Monday, September 04, 2006


Disappearing Science

Ronald Dworkin, a professor of Law and Philosophy at NYU and the University College in London, has published a fascinating article in the New York Review of Books based on his new book, Is Democracy Possible Here?

In the article, Dworkin examines three bugaboos of the religious right: gay marriage, the Pledge of Allegiance, and, of course, the the teaching of evolution in public schools.

On the assertion by intelligent design "theorists" that we can infer the action of a designer because Darwinian theory fails to explain, for example, each and every step in the evolution of the bacterial flagella, Dworkin observes:

If the failure to find a natural physical or biological explanation of some physical or biological phenomenon were taken to be evidence of intervention by a god who intended to bring about that phenomenon, science would disappear.

Science depends on the possibility of verification or falsification through positive evidence. There might conceivably be evidence that a superhuman power exists and has caused an otherwise inexplicable event. But the mere absence of a more conventional scientific explanation is in itself no such evidence. If it were, then we could postulate divine intervention in pursuit of some divine plan to explain anything we could not otherwise explain.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?