Archive for the ‘evolution’ Category

evolution is not religion

August 31, 2009

Brad Pollitt, a Missouri high school assistant superintendent, makes a bad call having band members turn in promotional t-shirts utilizing the theme of evolution. Mr. Pollitt caved to fear from parent complaints as evidenced by this faulty reasoning:

Pollitt said the district is required by law to remain neutral where religion is concerned.

The problem here is that evolution has nothing to do with religion. It’s science. While some religious cranks perceive science as a threat to their beliefs, that doesn’t make science anything other than science. Pollitt goes on to say,

If the shirts had said ‘Brass Resurrections’ and had a picture of Jesus on the cross, we would have done the same thing

Here Pollitt properly uses a religious example but his analogy fails in that evolution is not religious commentary. Hopefully Pollitt will wake up and apologize for letting the fundamentalists bully him to censorship.

Vicki Davis on Science and Intelligent Design

May 1, 2008

Tweeting Vicki Davis to ask if she planned on seeing “Expelled” led to challenging her conflation of belief and theory, which led to this:

@petrock – Theory is not a synonym for belief, however, we may choose which theory that we believe ourselves, scientists do it all the time.

Scientists discern (i.e. “choose”) based upon evidence. To equate discernment between scientific theories with choosing between supernatural beliefs is an insult to science.

@petrock When you start judging the “legitimacy” of a theory — you are by definition interjecting your personal belief system.

When a theory is supported by evidence and one continues to test that evidence to see where it leads, this is not a “personal” journey. There’s a reason why scientific communities come together, and it isn’t because they share an “interjected”, “personal” belief. They simply share the urge to discover.

On Twitter, I was so taken aback by Vicki’s remarks that I made a rather useless retort wondering if she had been watching too much FOX (one of her favorite sources that has a reputation of having “news” anchors who often use similar reasoning). My apologies. I hope this post helps Vicki see where my thinking is at.


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