Thursday, December 01, 2005

Some thoughts on ID and metaphysics 

This article is correct in asserting that current theories of evolution do not provide a good explanation for how life began, and also do make a leap from Darwin's provable theory of natural selection to the idea that species originated from common ancestors through the process of survival of the fittest. However, Intelligent Design is even worse than Darwinism, since besides asserting the unprovable it also attempts to redefine science to make itself seem to be a better 'theory'.

There should be no debate over this in public schools. Teach the children about natural selection and survival of the fittest, tell them what the general consensus of the scientific community is (for that's what we do in other subjects besides biology--history, for example), and have another class on metaphysics and religion if you want to discuss origins and beginnings. Adults have a hard enough time understanding and debating these things--to expose immature minds to this racous debate is only going to confuse and perhaps alienate.

Science is not a belief system, so you shouldn't muddle it with beliefs. It would be a great boon if some basic philosophy, like Plato and Aristotle, was taught in schools, as well as the history and basic concepts of different religions. People have to deal with metaphysical issues every day, so why isn't a basic framework provided in the public education curriculum? But you shouldn't dress philosophy in the terms of science. That'll just make it confusing. Teach science in one blog, and metaphysics in another, and then after a basic foundation is established in each, then maybe, maybe foster discussion among the older students on the relationship between science and philosophy.

Society would certainly benefit if public education included this. People would certainly be better citizens, and less succeptable to wily demagogues, if they had a bit of training in how to consider things rationally and philisophically (philosophy in the classical sense, not PoMo nonsense). Few things are better for the mind than a dose of the Greeks.

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