Thursday, October 13, 2005

Of faith and science

Today's papers feature two notes about the Intelligent Design case going on in Dover, PA (see prev. here):
  • An education expert testified yesterday that including I.D. in science class is detrimental to learning in that it leads to misconceptions about the nature of science. Duh. (But I guess if the advocates of this approach understood the distinction, we wouldn't be having this conversation.)

  • An Inquirer editorial looks at the correlation between views in this debate and economic status, and muses on what that means.
    It sounds reasonable and even harmless, and it surely appeals to the faith instincts of many people, but it is ultimately a matter of belief, not fact. As the polls show, this crucial distinction between science and faith is recognized more frequently by those with higher education.
    The empowering of the individual has had a host of benefits, but unwillingness to accept the authority of experts has been a consequence as well, with both beneficial and troubling results.
It is critical that we help explain the nature of science to society at large, and also strive to present younger students with consensus information as the basis for their understanding of the world before they are released into it.


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