Exploring Our Matrix
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
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Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who will become vice president if John McCain is elected president, has spoken in the past about her views on creation, evolution and science education. Those interested in these issues will want to take a look!
I’m not too concerned about her position, as her suggestion that both CS/ID and evolution be taught in schools appears somewhat casual without, as she stated, much thought involved. If I could only get her to read my blog, perhaps … Besides, it’s not really up to the Executive Branch to decide these things. It’s each individual state’s responsibility to say “yea” or “nay” to the teaching of pseudo-science in the classrooms. (Now if we could only get the people who make the decisions to realize that CS/ID is pseudo-science …)Because I felt the same way several years ago, I can appreciate why she’d take this position she does/did. I just hope she wouldn’t make a big deal about it if/when she becomes VP.
It sounds like she is stating the common, if slightly undereducated position that it’s OK to teach alternate theories. Which would be OK, if creationism and ID had any scientific merit. She is misusing the word “theory” to mean “speculation” or “hypothesis”, which is all too common. The key is to teach students what is science and what is not. That involves teaching of the scientific method much more thoroughly than we are now. I suspect a lot of this ersatz debate would go away (at least in the minds of the “undecideds”) if the scientific meaning of the word “theory” was really implanted in people’s minds. When they understand what a scientific theory is, how rigorously something must be tested in order to be labeled a theory, maybe these fence-sitters will realize that CS/ID do not come close to meeting any kind of scientific or critical thinking standard.
I’m far more troubled by the few positions of Obama that he’s actually revealed than I am about Palin’s inconsequential ignorance on that one matter. In any event, that article makes it clear that she’s anything but a crusader on the matter, and as Mike pointed out, even if she were she’d have little opportunity to influence anything as VP.
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