Monday, October 10, 2005

The Controversy That Isn't

Throughout this case, the other side has argued that this is a matter of "academic freedom" and that we should "teach the controversy." Here's a great article from the Guardian, co-authored by Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins, about why that argument just doesn't hold water.

It sounds so reasonable, doesn't it? Such a modest proposal. Why not teach "both sides" and let the children decide for themselves? As President Bush said, "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes." At first hearing, everything about the phrase "both sides" warms the heart of educators like ourselves.

…What is wrong with the apparently sweet reasonableness of "it is only fair to teach both sides"? The answer is simple. This is not a scientific controversy at all.


Read the entire pdf version of "One Side Can Be Wrong"

Thanks to Jerry Coyne for sending this along to us. We couldn't have put it better!

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dawkin's carefully doesn't mention any particular kind of "supernaturalism" but the physicist Alan Sokal writes of his encounters with proponents of Native American creationism and sociologists who maintain that science is only a product of dominant groups oppressing the incommensurable but no less true belief systems of those who can't afford the PR of institutional professors like Richard Dawkins. Darwinism and the kind of strict and ultimately self-destructing materialism that Dawkin's advocates is in fact the societal consensus, beginning with Henry Ford, also a vehement anti-Semite. Even for George W. Bush and his clientele of business executives. What is Dawkin's afraid of anyway? The end of science? That's laughable. Most scientists are employed by gigantic corporate firms in the bio-tech industry, the Pentagon, General Electric, etc etc etc...If they truely felt threatened by "intelligent design" it would be banned from every school in a second.

1:51 AM  
Anonymous Primus said...

Talk about "sound and fury, signifying nothing". That anonymous post is an amazing conglomeration of words utterly failing to make a rational point.

4:50 AM  
Blogger marko said...

I would like to remind people that the I.D. proponents are also appearing to be in a concerted effort to get printed in letters to editor to major newspapers. So much so, that they appear to be dis-proportionate to the detractors. I have yet to actually meet someone who advocates the teachings, so that I just believe there is not enough people responding to their bogus arguments. Below is 2 letters printed in the Dallas Morning news. You can see that the practice of stating contoversy where there is none, is their exact Modus Operandi. My reply, advocating the teachings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was, unfortunately, not printed.

"What does Pitts fear from intelligent design?
Re: "Facts of life – People may have different beliefs and theories about how we got here, but only one should be taught in our children's science classes: evolution," by Leonard Pitts, Monday Viewpoints.
When Mr. Pitts asserts "it is the overwhelming consensus of the mainstream scientific community that Darwin had it right," he simply does not know what he is talking about.
Darwinism has been so discredited with scientific arguments that its proponents now earnestly seek another explanation of the origin of life. Many creationists with impeccable scientific credentials are creationists because they believe that model is the best one, based on the scientific evidence.
What does Mr. Pitts fear? If the theory of evolution is so "overwhelmingly" correct, why does he fear students hearing an alternative explanation, presented from a scientific viewpoint?
" and

"Since when is it education to provide only one theory of creation when more than one exists? Presenting the theory of intelligent design is not establishing a national religion.
As far as consensus opinion, the theory of evolution has yet to be proven. Not one species has been shown to evolve into another. However, Leonard Pitts himself cites evidence for the theory of intelligent design – i.e., faith.
How can faith and science be, at the same time, diametric opposites and complementary? There is no conflict, only our limited understanding helped by scientific investigation.
I don't know that people of faith are begging for validation. We are deeply concerned about the effort to exclude religion from the public square in the name of separation of church and state and the effect that has had on our children's education.
"

12:56 PM  
Blogger FishyFred said...

Regarding that first letter: Holy schnikes. That's Grade-A bullcrap right there. I hope nobody took that letter seriously.

2:36 PM  

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