Saturday, July 25, 2015

DougJC on the teaching of evolution

And I am just as concerned that teaching evolution as a recruiting tool for atheism would downplay legitimate data, downplay certain areas of uncertainty and basically present an incomplete and misleading picture. Educators (along with scientists) should be expected to be superbly trained at leaving personal philosophies at the door of the classroom.

VR: I find comments like this very heartening. I think that people trying to tear evolution apart should be perceived as doing a service to science. The harder a theory has to work to be defensible, the better the science in the long run. 


Josh Earl said...

Couldn't agree more, Victor. Darwinism's happy acceptance of random chance as the ultimate cause stops scientific inquiry cold.

I'm actually volunteering with a project to address this:

I'd love to discuss this further with you. Would you be interested?

David Brightly said...

I suspect we would all like a more determinate story about how we got to be. In Mind and Cosmos Nagel admits that he finds consciousness, reason, and value so cosmically significant that he cannot believe they arose by chance. But consider a box with a partition down the middle, gas one side and vacuum the other. When the partition is removed the gas expands to fill the whole box and part of the explanation for this is the random motions of the gas molecules. Possibly a story could be told about the motions of individual molecules but it wouldn't really add anything to the explanation. Lacking such a story forces us back to the language of chance. But this doesn't block explanation. Instead, chance is incorporated into the explanation. Likewise most of the detail of evolutionary history is lost to us. It should not be a methodological objection to a theory that it cannot account for information we do not possess.