Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Kansas May Change the Very Definition of Science

The debate over the teaching of evolution in Kansas has led some to suggest changing the definition of science itself
The Kansas school board's hearings on evolution weren't limited to how the theory should be taught in public schools. The board is considering redefining science itself. Advocates of "intelligent design" are pushing the board to reject a definition limiting science to natural explanations for what's observed in the world.

Instead, they want to define it as "a systematic method of continuing investigation," without specifying what kind of answer is being sought. The definition would appear in the introduction to the state's science standards.

The proposed definition has outraged many scientists, who are frustrated that students could be discussing supernatural explanations for natural phenomena in their science classes.

The very purpose of science is to study the physical world. Proponents of intelligent design and creationism are espousing theological theories, not physical ones. A great deal of physical evidence and 150 years of scientific tests have supported the theory of evolution. There is not a single piece of physical evidence to support intelligent design. It’s a theological conjecture supported by faith alone.

It is true that most of us who believe in a God do believe that divine power inspired and even helped move evolution forward (I myslef believe this). But that belief is faith-based and belongs in a theology course, not a science class. Redefining the meaning of science is a horrible idea that would pervert the very essence of what science is.

If Kansas wants to start offering a comparative religions course that includes various religions’ beliefs on the source of life, that would be acceptable. But by pretending that theology is science, Kansas would do a grave disservice to its students.


At 2:57 PM, Blogger Rich said...

Not all Evangelicals support the Intelligent Design movement. Dr. Keith Miller who has been quoted extensively during this debate is an Evangelical Christian and a member of the American Scientific Affiliation a group of mostly Evangelical Christians who are working scientists. Dr. Miller is one of the ones leading the charge against the Discovery Institute. See more details here:



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