Arguing over Something that Doesn’t Exist

Rather than argue over whether or not we should exclude science/include religion in the biology classroom, what do you think about this approach?

1.  First we should define Science, because without that definition we are indeed arguing over something that doesn’t exist.  That’s easy.  Science is a method of evaluating measurable facts using the scientific method.  The energy we spend arguing against science might be better spent learning to understand what science is before we decide whether or not to pitch it out

2.  Next if we want a useful learning experience for our young, we should define our goals for teaching science so that we can all discuss and debate with the same goals in mind.  Below is my biased list of questions for discussion:

a.  Do we want to teach the scientific method?  This is a non-question.  If we want to teach science we must teach the scientific method.  If we don’t talk about science in the classroom we are not teaching science; we are teaching something else.   What else would we want to teach in a science class?

b.  Do we want our students to graduate from our schools with the knowledge that is required to compete for jobs in science and technology?

c.  Do we want to remain competitive in the economic marketplace that depends so heavily on whether or not we can effectively use science and the scientific method?

3.  And after we have done the necessary preparation, then we should sit down together and engage all the power of our enthusiasm and love of this land and its children to figure out how best to teach the scientific method in science classes.

And teach other things in other classes.

That makes sense to me.

Arguing over something that doesn’t exist is a huge waste of the power of our time that we could be using to build a rich and fruitful community for our young.

Arguing over something that doesn’t exist is a waste of energy if your goal is to grow a safe and compassionate community.

There is a lot of coverage of Darwin and “Darwinism” in the newspapers this past week because it is Darwin’s 200th birthday. It’s also Lincoln’s, but as Jim Lehrer pointed out on Friday the 13th: “Nobody is arguing about whether or not we should teach Lincoln’s ideas in our schools.” So of course the question is why are we arguing over “Darwinism?” “Darwinism” no longer exists. The modern science of evolution is not “Darwinism.” The modern science of evolution is 150 years more accurate as a result of diligent application of the scientific method to test the original ideas of Darwin. So of course it is easier to make people angry over “Darwinism.” Darwin got a few details wrong.  Using the modern theory it is easy to demonstrate that evolution is an ongoing process that is essential to the survival of our ecosystem.

Our ecosystem, of course, is a functional subunit of The Creation (noun). According to Huston Smith, a pre-eminent scholar of comparative religion, and according to “Your Dictionary” and “TheFreeDictionary” online, The Creation (noun) is: “The universe and everything in it; all the world; the world and all things in it.” In other words, it is us and everything else that we are able to study.

Religion studies The Creation (noun) using the wisdom of the ages of man as it has been handed down in the sacred texts.

Science studies The Creation (noun) by analyzing measurable facts using the scientific method, because that’s what science is — the study of measurable facts using the scientific method. Religion does not use the scientific method. Neither does creationism or the various new versions of creationism. Therefore, neither religion nor creationism is science.  Also, science is not religion.

It is not surprising that each discipline would want to study The Creation (noun).  The Creation is everything. What else would we study?  But there is nothing to compete about because there is no similarity or connection between science and religion except that they are both important and they are both interested in studying The Creation (noun).

Who isn’t?

Why are we arguing over a difference that does not exist?

Perhaps this argument over a difference that does not exist is only a hook that is being used to make people angry — because angry people bring with them a lot of power.

But surely not the power of the God of Love.

What power then? For what purpose?