Re: [asa] on science and meta-science

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Tue Nov 03 2009 - 23:13:33 EST

Hi Keith,

I had breakfast this morning with John Pilbrow (Professor Emeritus in Physics, Monash University) who lamented precisely this problem. Clearly it's on more than one person's radar screen.

We're hoping that our Australian science/Christianity group ISCAST <> might be able to address this by putting together a short course on Philosophy of Science/Christian Theology for science students at tertiary level as a way of compensating for the short-fall.

It's a case of "Watch this Space" for the moment!


Keith Miller wrote:
> 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."
> Keith

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Received on Tue Nov 3 23:13:48 2009

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