Not content with their virtually complete hegemony over public school science education, now the Darwinists have a new ploy to eradicate ID from scientific consideration: just re-classify it away. In a petition, some PSU science students are demanding the complete re-classification and re-shelving of ID related books to a non-science category. Apparently the instigators of this petition believe that the mere presence of an ID related book on a science shelf serves to further confuse an already confused public about what is and is not science. Citing a recent survey by the NSF that “70 percent of Americans do not understand the scientific process,” the petition claims that “further confusion surrounding what is and is not science is particularly problematic.” According to the petition, (and the NSF), the general public is just to stupid to know the difference between “real” science, and philosophy masquerading as science.
Of course, the authors of the petition would most likely be perfectly content to see books like The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, or Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett remain on the science shelves, even though neither book (and others like them) contain hardly any actual science and loads of philosophical speculation. Meanwhile, books like Stephen Meyer’s The Signature in the Cell or Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution, which are virtually 100% about science and scientific findings, must be placed on a theology or philosophy shelf. (In one case, I saw Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box on the ‘Inspirational Books’ shelf!!!) I guess there’s no reason to be concerned about the confusing the public further when books that are nearly 100% about science are on a theology shelf!
Its easy to justify these moves when, as the authors of the petition do, one defines science this way:
Science can be defined as the process of using empirical evidence to make predictions and test hypotheses in the effort to increase our understanding of the world around us. ID seeks to answer many of the same questions about life on Earth that science does. However, the two differ drastically in that ID invokes supernatural explanations to explain natural processes, while science explains natural processes using empirical data. As the study of ID does not involve the use of empirical evidence to make predictions and test hypotheses, it cannot be considered a science under any circumstances.
Someone needs to tell these guys that there simply is no widely accepted, widely agreed upon definition of what science is, so invoking a particular one to justify their animus against ID isn’t all that helpful. Apparently the authors of this petition simply do not understand what ID is really about either, and return to the old canard that ID “invokes the supernatural”. If they understood that ID is about distinguishing between undirected, natural causes and intelligent causes, then it would be much more difficult for them to sell their petition. They would know this if they read something like William Dembski’s The Design Revolution…unless, of course, that book is on the theology shelf (which it was at Borders the last time I checked), where they’d never find it.