Re: [asa] Expelled and ID (ASA annual mtg.)

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Thu Apr 24 2008 - 14:10:02 EDT

Dennis, Please excuse that in re-reading my message, I fail to see the connection you make with 'post-modern'. I called your view of 'science,' as a practising (biological) scientist, nevertheless 'outdated.' That is, you don't appear to be up-to-date with the contemporary understanding of 'science,' which HPS has greatly influenced (e.g. see responses to HPSS - Survey thread wherein Kuhn is widely acknowledged).
  Where do you get 'post-modern' from? What do you mean by this? Many natural scientists use this as a pejorative term, thus intent to dismiss it, to tar and feather those who speak or even just know that language. But as it turns out, aren't you born ('awfully young') into the post-modern age in N.A. anyway?
  Again, if you do some work reading HPSS, you'll be able to put into better context the meaning of 'data,' 'replicate,' '(core) theory,' and 'reproducibility,' as well as 'falsification,' 'verification,' 'research program,' and 'normal science,' which would widen your criticism (and appreciation) of 'Expelled: No Intelligence' in a new way. Surely you promote the inclusion of 'intelligence' in your TWU laboratory, and rightly so! :-)
  - gregory

Dennis Venema <> wrote:
  Dennis, You are espousing a perspective of 'science' that could have stood up perhaps fifty years ago, but not today. However, this does not mean you cannot 'do' science itself! It just means that you do not speak best for what 'science' is and is not. This is best left up to philosophers of (the) sciences, those who professionally study it.

Call me old school (and I’m awfully young to be old school) but I don’t think postmodernism had as much of an impact on science as you think it has, if that is what you are saying. If POS want to say that they are the best suited to say what is science and what is not, it’s a free world, I guess.

Though I am defending neither Meyer nor his paper (which I read and found wanting), the notion of 'just reproducabilty (sic) and data' has already been debunked. Such is a monolithic view of science that is outdated; there are many things that count as 'science' that are not reproducible and need rely on no data, e.g. theories themselves.

I think your understanding of what a “theory” is in science might be a little off. It’s not the same as the colloquial usage. I am not saying that science is merely data and reproducibility, though these are crucial. I am saying that a paper worthy of publication in a scientific journal should have at least a little bit of data that someone else could replicate should they so desire.

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Received on Thu Apr 24 14:11:00 2008

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