Saturday, June 7, 2008

The New York Times on The Cons of Creation

How nice to see our beloved Texas Board of Education getting called out nationally by the New York Times for participating in the "strengths and weaknesses" denialist scam. It's brief and to the point, with a great finish:

"Scientists are always probing the strengths and weakness of their hypotheses. That is the very nature of the enterprise. But evolution is no longer a hypothesis. It is a theory rigorously supported by abundant evidence. The weaknesses that creationists hope to teach as a way of refuting evolution are themselves antiquated, long since filed away as solved. The religious faith underlying creationism has a place, in church and social studies courses. Science belongs in science classrooms."

4 comments:

J. W. Kraft said...

I have a different view of the New York Times article. If you are interested, http://jwkraft.com/?p=40

ScienceAvenger said...

I think you've got some major misconceptions of what is going on here. It is the creationists, not the scientists, and not the NY Times, that claim that so-called weaknesses in evolution support creationism. It is the creationists, not the scientists, that has a problem with all facts coming to light. It is the creationists, not the scientists, who require adherance to dogma, like the affirmations of faith in the inerrancy of the Bible that some creationist organizations require. There is no equivalent entity in science.

You may be a scientifically honest person who wants the legitimate science taught, but the people pushing the "strengths and weaknesses" agenda aren't. They are creationists, one and all, who have simply changed the language that they are using. It's the same old agenda. As Lincoln told Douglas, calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one.

alex said...

To be fair, creationists are not the only ones who require adherance to dogma. I'm sure you're well aware of Michael Ruse:

"And certainly, there's no doubt about it, that in the past, and I think also in the present, for many evolutionists, evolution has functioned as something with elements which are, let us say, akin to being a secular religion ... And it seems to me very clear that at some very basic level, evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism, namely, that at some level one is going to exclude miracles and these sorts of things come what may."

Ruse, M. (1993)
"Nonliteralist Antievolution"
AAAS Symposium: "The New Antievolutionism," February 13, 1993, Boston, MA

(Sure, Ruse adds a "but," but the "but" doesn't undo what is written above.)

ScienceAvenger said...

To be even more fair, Ruse asserting it is so doesn't make it so, any more than Ben Stein asserting it is so makes it so. The first part of Ruse's statement is just the typical semantic game we've seen played with "religion" for years, and still we wait for evidence one of it. It remains also ironic that those who tout religion as some sort of virtue often are the very same people that attempt to denigrate science by calling it a religion. Intellectual consistency really isn't high on their priority list.

The second part of Ruse's statement applies to all science, not just biology. The all make a commitment to the type of naturalism that attempts to explain reality without reference to unpredictable, unlimited, undescribed nebulous forces or beings or whatever form they are hypothetically assigned.

If you Ruse or anyone else has a problem with this, his problem is not with biology, but with all of science.