Friday, March 04, 2005

The Wichita Eagle on science

Wichita Eagle | 03/04/2005 | BRIEF EDITORIALS: ON … STATE BOE:
No Scopes II

Members of a Kansas State Board of Education panel looked for a while as if they were going to have evolution and intelligent design face off in a public trial-like hearing, complete with testimony and cross-examination of witnesses. But this week they announced that they will conduct the debate on paper, by having science experts write answers to eight questions.

That's a relief of sorts. Still, this whole process, including the conservatives-only makeup of the panel, seems designed for one troubling outcome: the rejection of the sound recommendations of respected science professionals in favor of science standards that, by undermining evolution, won't reflect mainstream science.
My only quibble is that they may yet hold the trial. The written exam may simply define the issues for the oral exams. Otherwise, the Eagle is absolutely right that the issue is the circumvention of the established standards process. It's obvious that the intent is to undermine evolution and all science.

Then John Calvert weighs in on the difference between science and “science.” AH! Scare quotes! Are you scared?

Let the Eagle know what you think.

Here's what I said:

John Calvert asks whether “science” is science (Op-Ed, 3/4/2005). While this may make sense to a lawyer, it makes no sense to the public. Science is a process for developing falsifiable hypotheses and testing them. Unless Calvert can put God in a test tube, supernatural designers aren't science, they are religion. That doesn't make creationism illegitimate, it just isn't science (or “science”).