Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Non Sequiturs and Pseudo-science

When I started this blog, I never expected to be commenting on comic strips, but I ran across another today that is spot on. Check out the Non Sequitur strips for June 6 and June 8 wherein a little girl tells her dragon pal that when she grows up she wants to be a "pre-conceptual scientist." These two strips could be a good starting point for a discussion about the differences between science and pseudo-science.

Also found today -- in the Springfield, Missouri, News-Leader -- is "Pseudo-science will hurt students," an insightful opinion piece by the Rev. Kenneth L. Chumbley. The Episcopalian priest recounts being questioned by a stranger about whether he believes in creationism and explains how he deals with the issues raised in the recent Kansas School Board hearings.

"Although I believe that God is the source of creation, I am nevertheless concerned about mandating the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in the public schools; they are religious concepts that are most appropriately taught in houses of worship, not in science classrooms.
. . . .
"How God created the universe, I told the man at the coffeehouse, was a mystery to me, just as it was surely a mystery to the writers of the Genesis creation stories. Their accounts, I said, are poetry, not science; truth, but not fact."

The full article includes other discussion-worthy points about why people are attracted to fundamentalism and the impact pseudo-science could have on our competitiveness in the global economy.

[Finding gems like this on the internet is not hard. Finding the time to keep track and document all the discussion is.]


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