[FoRK] Science Braces for Second Term
fork at bitfurnace.com
Wed Nov 17 09:05:48 PST 2004
What also missing is any notion of "testability" in relation to
theories. A theory isnt worth squat unless theres a way to disprove it.
If this material is going to be included, then it should set in context
not with a sticker, but a full semester on the nature of science -
Thoman Khun, Lakatos, et al.
It always struck me as strange, the religious rejection of evolution. I
think it has more to do with a rejection of notions about change than a
problem with evolution itself. To say that history is 6000 years old,
and we have it all in a book, and people are people like they pretty
much always have been is a tremendously comforting thing, for some, I
imagine. To say that we are what we always were and will always be...
Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> You're missing the obvious target of any 'theory' warning label that
> would go right to the heart of the matter: religion and theism.
> When history/sociology and health (which is where personal psychology
> and something like philosophy are now taught) classes mention religion,
> why isn't there a similar disclaimer?
> I could only accept the paragraph if the last sentence began: "This
> material and other theories with far less factual support like religion
> and a belief in God should be approached...". Additionally, I would
> require two more sentences: "The theory of evolution is supported by
> many facts and the opinions of nearly all of the most educated
> scientists. Religion and belief in God is supported by few if any facts
> and is taught by those who benefit from its continuance and expansion,
> not by its truth." The whole theory vs. fact distinction needs a good
> discussion of probability, scientific method, etc. Time-tested theories
> that best explain something are treated as fact by scientist and most
> others who simply remain on watch for alternative explanations that have
> MORE fact to back them up.
> The final paragraph would read:
> "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory,
> not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material and
> other theories with far less factual support like religion and a belief
> in God should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and
> critically considered. The theory of evolution is supported by many
> facts and the opinions of nearly all of the most educated scientists.
> Religion and belief in God is supported by few if any facts and is
> taught by those who benefit from its continuance and expansion, not by
> its truth."
> Possibly including: "Time-tested theories that best explain something
> are treated as fact by scientist and most others who simply remain on
> watch for alternative explanations that have MORE fact to back them up."
> Mark Day wrote:
>>> A trial in Cobb County, Georgia, is
>>> currently weighing the legality of adding disclaimers to science
>>> that say evolution is a "theory, not a fact."
>> The full label says:
>> "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory,
>> not a
>> fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be
>> approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically
>> I know the goal of the label is pernicious, but I kind of like the label.
>> In fact, I want to see a deal brokered where the case against the
>> label is dropped in return for a similar, broader warning label on every
>> aspect of the entire school curriculum. Advocating the questioning of
>> authority and critical thinking about the material is great, so let's
>> that opening and push it WAY beyond what the label's current advocates
>> trying for.
>> FoRK mailing list
More information about the FoRK