standard evolution practice
James J. Kruse
kruse at nature.berkeley.edu
Sat Aug 14 00:13:09 EDT 1999
John Grehan wrote:
> This is actually standard scientific practice in the teaching of evolution.
I can not comment on this myself.
> Students (especially university students) appear to be discouraged from
> independant thinking - many seem to be parrots for their teachers or
Hmmm. I have seen this, but I have also seen many independent thinkers,
even in the face of discouragement. Independent thinking that pushes
boundaries of what is known is generally how science is advanced. I like
to think science is advancing on many fronts, so I cannot agree that all
is so draconian.
> I notice that James expresses the desire to exposed to a variety of theories
> and allowed to subscribe to the theory that they desire provided they
> can DEFEND THEIR THEORY INTELLEGENTLY.
Yes, I think that a person is obligated to know something about the theory
or method to which they subscibe in order to offer defense against
competing theories or methodologies. I think this is more reasonable than
drawing one out of a hat or siding with the first theory or method they
have explained to them. "The bible says so" or "Darwin (or my professor)
knew what he was talking about so I believe him" isn't enough either.
> As a practioner of a minority research program in evolution
> (panbiogeography) I have experienced the problem of defeding a
> methodology that was so different from orthodoxy that the opponents
> could not understand enough to know whether my defense was
> "intellegent" or not, but the very stand I chose was taken as evidence
> that I did not have an intellegent perspective in the first place!
Okay, I am impressed that you are so creative, and you must have become
very proficient at explaining it. :-) I think maybe you are selling
yourself short here.
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