Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:17 PM
n2doc (42,434 posts)
Missouri bill redefines science, gives equal time to intelligent design
by John Timmer - Feb 12 2013, 6:30pm EST
Each year, state legislatures play host to a variety of bills that would interfere with science education. Most of these are variations on a boilerplate intended to get supplementary materials into classrooms criticizing evolution and climate change (or to protect teachers who do). They generally don't mention creationism, but the clear intent is to sneak religious content into the science classrooms, as evidenced by previous bills introduced by the same lawmakers. Most of them die in the legislature (although the opponents of evolution have seen two successes).
The efforts are common enough that we don't generally report on them. But every now and then a bill comes along that veers off this script. Late last month, the Missouri House started considering one that deviates in staggering ways. Instead of being quiet about its intent, it redefines science, provides a clearer definition of intelligent design than any of the idea's advocates ever have, and it mandates equal treatment of the two. In the process, it mangles things so badly that teachers would be prohibited from discussing Mendel's Laws.
Although even the Wikipedia entry for scientific theory includes definitions provided by the world's most prestigious organizations of scientists, the bill's sponsor Rick Brattin has seen fit to invent his own definition. And it's a head-scratcher: "'Scientific theory,' an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy." The faith or philosophy involved remain unspecified.
Brattin also mentions philosophy when he redefines "hypothesis" as "a scientific theory reflecting a minority of scientific opinion which may lack acceptance because it is a new idea, contains faulty logic, lacks supporting data, has significant amounts of conflicting data, or is philosophically unpopular." The reason for that becomes obvious when he turns to intelligent design, which he defines as a hypothesis. Presumably, he thinks it's only a hypothesis because it's philosophically unpopular, since his bill would ensure it ends up in the classrooms.
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Missouri bill redefines science, gives equal time to intelligent design (Original post)
|Angry Dragon||Feb 2013||#4|
Response to n2doc (Original post)
Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:22 PM
devine25 (3 posts)
2. It's unConstitutional
Teaching religious theories in science class is both stupid and illegal. Lawmakers who approve of such changes will burn in Hell because they made an oath to support the Constitution and this is clearly violating the civil document... now that is poetic justice!
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Response to n2doc (Original post)
Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:36 AM
DetlefK (7,311 posts)
7. If they want to mix science and religion, I say: "Game on."
Teach the controversy, right?
Well, there is a segment of society that says that God can't possibly exist because his existence can't be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
How about introducing kids to the concept of atheism?