Date: Sat Aug 31 2002 - 14:26:01 EDT
Keith B Miller writes:
>>So, has anybody tried fighting to get a little
>>philosophy of science into school board curricula?
> The central core of the disputes over science education here in Kansas and
> elsewhere have to do with understandings of the nature of science. The
> earlier standards fight here is Kansas was largely focused on definitions
> of science, the same is true in Ohio. A solid understanding of the
> philosophy and methodologies of science is vital. I think that a
> rudimentary introduction to the historical and philosophical issues of
> science can be incorporated into secondary science curricula. Just
> presenting scientific concepts in their appropriate histrical context can
> help greatly.
> The problem with the proposals being made by ID advocates and others is
> that they serve to break down the limitations and boundaries of science as
> a way of knowing. "Methodological naturalism" is one term that is used to
> express the empirical nature of science and its restriction to explaining
> observations by appeal to "natural" processes and forces. By seeking to
> break down those boundaries, science is made to be synonomous with
> "knowledge" or "logic." This not only destroys the distinction between
> science and other ways of knowing, but also between science and
> Science simply is not the only path to truth. Ironically, some ID
> proponents want to make theological claims subject to scientific
> verification and thus elevate science to the final arbitor of truth.
The trouble is with the definition of science, though philosophy may play a
part in that definition as well. However, which subjects are "science" and
which are "speculation", for lack of anothe word? In Theology theologians
better work "scientifically" as well. Part of the North American
difficulties may be a result of the fact that since the Middle Ages in many
Western countries university studies were split in Arts and Sciences, as if
in a subject not listed under "Science" people are only guessing. And some
subjects are sometimes listed as a science and sometimes under Arts.
But, since we serve our God everywhere and always, such a division does not
make sense, though I realize that in Anglo-Saxon countries where they used
this incorrect division it will be hard to correct.
At the reformed Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands, in my first year's
basic philosophy course I learned to divide "science"= (German
"Wissenschaft") in 14 categories, from Theology to Arithmetic, but all bound
together by our relation or nob-relation to God: "From the heart are the
issues of life."
I must stop now
Jan de Koning
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