Dover Case Questions
stevenjamar at gmail.com
Thu Dec 22 06:31:10 PST 2005
On Dec 22, 2005, at 9:05 AM, Perry Dane wrote:
> Some scientists and philosophers -- folks like Richard
> Dawkins and Daniel Dennett most vocally lately -- argue that the
> conclusions of science, such as evolution, shred any possible basis
> for belief in God. Would it be constitutional for this sort of
> Dawkins/Dennett claim to be one of the propositions officially
> taught as a part of a science curriculum? I assume not. Would it
> be constitutional to tell students that there are no truths that
> are unamentable, in principle, to scientific study and
> verification? I assume not. (I'm not saying that these sorts of
> thing couldn't be discussed in public school classrooms.) All
> that some of us are arguing, then, is that it would be
> constitutional simply to advise students that the methodological
> naturalism built into scientific inquiry (and which properly
> excludes the teaching of "intelligent design theory" as a subject
> _within_ science) should not be taken for an official commitment to
> the ontological naturalism of folks like Dawkins and Dennett.
Wow! Your science teachers and students must be well ahead of the
pack to understand the philosophy of science and concepts like
But the problem with your disclaimer is that methodological
naturalism isn't religion and so no disclaimer is appropriate.
Indeed, it would be, within the current context, just another
undermining of the science teaching and learning that is happening.
And we don't need any more of that.
I seriously doubt that HS science books make the entirely legitimate
religious/philosophical argument that the conclusions of science
point to the non-existence of god. I'll bet they avoid such stuff
with great vigor.
In my experience with HS students, they do not need to be told that
science is not everything!
Prof. Steven D. Jamar vox: 202-806-8017
Howard University School of Law fax: 202-806-8567
2900 Van Ness Street NW
mailto:stevenjamar at gmail.com
Washington, DC 20008 http://www.law.howard.edu/faculty/pages/jamar/
"In these words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It
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