Re: [asa] Constitutional legitimacy of Phil. Sci. in US public schools (was Re: [asa] The fight in Texas over evolution training in schools)

From: William Hamilton <willeugenehamilton@gmail.com>
Date: Sun Mar 29 2009 - 08:41:01 EDT

I forwarded your post to David Opderback. Perhaps he'll have something
to say. George is orrect: you can teach about religion, but cannot
teach religion. One possible snag I can see is that there might be
objections if the course only dealt with Christinity's influence. Some
would contend it ought to deal with all religions and their influence
on science.

On Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 3:21 PM, Murray Hogg <muzhogg@netspace.net.au> wrote:
> Hi folks,
>
> Excuse my ignorance on the "religion in schools" issue in the US, but as I
> read the various remarks on treating philosophy of science in US public
> schools I wonder...
>
> Why would it be acceptable to introduce religion into public schools under
> the heading of "philosophy of science" as opposed to introducing it under
> "science"?
>
> I mean, if one wanted to address, in a US public school, the question of the
> extent to which Christianity has influenced the development of modern
> science why would this not be a violation of the Constitution in exactly the
> same way as is the teaching of creationism?
>
> I can understand that introducing Christianity in the context of a subject
> on history, philosophy, or religion would be less contentious than
> introducing it in the science class. But I'm interested in the legalities
> and not the potential for controversy. So even if the majority were quite
> happy to see the role of religion in science relegated to a philosophy of
> science context, would it not still be, if even only technically, a
> violation of church-state separation?
>
> I suppose that it might well boil down to the question of motive: i.e.
> whether or not one had a religious motive? If so, would it follow that those
> on the list who advocate the introduction of Christianity into public school
> philosophy of science discussions are guilty of the same sort of
> Constitutional infraction as those YEC's who advocate "equal treatment"?
>
> I should say, I'm not trying to imply anyone's motives are dubious, and
> certainly not trying to start a flame-war, I'm simply curious as to how the
> Constitutional issues might play out here.
>
> Anybody care to comment?
>
> Murray
>
> --
> Murray Hogg
> Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
> Chairman, Executive Committee, ISCAST Vic <www.iscast.org>
> Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology
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-- 
William E (Bill) Hamilton Jr., Ph.D.
Member American Scientific Affiliation
Austin, TX
248 821 8156
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Received on Sun Mar 29 08:41:29 2009

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