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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Viva la Evolucion

The Texas Board of Education has voted. Even though they forced this wording to be printed in every textbook, I think you've go to call this a loss for the anti-evolution folks, because what does this mean?
"In all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental observation and testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those explanations so as to encourage critical thinking by the students."

PS. The church was once adamant that the Sun revolved around the Earth.


  • A small clarification: if by "the church" you mean the Catholic Church, it is true that certain people within the church wrongly believed the Sun revolved around the Earth. Many people outside the church (including leading scientists of the day) thought the same thing for centuries. The Church itself never took an official position either way. It still doesn't, because this is not a matter of faith or morals.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 9:46 AM  

  • I don't see this wording as any kind of vindication. "Examining all sides" can easily mean "teaching ID" as part of the curriculum.

    ID does make use of science and "logical reasoning" in a limited and rather specious way. It attacks the evidentiary basis of evolution theory, and presents itself as the "logical" default.

    As for the "Church", it was the Cardinals that really opposed Galileo, and it was more because he had poor "marketing skills" than any kind of adamant religious opinion. But the Cardinals opposed the very scientific method itself, which they saw as a threat. Thus, when Galileo set up a telescope for the Cardinals to see Jupiter's moons for themselves, the Cardinals balked at the offer because they already "knew" the truth.

    The Church was the "sanctioned" means of scientific advancement, and if Galileo had worked "within the system" he would have been hailed as a genius by the Cardinals. Instead, he worked independently and very openly mocked the established "sanctioned" theories. For this, he had to be denounced and discredited by the Church, regardless if he was correct or not.

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale, at 10:46 AM  

  • Patrick. Okay, I'm oversimplifying. Galileo was persecuted for a broader disrespect to the church, but there was an operational component related to stellar dynamics.

    The philosophical reason that it mattered is that a non-earth centered universe violated the idea of earth and man as special in god's creation, which, although it didn't, was feared to have created a lessening of faith.

    Mainly, though, I don't to spend my Saturday arguing about this.

    My intended point was that there were many who thought that earth/sun would destroy christianity, but it didn't. That was as misguided as today's evolution argument.


    Todd, I getcha, but they are not teaching ID. This vague statement is all they're getting. (Not like Louisiana's new law.)

    Compared to where they started on this discussion, this is nothing.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:18 PM  

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