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IAP statement on the teaching of evolution

  1. Jul 7, 2006 #1

    EL

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    On 22 june 76 Academies of Science all over the world made a statement regarding "Teaching of evolution". ( http://www.kva.se/KVA_Root/files/newspics/DOC_2006622103638_83921484512_IAP_Evolution.pdf ).

    Since ID-fans often try to convince people (and themselves?) that there is a quite significant fraction of the scientific community questioning evolution, I think it's a good idea to make this clear statement. Question is though what kind of impact this action really will have on teaching? Long term? Short term?
    Could these kind of statements for example make it easier to fight the situation in US?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2006 #2

    J77

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    That's a nice statement.

    Is the US Academy of Science your top scientific institution?

    And will your governement act on this?
     
  4. Jul 7, 2006 #3

    EL

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    Top scientific institution?:confused:

    Here (in Sweden) we really don't have had that much problems with ID. Of course there are ID-supporters, but they are not very successful, at least not this far. However, in last years I've noticed a slightly higher acceptance to these kind of anti-science thoughts, and it terrifies me! (There has even been some kind of anti-evolution proposal in the parlament once, although it was completely rejected.) I think letters like this could work as a wake-up call so that we can act before it's too late...
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2006
  5. Jul 7, 2006 #4

    russ_watters

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    It isn't a school, if that's what you mean. In the US, anyway, it is an advisory group to the government:
    http://www.nationalacademies.org/
     
  6. Jul 7, 2006 #5

    J77

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    I meant in terms of the Royal Society for the UK.

    ie. you've reached a very high point when you become a Fellow of the RS.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2006 #6

    EL

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    Ok, then my "top institution" is the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences...
     
  8. Jul 7, 2006 #7

    Bystander

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    This bit in (3) isn't necessary to the argument, and isn't that well established; few mass balance problems, alternate paths for atmospheric "evolution," and other details. Better omitted, but, "what the hey," they've signed it, and can do a public redaction later, should the need arise.
     
  9. Jul 7, 2006 #8
    A statement like this has more to do with politics than with science. There was religious opposition to Newtonian physics as well. I suppose some acadamies could have gotten together in 1904 and created a manifesto like this one supporting the Newtonian view against all comers. What would we think of such a document today in view of the events of 1905.
     
  10. Jul 7, 2006 #9

    EL

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    Sure, and that's why I posted it here.

    I think all scientist would agree such a manifesto would have been a nice thing to do!
    There's a huge difference between ID and SR, in that the later is science while the first is not. SR did not say Newton was wrong, it just modified the theory at high velocities. That Newton mechanics is a good theory is clear from everyday experiences (and moon landings...)
    Point is that religion is not science.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2006
  11. Jul 7, 2006 #10

    Gokul43201

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    That it was wholly appropriate. How can you think otherwise?
     
  12. Jul 10, 2006 #11
    It modified the theory at all velocities. (Except zero. Newton's equations of motion are only correct when there is no motion.)
     
  13. Jul 10, 2006 #12

    siddharth

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    Yeah, but Newton's laws work very well for large bodies at low speeds, and are experimentally verifiable.
    ID doesn't "work" at all, and can't be experimentally verified.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2006
  14. Jul 10, 2006 #13
    That's my point. Newton's laws work well, are experimentally verifiable and are wrong in view of current theory. A manifesto in support of them would be counterproductive.

    The document quoted at the top of the thread does not mention ID. It undermines its own goal of defending science from non-science by casting theories in stone.
     
  15. Jul 10, 2006 #14

    siddharth

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    Why counterproductive? In face of religious opposition to Newtonian physics, I think that such a statement would have been very productive in promoting rational and scientific thinking.

    It doesn't mention ID explicitly, but it says
    In my opinion, that's a clear reference to ID and creationism. I don't think it casts it in stone, but it only promotes the scientific view. If there's new experimental evidence, of course the theories will change.
     
  16. Jul 10, 2006 #15
    In view of certain non-scientific attacks against the scientific method, we the authorities of science have decided to abandon the scientific method and declare that Newton is right world without end. Amen.

    Go ahead, sign it.
     
  17. Jul 10, 2006 #16

    Gokul43201

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    1. Newtonian physics was and still is an extremely accurate model of how things work within a certain regime of applicability. The same is true of Quantum Mechanics, Relativity and the theory of Evolution through Natural Selection. They all belong in certain regimes and do not work very well outside them. This is well-understood by the scientific community. And the tribute to the usefulness of Newtonian Mechanics is in the simple observation that it continues to be the tool of choice for the overwhelming majority of engineers around the world.

    2. Deviations from Newtonian predictions were discovered by scientists (using the scientific method) - not by the religious groups objecting to it. Religious arguments have not produced one shred of good science. And there are probably as many religious groups that oppose Relativity as there are groups that opposed Newtonian Mechanics - so nothing's really changed from their point of view.

    3. The statement saying essentially that science ought to be left to the scientists, would be as valid then as it is now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2006
  18. Jul 10, 2006 #17
    What, patent clerks need not apply?

    The document says:

    Bravo. But it also says:

    I must be 2 billion years old because when I was a young man I was assured that our Earth was formed 2.5 billion years previous. I could never sign this passionately religious document, you go ahead.
     
  19. Jul 10, 2006 #18

    Evo

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    Your lack of knowledge about Einstein is pretty sad.

    I don't know what earth YOU live on, but the one the rest of us live on is around 4.5 billion years old.

    Your lack of knowledge and the fact that you support ID speaks volumes.
     
  20. Jul 10, 2006 #19
    Sad is this ad hominem attack. I do not support ID. What did I write that gave you the impression that I did? The 2 billion year old calculation was a joke, read it again.
     
  21. Jul 10, 2006 #20

    Evo

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    So is your opposition just an overall rejection of the teaching of science sans religion?
     
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