Re: [asa] astrology, ID & science

From: <>
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 16:48:03 EDT

The book "Undergrowth of Science" by Walter Gratzer makes for great historical
reading about the unsuccessful faces of science, most of which fade into
forgotten history while the successful stories (as should be expected) are
retained for our utilitarian pedagogical purposes. (What if religion was given
this same kind of historical treatment?!!!) Anyway, Gratzer, reminds us how
much of that embarrassing failure actually makes for a healthy soil from which
the eventual successes can thrive, as the book title inspirationally implies.
His book didn't go into origins controversies so much -- in fact it was probably
published before ID exploded as a movement; I can't remember it's publishing
date. In the looser historical sense, I can sympathize with those who would
even consider astrology as a part of science (at least *historically*) rather
than sneeringly declare that all disproven theories be rejected to some landfill
outside the scientific domain. I can also understand that we shouldn’t hold on
to disproven notions. But to declare that science is only that which up to now
is successful, useful, good … whatever – well that makes for an completely
useless tautology when trying to discuss what science is. Christians get
accused of the same thing when declaring (and yet rightly and Biblically so)
that we are known by our fruit – i.e. love.


"People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to
understand, when it's simply necessary to love." -- Claude Monet

Quoting Dave Wallace <>:

> Iain Strachan wrote:
> > Interesting, George, but I had exactly the same thought - that astrology
> > had a better case to be defined as science in that it makes testable
> > predictions. The only "predictions" that ID makes is that something
> > can't/won't happen by evolution - and that's not testable except by
> > waiting an infinite amount of time.
> >
> > Iain
> >
> >
> ID also has an implication that we won't find natural means for all
> biological features that appear to be irreducibly complex. Maybe that
> is what you mean? Just because something like astrology has been shown
> not to make good predictions or a theory is still in the untested or
> unproven state does not mean it is not science. To me the question
> about what should be taught is not is it science but is it good science
> that makes good predictions and has survived testing. Students should
> end up with some knowledge of past scientific theories that have been
> shown to be untrue, as this helps understand how science works. To my
> mind ID is not (yet) good science and I question if it ever will be but
> I could be wrong. At this point ID's predictions require waiting an
> infinite amount of time, as Iain said, and theories that require such
> are not very useful, but that does not mean they are true or untrue.
> Dave W

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Received on Fri May 4 16:48:26 2007

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