Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Thu Apr 24 2008 - 10:01:04 EDT

The topic of 'in which classroom' a discussion of David Clounch's questions is relevant to the curriculum can have several answers. It sometimes appears (at least I get the feeling) that when people say something shouldn't be discussed in a 'science classroom' but (merely) in a 'comparative religion or philosophy classroom,' it is rather meant as derogatory, i.e. if it doesn't belong in a science class then it is somehow lesser in importance. But in this case, I know David O. does not mean that. Something doesn't 'win' simply by 'being scientific.'
   
  Whether the idea that "methodolgical naturalism derives from metaphysical naturalism" could/should be discussed in a 'history classroom' is debateable. But certainly I would expect/hope to see it in a 'sociology of science classroom,' perhaps not in America, but in one outside of America that discusses American ideas and paradigms. Whether or not something is 'constitutional or not to inform' is outside of my sphere of curiosity.
   
  Again, it is certainly worth repeating that 'cosmological design' and 'biological design,' though different in terms of the arguments marshalled in their respective favour, mirrors the problem with distinguishing 'cosmological evolution' and 'biological evolution.' Add in the notion of 'cultural design' and one comes full circle with the over-statement of the co-architect of the Modern Synthesis (which some people call neo-Darwinism), Theodosius Dobzhansky, who spoke about cosmological, biological and cultural evolution as if they were/are all part of a continuum. Who argued recently that small i+d intelligent design is scientifically logical, but not big ID Intelligent Design?
   
  David O.s question about the differences and similarities between cosmological design and biological design likely deserves its own thread, rather than remaining within the context of 'Expelled and ID.'
   
  G.A.
  

David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
    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 
       
---------------------------------
Looking for the perfect gift? Give the gift of Flickr!
To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Thu Apr 24 10:01:49 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Apr 24 2008 - 10:01:49 EDT