Science: January 2006 Archives

Two ID Posts

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My fellow Prosblogion contributor Patrick Taylor has posted some worthwhile thoughts on the California school that canceled a philosophy class on intelligent design. He's worried that this sort of reasoning would prevent good philosophy from being done. I've thought of the parallel here too. This is the sort of thing that regularly gets taught in philosophy classes, and the kind of philosophy that this includes should be a regular part of high school curricula. I think it's immoral that high schools can graduate students who have never heard of Plato, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, or Descartes, never mind engaged with some of their arguments. It ranks up there with not even giving Latin as an option to students and actually requiring them to take an actively-spoken foreign language (my main reason for boycotting my local high school, even if it meant not being able to run track, which I had really wanted to do, but tolerating immorality was worse than not running track). High school students ought to be required to take ethics and critical thinking, with an option to take a more comprehensive history of philosophy or topics in philosophy course. I don't expect this ever to happen, but this is a fallen world after all. People do immoral things.

Meanwhile, David Heddle points out a Derbyshire post that somehow is actually friendly to ID. What I found especially interesting in David's post is his response to a common objection against the fine-tuning ID argument. The objection is that the cosmological constants appear fine-tuned, but that's because some simply theory that unifies all physics explains those constants, a theory of the aesthetically pleasing sort that many scientists have been hoping will eventually be shown true. David points out that such a theory would actually support ID. It's true that a universe like that would explain why the cosmological constants are what they are, but it just pushes the question back. Why would the universe be such that an amazingly pretty physical theory is correct? It's a good thing I still haven't done my post on fine-tuning arguments in my Theories of Knowledge and Reality series, because now I can include that response.



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