Perceptions of science

From: Carol or John Burgeson <burgytwo@juno.com>
Date: Mon Sep 12 2005 - 14:06:51 EDT

Terry Gray and I have agreed to disagree on several issues, all of them
quite secondary (IMHO of course).

His last post (below) is one on which I can agree with him 100%.

In particular: "the recent arguments that biology is not science are just
pompous
physical science arrogance."

and

"We really must abandon these demarcationist arguments and be willing get
to more substantive discussions asking whether or not the claims are
correct not whether
or not they match up with someone's rules of the game."

Burgy

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Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2005 15:48:46 -0600
From: "Terry M. Gray" <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Subject: Re: Public perceptions of science: was Why Most Published
Research Findings Are False

Hi everyone,

I'd like to suggest a more conciliatory approach to moderate the
recent rancor on these two threads.

Loren Haarsma from Calvin presented to following paper at the ASA
meeting this summer as part of the ID "vs" TE symposium:

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/meetings/Messiah2005/papers/
IsIDScientific_ASA2005.htm

Loren, I think, masterfully set the right tone for a productive
debate. Dembski followed him prepared, of course, to argue that ID is
"scientific" and when Loren didn't come loaded with that particular
critique was surprisingly, in my experience, conciliatory himself. He
even admitted that theistic evolution is a plausible Christian position.

I created a web version of Loren's handout and paper and he gave me
permission to put it on the ASA web site. If you would like a Word
document version, you can get it directly from Loren's web site at
Calvin at http://www.calvin.edu/~lhaarsma/IsIDScientific_ASA2005.doc

I am in Loren's "explainable" or "partially explainable" camps when
it comes to most of the ID examples from biology (flagella, origin of
life, other irreducibly complex systems). I'm quite content to argue
against ID on the basis of plausible scenarios rather than
demarcationist arguments.

For what it's worth, in my opinion as a biologist (and otherwise),
the recent arguments that biology is not science are just pompous
physical science arrogance. From the information about joining the
ASA: "Science is interpreted broadly to include anthropology,
archeology, economics, engineering, history, mathematics, medicine,
political science, psychology, and sociology as well as the generally
recognized science disciplines." I've long disagreed with Moorad on
this and it's just putting your head in the sand to say otherwise.
Most people say that biology is not a physical science, but a unique,
autonomous scientific discipline, biological science. Most people
will, however, categorize biology as a natural science (notice that
natural does NOT equal physical in these characterizations). Natural
science is conventionally contrasted with human or social sciences
(please, don't make the joke about, if science is in your
discipline's name, it's not science). We really must abandon these
demarcationist arguments and be willing get to more substantive
discussions asking whether or not the claims are correct not whether
or not they match up with someone's rules of the game.

TG
Received on Mon Sep 12 14:11:43 2005

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