Re: Peer review and ID

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Fri Oct 21 2005 - 16:51:14 EDT

I like Louise's thoughtful and creative answer a lot, although I like my own number 3 (surprise) quite a bit better, and not just b/c of this particular issue. But I've spoken to that before and won't revisit it.

My reply thus has two parts, only one of them substantive.

(1) re: This unit will
include a field trip to see Drama club's production of the newly released,
"Better Inheritance, Better Wind," a riveting and historically accurate
play, based on the transcripts of the Michael Behe and Keith Miller
testimonies in the notorious 2005 Pennsylvania "Panda Trial."

In court on Monday, there was a local artist--the only day I've noticed an artist present. She was drawing his honor, and next to him in the witness stand was--well, you guessed it, not a monkey but a panda. Someone had apparently given her a little stuffed panda to use as a model. A very nice drawing, if I had a lot of extra cash I'd have offered her a couple hundred dollars for it as a unique souvenier. :-)

(2) Re: It is our goal to neither
promote or degrade any particular religious, spiritual or philososphical
worldview. As flawed human beings, we may fall short of that ideal, but in
the process we hope to both provide our students with a strong basic
background in science and to help them to develop the skills needed to
thoughtfully examine such controversies later in life. However, we will not
address specific religious teachings in this class.

A very large segment of the American taxpaying population responds, echoing William Jennings Bryan's point (a not entirely invalid one, IMO, in any democracy) that "the hand that pays the teachers rules the schools." Here is what they say:
Sorry, that's just not good enough. Evolution is not a religiously neutral theory--it violates several basic tenets of our religion, and we are offended that you teach it without reference to its scientific flaws and limitations. It's only a theory, but you teach it as if it were genuinely established knowledge. Why should mere theories take precedence over truths that God has revealed to us? More to the point, why should we continue to pay for you to teach atheism to our children, when you won't even give us the courtesy of allowing other perspectives into science classes? This is outrageous, we're sick of it, and we've decided to pull the financial plug on your "neutral" schools.

As I said, I like my option 3, not this one. But I do think, ladies and gentlemen, that we have to do *something* more substantive than what we are presently doing; we need to find a way to let some of the steam out of the boiler, before the whole building blows up. I know I won't persuade too many of this, and I do hope I'm wrong. But as Eugenie Scott (how often do I really agree with her? not very often actually) told a reporter the other evening, we have to stop running around putting out fires. She certainly doesn't agree with my method for putting them out, and I know a lot of others won't either. But maybe I just think the fire is a lot bigger and a lot hotter than many others do....

Received on Fri Oct 21 16:52:44 2005

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