Re: Peer review and ID

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Fri Oct 21 2005 - 12:17:08 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ted Davis" <>
To: <>; <>
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2005 11:08 AM
Subject: Re: Peer review and ID

>I agree entirely with what Keith Miller wrote.
> I also agree with the view of nearly all scientists, that ID is not
> science.
> It is however an interesting and potentially fruitful critique of science
> that is recognized as worthy of discussion in the professional literature
> devoted to the philosophy of science. Like other philosophical aspects of
> science, it is part of science more broadly conceived, just as the history
> of science is part of science more broadly conceived. A high school or
> college teacher who wants to make reference to either historical or
> philosophical issues related to science, can legitimately do so, and
> efforts
> to prohibit a teacher from doing so are IMO inappropriate and even
> short-sighted. No one's educational purpose is well served when students
> are prohibited from learning about certain questions/issues that bear on a
> subject, simply b/c they are controversial. We do not do this in other
> disciplines (and the extraordinary statement from the President of the
> University of Idaho apparently recognizes this fact), why do we do it in
> science? One of the most fundamental problems in science education, IMO,
> is
> that there has usually been *too little* attention to "liberal arts"
> aspects
> of the sciences, such as history and philosophy of science. Now that more
> states are recognizing the importance of those aspects by requiring some
> things from HPS to be taught in schools, it seems suddenly backwards to
> rule
> out discussing ID simply b/c it has a religious dimension. So many other
> things schools *are* allowed to discuss have religious dimensions--the
> abortion debate, the history of the United States, the civil rights
> movement, etc, etc. etc.

I agree - in principle. The problem, as is often the case, is in the
practice. How can school boards &c realistically draw a line between
presenting ID arguments as
a critique of evolution from a philosophical standpoint & presenting it as a
scientific research program?

& IMO a distinction needs to be made between what should be taught in high
schools (& lower grades) & what's appropriate for colleges. I don't have a
big problem with ID arguments being discussed at a college level. Whether
most HS students are mature enought to appreciate the necessary distinctions
(& for that matter whether their teachers have sufficient professional
qualifications to do so) is another matter.

Received on Fri Oct 21 12:19:08 2005

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