Saturday, March 22, 2008

Creationism at Mall of the Americas

According to the NYT, there was a screening of the new creationist film Expelled (oh, excuse me . . . "intelligent" design) at the Mall of the Americas. Apparently, the film's producer refused to let Professor P. Z. Myers in to the screening, though Richard Dawkins somehow made the cut. You can read Professor Myers account here. So much for welcoming discussion.

It continues to amaze me that we still have to waste time and energy defending basic biology. I remember a Doonesbury cartoon a few years ago poking fun at creationists.



At least the Florida School Board got it mostly right last month. Florida students will now be able to read the dread phrase evolution in their text books. Don't people see the connection between fighting over teaching basic science and concerns that the United States will lose our much-vaunted innovative edge?

Maybe Jurisdynamic's newest blogger Patrick O'Donnell would be willing to add a sound science reading list to his ambitious set of compilations?

3 Comments:

Blogger Patrick S. O'Donnell said...

Rebb,

I do in fact have a list for science and technology, with a fairly decent section devoted to philosophy of science. I need to update it a tad, so give me a week or two and I'll send it to Jim to convert into a proper file for posting. Although I'm continually complaining about the effects of "scientism" on contemporary philosophy, have not a few complaints about "Big Science," and believe religion(s) and science are not, ideally and typically, in any sort of necessary conflict (they do conflict when scientists pronounce on metaphysical issues or see their metaphysical presuppositions or assumptions as more-than-methodological; they also conflict when relgious adherents make dogmatic truth claims about issues properly within the purview of the natural sciences). I share your frustration at being compelled to continually rebut the nonsense that comes from the "intelligent design" folks. They have not provided us with a theory that in any way competes with the Darwinian theory of evolution. Other Christians have learned to reconcile their religious worldview with scientific theory(ies). See, for instance, a nice treatment of many of the more urgent questions in this debate by Michael Ruse in his book, Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? (2001).

3/22/2008 11:50 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

Just a thought on the Doonesbury cartoon: even creationists (well, most of them) believe in microevolution. It's just speciation that's at issue.

And while I agree with the FL School Board's decision (shielding kids from information rarely makes them smarter), I think the real concerns that we're going to lose our innovative edge include poor visa requirements for foreign grad students; poor education in experimental procedures (I've seen grad students who have never set foot in a real lab); and lack of even more basic biology than this -- less than 50% americans know that electrons are smaller than atoms: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind06/c7/fig07-07.htm

4/02/2008 10:50 AM  
Blogger rebb said...

Patrick

i will look forward to your list!!

4/06/2008 4:01 PM  

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