I'm not a scientist, nor a professor of science, nor a son of a scientist, but I do love science. I have collected over 150 science textbooks, that run from 1934 to 2006. I'm responding to your article: "Do Graduate Students Understand Evolution?" My greatest concern isn't that students views of evolution are flawed. My greatest concern is not just with the students, but with professors as well, not understanding the limits of science. I'm concerned that most professors at universities could not tell you where their science ends, and their philosophical worldview begins. I believe modern science has a blindspot. Sad to say, real science isn't what it used to be.
As the old science joke says: "Tell me who is funding the research, and I'll tell you the result." I believe there are certain assumptions that the majority of scientists start out with today, based on their philosophical worldview, not the scientific evidence. They interpret all the evidence in light of their worldview, then use their interpretation of the evidence as proof that their worldview is correct. Starting with different assumptions will always result in different conclusions. My concern is that the majority of students, scientists, and professors of science cannot separate what they know from what they just believe, and I doubt if they would recognize the difference.
The amount of speculation and opinion that is being passed off as fact today in the name of science boggles the mind. Scientific inquiry is being stiffled as students are not truly being trained how to think, they are just being told what to think. Students many times are being indoctrinated, not educated.
I'm sure you are enamored with evolution theory, but why are trillions of dollars in funding and research being spent on trying to prove this theory is true, and we still don't have a cure for cancer? Or do we? I guess that could be debated. After all, there is a lot of money in it. How many scientists just spent 17 years trying to put Ardi's bones together from fossilized pieces of bone that were squished to smithereens and so badly decayed that a single touch turned the bones to dust? One group of scientists gave conclusions of ape characteristics and one group gave conclusions of human characteristics. Must be a "missing link." I'm sure you probably dislike that term. Could each group have had presuppositions? I'm sorry but I have a hard time justifying this nonsense, and for what? I had a dog that spent its whole life digging in the ground for bones too, but I never thought the government should pay his salary.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Another View of Science
I received this email message from Arv Edgeworth. It represents a serious point of view held by a large number of people. He gave me permission to post it. I'll respond in the comments.