Monday, November 27, 2006

Render unto Caesar the things ...

According to the Register, Intelligent Design (ID) is on the way to the UK.

The scientific method of study is a body of techniques for acquiring and correcting knowledge. It is based on gathering observable, empirical, measurable evidence, subject to the principles of reasoning and is falsifiable, provisional and testable at the very least.

ID has no method of testing and is not falsifiable, it's therefore a principle of faith - it "holds that life on earth is too complex to have evolved on its own, without an intelligent entity guiding its path".

In short, a theory in science can be useful and the best we have until a test proves it to be wrong or a better theorem is developed - this is scientific progress. Beliefs of faith are by their very nature untestable - if they weren't they wouldn't require faith.

Now there is nothing wrong with belief in ID, though I studied Natural Sciences I certainly wouldn't argue that there are any absolute truths in science - in fact the study of science predicates against this.

It's just that ID is a matter of faith and it belongs in a RE lesson - it's not a matter of science, never was.


Anonymous said...

Dave Cross seems to be, along with various technical stuff, covering this issue at some length.

swardley said...

Thanks Mark for this.

I've read Dave's Blog about this matter and object to several of his statements.

"But any questions need to come from scientific research, not from idiots who are upset because science disagrees with their favourite fairy story."

Science does not disagree with ID, it has nothing to say on the subject as ID is a matter of faith not science.

Calling the people who believe in ID idiots is tantamount to saying that Science is right.

Science is not "right" it is a known set of useful, testible and falsifiable models. There is no absolute right in science only in faith.

Hence just because someone believes in ID doesn't make them a idiot, it makes them someone who has faith in the dogma of ID.

"Fairy story" - again this supposes that science is absolutely right, which is a very unscientific idea.

"people who teach this nonsense to children should be banned from teaching" - absolutely not. It is perfectly fine to teach ID as a matter of religious study - however this should be balanced along with all the other religious teachings.

What is not correct is to teach ID as science, which would be tantamount to teaching cooking as political history - they are not related in any manner.