[FoRK] Science Braces for Second Term

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Nov 17 08:03:00 PST 2004


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."

sdw

Mark Day wrote:

>>A trial in Cobb County, Georgia, is
>>currently weighing the legality of adding disclaimers to 
>>science textbooks
>>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 considered." 
>
>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 evolution
>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 grab
>that opening and push it WAY beyond what the label's current advocates are
>trying for.  
>
>--Mark
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>FoRK mailing list
>http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
>  
>


-- 
swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw



More information about the FoRK mailing list