National Academy of Sciences book on “Science, Evolution, and Creationism”
Posted: 06 January 2008 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]
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http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2008/01/national-academies-science-evolution.html

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/01/mixed_messages_from_the_nas.php#more

The above sites have a discussion of the new edition of the book   “Science, Evolution, and Creationism” from the National Academy of Science.  It was mentioned in the [ NY TImes on Friday]

The NY Times article draws attention with its title “Evolution Book Sees on Science-Religion Gap ”  to a big problem with the NAS book.  This point is discussed in sandwalk and pharyngula blogs above and their comments (as well as >500 on-line comments in NY Times site - read them and “vote” for the ones you agree with).

The sandwalk blog summarizes the problem well—it is coming back to the Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NOMA) idea promoted by Stephan J. Gould.  Sandwalk has the relevant quotes from the NAS book (one should get a copy to discuss it more directly) and Gould.

My interpretation of Gould’s NOMA point (which I agree with) is that if religion overlaps with science it is out of bounds.  An alternate interpretation, which is obviously incorrect, is that they don’t overlap by definition and you don’t have to worry about it.  This unfortunately seems to be the positiono of the NAS book, which in the process of promoting science and evolution soft-sells the implications.

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Posted: 06 January 2008 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I agree that the problem with religion is greater than its overlapping science.  It also overlaps ethics, education, politics, etc., and makes a mess of people’s minds in these areas, too.  However, if religion withdrew from all of these areas, it would recede in importance to many people and would probably fade away.

Occam

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