Re: more support for teaching the controversy

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Mon Oct 03 2005 - 13:24:41 EDT


The problem, as the "big wad 'o facts" response alludes to, is that
we don't really teach science, we teach "what scientists think". That
given the case means we have to decide "which scientists?" (say Behe
or Miller). There is no harm whatsoever in my opinion in presenting
the "difficulties" with any particular theory--although there must
conceptual vocabulary available in which to do that. I'd be inclined
to suggest that presenting difficulties is actually inspiring to
budding scientists. They want to dedicate their lives to solving the
problem. Giving the ID answer--it's too complicated--some
intelligence must have intervened in a special way--is not inspiring
in the least to the budding scientists. Indeed, as some have noted,
it is a science stopper. It may be true, in which case the budding
scientist will be beating his or her head against a brick wall. But,
really, isn't this what science is about--solving these sorts of

Of course, as most of us agree here, problems arise when scientism is
taught as science. But, this is a religio-philosophical issue and not
a science issue. Most scientists (Dawkins and Dennett are notable
exceptions) are willing to concede this. That's where the battle
should be fought. Let science sort out its own foibles.

A very interesting framing of various problems with evolutionary
theory is in the opening chapters of Stuart Kauffman's The Origins of
Order. Kauffman unhesitatingly writes about the controversy. Of
course, he doesn't give ID as the answer, he muses over the problems
and theorizes to solve the problems. Those of you who are interested
in Stuart Kauffman may be interested in this video that I stumbled
upon today--


On Oct 3, 2005, at 7:08 AM, Ted Davis wrote:

> Here's the most interesting op-ed, supporting the ID position on
> "teaching
> the controversy," that I have seen. The irony will not be lost on
> readers.
> ted

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Mon Oct 3 13:26:41 2005

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