Re: [asa] on science and meta-science

From: Keith Miller <>
Date: Tue Nov 03 2009 - 23:02:15 EST

Murray wrote:

Actually, reflecting upon this situation one might suggest that the problem
> with science teaching is precisely that the metaphysical interpretation is
> *implicit* rather than *explicit* - but teaching science *as though* it were
> metaphysically neutral, students are given the perception that there are not
> metaphysical commitments - which probably makes it all the easier to foist
> upon them the metaphysical interpretation(s?) implicit in the science. And
> wouldn't this issue: the implicit advancement of an unarticulated
> materialistic metaphysic through the teaching of science be precisely the
> objection which theists have to the practice of science education in the US?

One thing that much science education research has shown is that the nature
and methods of science (NOS), which necessarily involves metaphysics and
philosophy, are left implicit in most teaching. Students are left to pick
up the NOS by osmosis. If it is taught explicitly, it is often taught badly
and simplistically.

Few teachers even at the university level, let alone at the secondary level,
have been equipped to teach the nature and philosophy of science. Many are
ignorant of it. My personal recommendation is to include more history of
science in the science class. Giving the historical context of science
helps to provide some of the larger context in which science occurs, and
communicates in a practical manner something of the nature of science.

There is also a new website that on the NOS which is quite good. You can
find it by searching "Understanding Science."


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Received on Tue Nov 3 23:03:18 2009

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