Secular Science vs. Religious ‘Non-Science.’

Proper secular science and dogmatic religious non-science are fundamentally incompatible.  And, like oil and water, the two can only equilibrate by each seeking its own level and remaining distinctly separate.  The former exists to move humanity forward on every front amenable to scientific inquiry, while the latter exists to stymie human progress and free inquiry by befuddling the credulous through obfuscation and deceit, and suffusing the joyously curious human spirit that is the (God-created?  Right?) wellspring for scientific inquiry with guilt, shame, fear, and dread in a process akin to the petrification of wood, one molecule of thought at a time.

As any student in a proper, secular public elementary school science curriculum knows, accepted scientific inquiry involves a series of ordered steps, the first of which  is to define a problem or ask a question that may be answered through experimentation.  Then, after developing a hypothesis and carrying out experiments that are designed to develop a data set that can be analyzed and from which conclusions may be drawn, the scientist may then either accept or reject the hypothesis based on analysis of the data.  Finally (and this is the best part), the scientific conclusions are written up in a paper and presented to the scientific community for review and comment.  This so-called ‘peer review’ is the hallmark of authentic scientific inquiry and is crucial to the integrity of knowing anything about the world around us by scientific means.

Religious ‘non-science’ is precisely NOT science for the simple – but incredibly important – reason that it turns the scientific method completely upside down, and is therefore BY DEFINITION NOT SCIENCE!

Take, for example, so-called “Creation Science” (or, its most recent machination, “Intelligent Design”).  Sounds pretty impressive, doesn’t it?  Well, the first step in ‘Creation Science’ is to draw the conclusion that the complete and entire explanation for the creation of the universe and everything in it is found in the Old Testament book of Genesis.  Then, given this preconceived conclusion, the religious pseudo-scientist goes out into the world to collect data that can be ‘analyzed’ (read: spun) in such a way as to lend support to their already-declared conclusion.  To suggest that this endeavor has anything to do with proper scientific inquiry is the very definition of befuddling the credulous, and it strains the imagination to think that people who are engaged in this sort of chicanery can do so with a straight face, let alone a clear conscience.  Moreover, the entire body of work by these self-proclaimed ‘scientists’ (of course, everything about religion is ‘self-proclaimed,’ so why should their ‘science’ be any different?) is infused with this type of circular reasoning, which wilts under the slightest scrutiny by proper scientists and – in particular – by yet another judge in federal court.

The entire transcript of the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court case may be found here.  The following is excerpted verbatim from this website: (all bold emphasis is mine)

[This is the decision of the court in the Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al. case. Judge John E. Jones III, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, made a very strong ruling against intelligent design. He ruled that it is creationism and is not science. He also ruled that members of Dover’s school board lied under oath to hide their religious motivations. This archive also hosts transcripts of the trial. See the Dover index page.]

“The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.


This entry was posted in Evolution by Natural Selection is a Fact. Get Over It!, Inaccurate Oxymoron (Oh sorry, I meant Intelligent Design), Secular Intolerance. Bookmark the permalink.

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