline. I can't think of any
    proposed hypothesis that has not been subject to very pointed public
    critique in the scientific literature.

    The focus of this dicussion has been on secondary public science education.
    What should be the focus of content at the secondary level is the current
    scientific consensus. If the consensus changes, then the content needs to
    change with it. As I stated before, it is important that students NOT be
    taught science as a list of "facts" to memorize. It should be mande clear
    that the scientific understanding of the universe is always in flux as new
    evidence is gathered and new more powerful theoretical ideas are developed.
    To this end, teaching the history of development of the current concensus
    is a very useful approach to show how scientific ideas evolve and change.

    >If your "public input" is anything like that in Alabama, that's more
    >eyewash. By your own admission, "What should be taught is the best
    >current understanding of the discipline - period," and "altering the
    >content of the subject matter in order to accomodate such beliefs is not
    >an option." Other than telling teachers to treat children with respect,
    >what exactly was altered by the "public input"? I would appreciate a
    >list of items here.

    Recognizing the central place of consensus science in education, there are
    still all the decisions about what specific content should be included, how
    various aspects of the curriculum should be weighted and emphasized, which
    content areas should be marked for testing, and guidance for how particular
    content areas should be approached. It is NOT the role of the standards
    committee to invent their own science. It is within the professional
    scientific community where scientific ideas are brought forward, tested and

    The efforts of anti-evolutionary advocates to press there views in public
    education rather than within the scientific community is an attempt to
    bypass the standard scientific critique.

    >And furthermore, they may be false. If you cannot determine the age of
    >wine created by Jesus, then why do you think you can determine the age of
    >the universe, also created by Jesus?

    It seems to me that you are advocating the elimination of science. I
    believe that as creatures created in the image of God that we have been
    given the capacity to understand something about the nature and history of
    God's creation. I see this as part of our stewardship mandate.

    >I would certainly say that the "methodology" of science is flawed. Using
    >the "scientific" methodology your describe to investigate the
    >resurrection, we would have to conclude that the disciples stole the body
    >while the Roman guard was asleep; or that Jesus woke up, rolled the stone
    >back, sneaked past the sleeping guards, and ran away. If your
    >"scientific" methodology can't correctly describe a historic event, then
    >why should anyone accept your methodology for prehistoric processes,
    >which may have occurred millions of years ago?

    Again, you are basically advocating the elimination of science altogether.
    Do you really belive that we can know nothing of the past except by divine

    >> Science is a limited way of knowing. It is scientism which tries
    >> to make science the path to all truth. It seems to me that this is
    >> precisely what some proponents of ID are doing. They demand that
    >> be a search for ALL truth. It is not, nor can it be!
    >Sorry, I don't follow what you are saying there. Why do you say that ID
    >proponents "demand that science be a search for ALL truth"?

    Some ID prponents have defined science as a search for "Truth" and
    eliminate the restiction that science can only address "natural"
    cause-and-effect processes. If science is a search for truth that includes
    both natural and divine supernatural agency, it would seem that science by
    that definition is a search for all truth. What would be excluded?

    >This is a non sequitur. You may be able to distinguish a worm borrow
    >from some look-alike trace fossil, but are you able to predict the
    >behavior of other humans? "Natural" intelligent agents "can do
    >anything", and as such have no "predictive value." Yet we still search
    >for them in murder, arson, and SETI. Intelligent agents are very much a
    >part of scientific explanations, and to exclude one (supernatural) and
    >not the other (natural - by your definition) is solely for the purpose of
    >protecting the current paradigm and for indoctrination. You have offered
    >no defensible logic for excluding intelligent design from the science
    >curricula. Care to try again?

    Divine supernatural agents are by definition outside of natural law. They
    can indeed do anything. Human or other natural intelligent agents are part
    of scientific description and explanation. We have a fair knowledge of the
    capabilities of human agents. A reference to divine action simply has no
    _scientific_ usefulness.

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

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