Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Apr 24 2008 - 08:56:19 EDT

Dave Clounch asks: Given Barr's statements on the strong evidence for
cosmological design, is it constitututional to inform school children that
cosmological design is supported by science?

I respond: Not in those terms. That would be an official endorsement of
religion. It might be possible, in the context of a comparative religion or
philosophy class, to discuss such a claim generally.
Dave Clounch. asks: "is it constitutional to inform school children of the
existence of scientific materialism as an alternative to religious beliefs?
And to tell them it isn't science?"
I respond: This is tricky. I think you might be able to make a statement
like the first one in the context of a comparative religion or philosophy
class, but the second statement starts to get into judgments where a teacher
could be trying to influence the students with his / her own religious
beliefs.

Dave Clounch asks: A third question is, "Should school children be informed
of the theological roots of naturalism?"
I respond: Not sure what you mean by the "theological roots of naturalism"
here -- but if you mean that methodolgical naturalism derives from
metaphysical naturalism, if that were accurate, you could probably discuss
this in a history class.

As your questions illustrate, it is extremely difficult in the public
education setting to discuss any issues about religion and science, even at
the level of basic presuppositions.
On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:43 PM, David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com>
wrote:

>
>
> On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 7:16 PM, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > At the risk of sounding anti-science, which I don't think I am, I don't
> > see how you can gainsay that institutional science is skewed by agendas and
> > viewpoints that aren't always objectively scientific.
> >
>
> I'd like to ask you a question that may be more up your alley. Given
> Barr's statements on the strong evidence for cosmological design, is it
> constitututional to inform school children that cosmological design is
> supported by science?
>
> A separate question would be, "is it constitutional to inform school
> children of the existence of scientific materialism as an alternative to
> religious beliefs? And to tell them it isn't science?"
>
> A third question is, "Should school children be informed of the
> theological roots of naturalism?"
>
> Or, must all these fields of knowledge be banned from discussion in the
> public square because knowledge of their existence might possibly somehow be
> construed to support religion?
>
> Thanks,
> -Dave
>
>
>
>
>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Thu Apr 24 08:57:19 2008

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