Re: Tit for Tat?

From: Keith Miller (
Date: Thu Sep 11 2003 - 17:38:14 EDT

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    > Seems to me what should be emphasized about origins in public education is
    > that *no* theory of origins is without its problems, discuss the problems
    > then let the kids and their parents decide for themselves. If anything the
    > ID discussions have raised important questions about the completeness of
    > Darwinian theory. For those who would just dismiss ID assertions as
    > ridiculous, they would find themselves in the same camp as those who have
    > poo-pooed radical new scientific theories in the past.

    However, science should not be taught as though all ideas or theories are
    equally valid. They are not. Some theories are so well-supported as to be
    held with great confidence by the scientific community. Others show promise
    and drive new ideas and suggest new questions. Others lie at the fringes of
    accepted science and provoke reexamination of standard interpretations.
    Others are essentially ignored by the scientific community because they have
    been effectively disproven by current observations, or because they provide
    no testable concepts that further current scientific understanding.

    To teach that a particular theory is more uncertain or held with less
    confidence than it really is, is to misrepresent science. Furthermore, to
    give the impression that any proffered theory or idea is equally
    scientifically valid and that students can simply choose from a smorgasboard
    of ideas is a disservice to those same students. One big problem with
    student understanding of science today is that they are deluged with ideas
    (especially on the web) yet lack the skills to distinguish reasonable ideas
    from junk.

    ID proponents have not provided the scientific community with any coherent
    model that can be independently tested. They have no scientific research
    program. In effect there is no real ID scientific theory. Their arguments
    are essentially just attempted critiques of the current evolutionary
    paradigm -- most of which have been shown to be severely flawed. Teaching
    ID as a serious challenge to modern evolutionary models would be to
    misrepresent the status of evolution as a well-supported unifying theory,
    and to misrepresent the status of ID which is at present primarily a
    philosophical and political movement.



    Dr. Keith B. Miller Department of Geology Thompson Hall 108 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 66506-3201 ph: (785) 532-2250 webpage:

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