“Strengths and Weaknesses”
Posted: 04 June 2008 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]
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It’s the new meme from the folks who brought us creation science and intelligent design ... read about it from the NYTimes HERE:

Opponents of Evolution Adopting a New Strategy

By LAURA BEIL
Published: June 4, 2008

DALLAS — Opponents of teaching evolution, in a natural selection of sorts, have gradually shed those strategies that have not survived the courts. Over the last decade, creationism has given rise to “creation science,” which became “intelligent design,” which in 2005 was banned from the public school curriculum in Pennsylvania by a federal judge.

Now a battle looms in Texas over science textbooks that teach evolution, and the wrestle for control seizes on three words. None of them are “creationism” or “intelligent design” or even “creator.”

The words are “strengths and weaknesses.” ...

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Doug

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Posted: 04 June 2008 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks for the link doug.  These antievolution/ antiscience groups are like a hydra. Cut off one head and they grow another.

I’m not sure what the best way is to fight this latest assault on science, but I have some ideas. The fact is that in all scientific fields it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of any given theory. These debates occur all the time in every field of science. I think it would be allright as long as teachers were fair and explained how the strengths of the theory greatly outweighed any percieved weaknesses. They would also have to point out that many of the claimed weaknesses are actually not weaknesses at all. The creationists think this is a great idea, but when you look at the weight of the data, a true analysis of the strengths and weaknesses can only hurt their cause.

It also might be usefull to point out that if we are going to teach the strengths and weaknesses we should be doing this with all scientific theories on an equal basis. We could waste an equal portion of our physics classes discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of gravity. We could also waste countless chemistry lessons discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the atomic theory. If this really is purely a scientific debate as its supporters claim then they should take the same approach to all the sciences. Anything less shows the strengths of the argument that their true motives are religious and the weakness of any claim that its scientific.

[ Edited: 04 June 2008 11:29 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 04 June 2008 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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macgyver - 04 June 2008 09:14 AM

It also might be usefull to point out that if we are going to teach the strengths and weaknesses we should be doing this with all scientific theories on an equal basis. We could waste an equal portion of our physics classes discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of gravity. We could also waste countless chemistry lessons discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the atomic theory. If this really is purely a scientific debate as its supporters claim then they should take the same approach to all the sciences. Anything less shows the strengths of the argument that their true motives are religious and the weakness of any claim that its scientific.

Exactly. And why only discuss strengths and weaknesses in science classes? Why not spend part of every class period discussing strengths and weaknesses of the subject? The whole premise is silly.

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Posted: 04 June 2008 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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“Strengths and weaknesses” are an inherent part of learning any subject.  Those areas in which we have concrete proof and there is no room for debate anymore would be defined as a strength and areas of a theory that remain unproven or inconsistently proven as a weakness.  I suspect the devil in the details of this plan is to debunk evolution and imply there is something higher that explains the weaknesses. 

It will be insufficient merely to disprove evolution or point out “weaknesses” in the theory.  They will run into the problem they always run into, eventually they have to reveal the religious nature of the message in order to get it across to the students and that will cause the plan to fail on Constitutional grounds.  Until they have scientific evidence of God, He will not make it into the science classroom of public schools.

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