Slate.com in a Dither Over non-Repeal of LSEA

Slate.com is all upset that repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008 was was rejected yet again in a 3-2 vote in the State Senate.

19 year old Rice University Student Zack Kopplin has been leading the charge to get this “outrage” done away with once and for all, with help from the usual suspects. What’s interesting to note is the reason that one Senator, Elbert Guillory, D-Obelousas, who essentially cast the deciding vote, gave for his vote against repeal.

Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had. He said he thought repealing the act could “lock the door on being able to view ideas from many places, concepts from many cultures.“Yet if I closed my mind when I saw this man—in the dust, throwing some bones on the ground, semi-clothed—if I had closed him off and just said, ‘That’s not science. I’m not going to see this doctor,’ I would have shut off a very good experience for myself,” Guillory said.

Okay, I’ll admit, that seems a bit far fetched and bizarre to me. But, the writer of the Slate article, Phil Plait, adds fuel to fire with this little tidbit:

…Senator Guillory , here is the reality of what you saw, and it pertains to creationism as well: It really wasn’t science. It may be belief, it may be religion, it may even be an outright con, but of all the things it is, as you yourself said, it’s not science , and it shouldn’t be taught in science class. Your vote was wrong. It was wrong on the evidence, it was wrong for the children of Louisiana, and it was wrong for the state of Louisiana.

So according to Plait (writer of the Slate article), “Creationism” (and likely he really means ID) is on the same scientific level as the bone throwing Shaman sitting on the ground. So here’s a question for Plait – and its a purely scientific one, so he shouldn’t have too much trouble answering it. “Mr. Plait, how do you know scientifically (on the normally accepted view of scientific), and not philosophically, metaphysically or theologically, that the properties of biological systems are such that any apparent design we observe in them can not be actual design, even in principle?” Perhaps some ID critic here can proxy for Mr. Plait and provide a purely scientific answer to that question.

This is, after all, all “just science”, right?

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13 Responses to Slate.com in a Dither Over non-Repeal of LSEA

  1. 1
    Chance Ratcliff

    “So here’s a question for Plait – and its a purely scientific one, so he shouldn’t have too much trouble answering it. “Mr. Plait, how do you scientifically (on the normally accepted view of scientific), and not philosophically, metaphysically or theologically, that the properties of biological systems are such that any apparent design we observe in them can not be actual design, even in principle?”

    Great question. Even attempts to justify methodological naturalism cannot be made scientifically. ;) What scientific, empirical basis is there for rejecting design?

  2. Works better this way:

    Darwinism isn’t really science. It may be belief, it may be religion, it may even be an outright con, but of all the things it is, it’s not science, and it shouldn’t be taught in a science class. It should be taught in a religious awareness class.

  3. as to

    “What scientific, empirical basis is there for rejecting design?”

    And it’s corollary,,

    “What scientific, empirical basis is there for accepting neo-Darwinism?”

    Mr. Plait, I’ve looked high and low for this scientific basis for neo-Darwinism, and listened patiently as Darwinists tried to explain why they believe Darwinian evolution to be a fact on par with Gravity. As far as I can tell, Darwinists have no evidence whatsoever to back their zealous beliefs up with. It’s all bluster and deception as far as I can tell. Advances in Quantum Mechanics refutes the materialistic foundation upon which Darwinism is built. The observational (empirical) evidence for Darwinian processes creating ANY non-trivial functional complexity is non-existent. As well it should be. How can a material, transient, temporal, chance based process, such as Darwinism, give rise to the non-material, lasting, enduring, regulatory information in life? Much less, how can it ground the non-negotiable, non-material, principles of reasoning which ground science? There is no rigid falsification criteria for Darwinism as far as I can tell, though many have looked (and NO, finding a rabbit in the pre-Cambrian does not qualify as a rigid falsification criteria in science). Moreover, neo-Darwinian thought has not been the basis of any breakthroughs in science but has in fact served as a severe impediment to scientific progress. In fact Mr. Plait answer me this please,,,

    “Sixty years on, the very definition of ‘gene’ is hotly debated. We do not know what most of our DNA does, nor how, or to what extent it governs traits. In other words, we do not fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level.” (DNA at 60: Still Much to Learn April 28, 2013)
    http://www.scientificamerican......h-to-learn

    ,,, how is a neo-Darwinism a robust ‘scientific theory’ when it has failed to explain what we find in life?

    Whereas, on the other hand Mr. Plait, there is a theory that is doing quite well in the face of advances in biology,,,

    How Do We Know Intelligent Design Is a Scientific “Theory”? – Casey Luskin – October 2011
    Excerpt: ID is supported by a vast body of evidence ranging from physics and cosmology to biochemistry to animal biology to systems biology to epigenetics and paleontology. ID more than exceeds the NAS’s definitions of “theory.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....51841.html

  4. Semi OT: Flagella & Fimbria – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daTh80p3Mw0

  5. Just realized that in my original comment I had a typo. When I wrote, “Mr. Plait, how do you scientifically (on the normally accepted view of scientific), and not philosophically, metaphysically or theologically…” I meant to say, “Mr. Plait, how do you knowscientifically…”

    And speaking of typos, I don’t understand why my original post doesn’t show properly. Is it just me, or is everyone seeing all the html tags instead of the live web links and italics and bold and all that? Not sure what’s up with that.

  6. My original post was supposed to look like this: Apologies for the duplication, but I wanted to make sure my tags were working. They seem to work for posting comments, but not for the original post. Very odd!

    Slate.com is all upset that repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008 was was rejected yet again in a 3-2 vote in the State Senate.

    19 year old Rice University Student Zack Kopplin has been leading the charge to get this “outrage” done away with once and for all, with help from the usual suspects. What’s interesting to note is the reason that one Senator, Elbert Guillory, D-Obelousas, who essentially cast the deciding vote, gave for his vote against repeal.

    Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had. He said he thought repealing the act could “lock the door on being able to view ideas from many places, concepts from many cultures.

    “Yet if I closed my mind when I saw this man—in the dust, throwing some bones on the ground, semi-clothed—if I had closed him off and just said, ‘That’s not science. I’m not going to see this doctor,’ I would have shut off a very good experience for myself,” Guillory said.

    Okay, I’ll admit, that seems a bit far fetched and bizarre to me. But, the writer of the Slate article, Phil Plait, adds fuel to fire with this little tidbit:

    …Senator Guillory , here is the reality of what you saw, and it pertains to creationism as well: It really wasn’t science. It may be belief, it may be religion, it may even be an outright con, but of all the things it is, as you yourself said, it’s not science , and it shouldn’t be taught in science class. Your vote was wrong. It was wrong on the evidence, it was wrong for the children of Louisiana, and it was wrong for the state of Louisiana.

    So according to Plait (writer of the Slate article), “Creationism” (and likely he really means ID) is on the same scientific level as the bone throwing Shaman sitting on the ground. So here’s a question for Plait – and its a purely scientific one, so he shouldn’t have too much trouble answering it. “Mr. Plait, how do you know scientifically (on the normally accepted view of scientific), and not philosophically, metaphysically or theologically, that the properties of biological systems are such that any apparent design we observe in them can not be actual design, even in principle?” Perhaps some ID critic here can proxy for Mr. Plait and provide a purely scientific answer to that question.

    This is, after all, all “just science”, right?

  7. Chance Radcliff in #1: “Even attempts to justify methodological naturalism cannot be made scientifically. ;) What scientific, empirical basis is there for rejecting design?”

    Exactly. For those who elevate Science to Scientism, rejecting the idea of philosophical considerations at the root of science, justifying methodological naturalism(MN)is very problematic. Even arguing how MN is functionally different from full blown philosophical naturalism (PN) is highly problematic. How is that supposed to go? MN says whether or not PN is actually the truth, for the sake of doing science we’ll pretend that it is. Huh?

    The crux of the MN position is that explanatory preference for any given observed phenomenon must be given to the natural cause. But what is the scientific justification for that preference?

    Mr. Plait’s real beef, along with others like the NCSE, is allowing a worldview into the science classroom that will, in their view, contaminate, distort and otherwise “destroy” real science. This position is proffered under the very mistaken belief that a science classroom is somehow a “worldview free” zone. Except it isn’t. So here’s another question for Plait: “What does a worldview free science classroom look like?” (for that matter, what does a “worldview free” public school look like?) If a worldview free science classroom isn’t really possible (and I don’t think it is), then it all comes down to which worldview ought to be the one included and why. Plait et.al., have no real good answer for that.

  8. DM: Try calling for edit, then go to the text tab. I THINK HTML should work from that. Worth a try. Failing that you will need to use formatting buttons or something like that. KF

  9. KF – Tried the edit text screen…didn’t make a difference. I don’t know what you mean by formatting buttons. I’m not aware of any buttons?

  10. DM: When you opened up text tab on screen, did you see HTML markup looking like a layup for such a page? (Maybe you need to reload the post contents.) There is a compose view tab that has a series of buttons for bold, link, insert pic etc. above the composing window pane. Do you see this? Are you composing on a PC? KF

  11. 11

    If these outsiders presume to tell this state what to do then why not the people of the state themselves or all citizens??
    Creationism is immorally and illegally banned as a option for origins in the nation!
    Who’s the boss? These kids seem to be saying they morally can deciude and its more then about the law!
    They think they are all that!

  12. Robert Byers writes:

    If these outsiders presume to tell this state what to do then why not the people of the
    state themselves or all citizens??

    By “these outsiders” do you mean Dr. Philip Plait, the author of the article? If so, then what are you getting upset about? The article indicated that the law wasn’t repealed.

    “Creationism is immorally and illegally banned as a option for origins in the nation!”

    We did this once before, and you clearly weren’t paying attention. Creationism is a religious doctrine based on the Bible. It is not immorally and illegally banned in the US. You are free to believe it. However, because of the separation of church and state, you are not free to teach it in public schools. You can, however, teach your children this doctrine at home if you wish and compare what they’re learning in school to this doctrine. Then let the kids make up their own minds.

    “Who’s the boss? These kids seem to be saying they morally can deciude and its more then about the law! They think they are all that!”

    “All that”? Wow, is it the 1990s again?

  13. 13

    Barb.
    You are denying creationism is being censored, perhaps, because its uncomfortable to be the side doing the censoring when the history of freedom has been to fight this attitude.?!

    If the state censors then its rightly called censorship! All of history could parents , quietly, teach thier kids anything. So what!
    When the state censors conclusions in areas of where the conclusions are to be the result of truth and seeking truth then the state is clearly teaching right and wrong on these conclusions.
    The state is the one breaking the separation clause.
    Who is the boss?
    The people or someone else?

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