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  Topic: Synthese: Evolution..., And Its Rivals, Special Issue< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 3061
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2011,16:25   

I agree with Schroedinger's Dog's stance on the NCSE, the BCSE, and religion, but here is why I do not believe that that issue ("accommodation"), and the issue of ID, are the same here:

Scientists who uphold the standards of research, the scientific method, transparency, and peer review, and follow the evidence wherever it leads, while maintaining certain religious/spiritual beliefs, are not going to get an argument from me on the science.

If they want to argue with me about religion, then it's a separate argument, a tennis match about philosophy that I do not want to bring into the area of research or teaching.

My being an atheist is the least important to and least interesting thing about me. For this and many other reasons, it is not a "religion," and I do not find my lack of belief as fascinating to talk about as religious believers find their beliefs to be.

However, anyone claiming to be a scientist who does not uphold the standards of research, the scientific method, transparency (as the editors-in-chief of Synthese did not), and peer review, and instead skew the evidence toward their foregone conclusion (namely, their certain religious/spiritual beliefs), are going to get a big-ass argument from me on their religion masquerading as science.

Once I was attracted to the idea that "the universe comes to know itself through us." I have put that away, but it did not affect my understanding of evolution. I am not saying that such beliefs without evidence never touch upon evidence; what I am saying is that, when we focus on teaching and communicating the science, we are on much more solid ground than when we quibble about "but you think that Zeus caused the Big Bang!"

I think people have a right to mock or parody whatever they want. I would be the first to laugh if anyone at UD ever came up with anything funny. DaveScot showed the most potential, unfortunately. But this does not belong in science class.

Scholarly publishing, academia, and advocates for science (such as the NCSE) should not be getting into the area of trying to convince people to accept evolution once it is taught. They should not go there. They are not the thought police; their job is to make sure that creationism is not taught. Let's focus on the science. I have not read Forrest's paper yet, but if the editors-in-chief thought her too strident, they should have acted like editors, or stood by what was accepted and said, "This is how scholarly publishing works."

I want to win this fight for science first. I get tired of quibbling about religion because frankly, it does not interest me.

Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

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