Thursday, June 22, 2006

World's science academies against creationism

A lot of buzz about this. I didn't pay it much mind at first because a lot of scientific societies (even non-biological ones) have issued their statements against ID/creationism and for teaching evolution. But this one unites scientific societies from all over the world and has one of the single best statements I have seen:

"Scientific knowledge derives from a mode of inquiry into the nature of the universe that has been successful and of great consequence. Science focuses on (i) observing the natural world and (ii) formulating testable and refutable hypotheses to derive deeper explanations for observable phenomena. When evidence is sufficiently compelling, scientific theories are developed that account for and explain that evidence, and predict the likely structure or process of still unobserved phenomena."

-- IAP Statement on the Teaching of Evolution

That one elegant paragraph beautifully encompasses what is and what is not science, and cuts through to the very nature of science. The common creationist/IDist whine is that "macroevolution hasn't been observed, bla bla bla". Well, of course this is nonsense. This statement was evidently written by a people with their finger on the pulse of this issue. Well done!

7 comments:

Mannyac Boy said...

The problem of ID/creationism is that they try to dress their theoris with a scientific suite. They don´t use the scientific method properly because they look for posible arguments to confirm their religious ideas.

It is nice to see this little comic that represents how a scientific and a creationist work:
http://pharyngula.org/images/the_creationist_method.jpg

Hnakra Punt said...

Advocates of the teaching of creationism or ID feel threatened when people use the ideas of evolution to try to justify a world-view that excludes God. Just as you insist (rightly) that the scientific method should be used in science, though, such people would do better to insist that scientists not interpret the science in a religious way.

By the way, it is possible to be a scientist and believe the Christian scriptures.

ego fro said...

If science is a search for truth which is impartial, surely one must look at the rational arguaments for the existence of God, the logical flaws in evolutionary theory, and the perfectly rational co-existance of Christian belief with and acceptance of natural selection?

Is it not equally unscientific to discount ID/creationism based on the allegation that proponents are seeking to confirm their religious beliefs? Surely you mannyac boy could be accused of seeking possible arguaments to confirm your irreligious beliefs.

Armen said...

I agree with much of what ego said. Evolutionists are out to prove the hypothesis of evolution just as much as bible believers desire to prove creation.

Both are 'beliefs' and both require a degree of faith. Creationism however, answers more questions than evolution when both are considered with an open mind.

Folly said...

This was a exciting blog discovery for me. Sometimes hitting that "next blog" button really pays off! I had not seen the IAD statement when it came out. I, too, was very impressed by the same paragraph.

As a biological scientist in the ultra-conservative (read: religiously fundamentalist) state of Kansas, where this topic has quite literally been front page news about once a week for the past couple years, I have been struggling to find an elegant way of explaining the logical pitfalls of ID/Creationism to non-scientists. I usually fall back on the woefully inadequate "nothing I do in the laboratory makes sense without the framework of evolution--nothing."

Anyway, thanks for the link. Your site is great! Keep up the great fieldwork.

Jonah said...

Science cannot explain--or hasn't so far--why there is anything, rather than nothing, here. Big Bang doesn't help. That's already "something." Can't go back before that, if "before" even means anything. At some point, one must decide if there's More to the puzzle than we can observe. The human experience seems to sense that there is, but to admit of such a thing labels one as non-scientific. Pity.

Dan said...

the problem is both ID proponents and the opposition interpret the evidence to fit their presuppositions. The 'scientific' debate is crap on both sides.