Judge Jones and the end of Einsteins centenary

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Sat Dec 31 2005 - 04:31:09 EST

“Please think for yourself on this one, do not respond simply by cutting and pasting something from TDI website. We already know what they are going to say: I don't wish to read another vacuous claim about ‘activist’ jurisprudence or another name calling session. They lost, and they know it. / Why don't you seem to know it?” – Ted Davis (to Janice Matchett)
  The fact that ‘they’ lost was indeed revealed by the decision of the court; that is fact and NOT theory. Exactly who ‘they’ is presents a difficult dilemma, however, since M. Behe (a TDI fellow) represented ID in Dover, and others in the DI who defend and even go on the offensive with theories of ID also had their hands/hearts in the action at one point or another. Did the Discovery Institute, a Christian-led think tank in Seattle, really lose in the Dover trial? Those who don’t ‘know it’ are simply in denial or in the process of trying to spin the result in their favo(u)r.
  Taking a step back to view the conversation partners here, it should be remembered that Ted is a historian and philosopher of science. I would guess that Janice is otoh a physicist or otherwise passive commentator on the evolutionary circus; not an activist in any sense of the term, and therefore more or less content to use others’ words as shields for her own approach to ID philosophy/theology/science and OOL views more generally. Perhaps she is a health physicist, or at least someone educated in a ‘natural science’ discipline, such that she fits the prerequisites of joining the ASA list. She is not merely a ‘science and religion’ journalist or someone who shows other people’s views and reports on what others say and know.
  That is just my guess. Nevertheless, the degree to which each person participates in reasoning, writing about and scientifically, philosophically or theologically analyzing ID and Evolution makes a big difference about what they will disclose of their own ‘opinions’ and conclusions. Taking a ‘side’ is for some people a very large step (cf. the neutrality of the ASA regarding issues such as the age of the earth, common descent, random mutations, etc.), a step some don’t wish to make. Journalists, for example, may claim value-freedom and at the same time display obvious bias that betrays their integrity to do research even-handedly; scientists instead require commitment.
  “[T]he crucial discipline for the whole trial seems to be my own (history and philosophy of science), even more than biochemistry or paleontology.” – T. Davis
  Historians and philosophers of science give an altogether unique approach to communication regarding the phenomenon of the IDM and ID theories. This is true (i.e. should be admitted by ‘pure’ scientists) whether it is at school board meetings, at show trials (juri-spru-dence), in religious-scientific newsletters, or in the living rooms of armchair theologians or philosophers. Paleontologists and biochemists may be competent, even experts, to discuss the latest findings or theories in their area of study. But rarely, unless trained also in philosophy or another metascientific arena, are they able to broadly contextualize their discipline for a general academic audience. What does the field of AI, cognitive studies or ‘origins of life’ actually mean to people today?
  The fact that people are using ID theories as a pretext to discuss things that verge on ‘theological inclusion’ is actually a step forward, it would seem, from others in the natural sciences who have not shown they are able to integrate theological relevance (especially about evolution) into their scientific discussions, no matter how much their theology impacts their own participation in science. This would appear to be a curious improvement in the ‘science and religion’ discourse, to seek peace and reconciliation instead of warfare, that is, if ID is NOT a revolution as its current leader chants. The participation of HPS thus I take as a good thing to help counter-balance the ‘sometimes scientism’ shown by scientists at the end of the ‘modern age’ and the ‘sometimes anti-science’ bias that children of evolutionary biologists (also perhaps PK’s and still many others) may tend to embody.
  G. Arago
  p.s. congratulations to Ted on being elected to ASA's Executive Council

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Received on Sat Dec 31 04:33:15 2005

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