Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Strikes, revisited

As you may or may not know, there's a bunch of people on strike in France. Like always. My classes were canceled today, one because the teacher was on strike and the other because my students didn't show. This is not to say they were on strike, necessarily, just that they thought nobody else would show so they didn't.

Here's a couple of links to what I wrote about strikes the last time I was here:

From the Greve Front (March 17th, 2006)
My school is blocked (March 30th, 2006)

All of this means that I was able to do almost absolutely nothing today. I wrote an article, did some research, took my time to write the previous post, and took a nap. I also finished viewing NOVA's documentary on the intelligent design trial in Dover a couple of years ago, called Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.

The documentary is both angering and satisfying. Angering in the sense that there are people who wish to pawn off their ideologies as science, and satisfying in the sense that these people were shut down from forcing this crap on students. I say it is crap because it is: Intelligent Design is creationism under a different name. Whether you believe in God or no, faith has no place in science. Period.

There are plenty of scientists who believe in God, or Allah, or whatever. And maybe their faith drew them to the wonder of what the believe to be God's creation in the first place: this is fine. I have no bones about this. What I do have contention with is when people of faith invoke this as science. It's not, because supernatural causes are by definition untestable, and for something to be science it must be falsifiable.

I would have no problems with intelligent design being taught in a philosophy class. None. We talked about the existence of God in my philosophy classes, and the problem of evil, and the idea of intelligent design as well. It is a philosophical and ideological paradigm that deserves debate, just like any other philosophical idea. But it has no place in the science classroom, just as astrology has no place in the science classroom, or Native American creation myths. To pass it off as science is intellectually dishonest, to say the least.

Nova does a good job of covering such a contentious issue, though I wish some of the ID proponents would have agreed to be interviewed by them. Their arguments were mainly presented through the transcripts of the trial, and Nova talked to a lot of scientists who testified at the trial. I'm assuming that the ID people thought that Nova would somehow twist their words, blah blah blah, but in the end they have no right to complain if they chose not to represent their ideas in the film. They were explicitly and repeatedly invited to do so.

Ah, enough with this heavy stuff. This is what happens when I get a bunch of time on my hands...

1 comment:

Robert said...

Oh Nicholos, did I ever tell you about the Honors seminar I took at ISU on "God and Science?" It was the last semester I was taking physics classes and I got to represent science before the rest of the class, which chose "God." Good times, those.