Monday, September 26, 2005

Dover

A Web of Faith, Law and Science in Evolution Suit - New York Times:
"You can dress up intelligent design and make it look like science, but it just doesn't pass muster," said Mr. Stough, a Republican whose idea of a fun family vacation is visiting fossil beds and natural history museums. "In science class, you don't say to the students, 'Is there gravity, or do you think we have rubber bands on our feet?' "

Evolution finds that life evolved over billions of years through the processes of mutation and natural selection, without the need for supernatural interventions. It is the foundation of biological science, with no credible challenges within the scientific community. Without it, the plaintiffs say, students could never make sense of topics as varied as AIDS and extinction.
The Pandas Thumb is tracking events in Dover as well.

The interesting thing about the legal tack taken by the creationists is their claim that "intelligent design was not creationism because it did not mention God or the Bible and never posited the creator's identity." The idea that something isn't religious just because it doesn't specify a God is pretty half-assed.

Imagine that I teach a class about horse-riding (noting that I have ridden horses at most twice). In the course of this class, I mention that there's this other thing that's so much better. It has wheels, a metal body, some fancy lights and stuff, and goes really fast. We learn to fix engines, change tires, even swap out a transmission. I carefully avoid mentioning Henry Ford, the company he founded, or any of its competitors, modern or historic.

Is this still a class about horse-riding, or is it class about those newfangled horseless-carriages? When I insist that I don't mention Ford or Chilton's or even speculate about the existence of actual automobiles, does that change your opinion?

Me neither.

On an unrelated note, I am very disappointed that Dover is so hostile to teaching the controversy over Newtonism.

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