Journalist Ed Brayton, at his website ScienceBlogs, becomes an expert at education, aside from already being an expert on Panda’s Thumbs. His complaint is with the efficacy of Dr. Dembski’s educational approach of assigning his students, as part of the course requirement, the task of writing at least 10 posts defending ID on “hostile” websites. I would assume anti-ID folks and Darwinsts at these hostile sites would encourage the exchange, given that they think themselves the educational corrective to ID. Why the opposition? And as far as educational theory is concerned, engaging the opposition in a “real world” context, and not theoretically in a classroom, is wonderfully educational. As a matter of fact, not only will Dr. Dembski’s students be coming to a hostile website in your neighborhood soon, this is likely to become a trend in seminary education, with seminary professors making this a requirement from here on out. One educational benefit of engaging Darwinists is obvious,
What inclines me now to think you may be right in regarding [evolution] as the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives is not so much your arguments against it as the fanatical and twisted attitudes of its defenders.
C. S. Lewis, in a letter to Bernard Acworth, 1951.
This alone justifies the educational benefit, for what Lewis saw, I see, but only as a result of being involved.
But moreover, one of the chief complaints against ID, is that it is a borderland endeavor that isn’t mainstream enough, that it is too isolated. Well, here we have the opposite approach, a requirement to engage the anti-ID and Darwinist community on their own turf, and even this meets with opposition. Really, some folks are hard to please.
Not to mention that this site allows anti-ID advocates and Darwinists to post dissenting comments, and that was a decision made by Barry Arrington and Dr. Dembski himself.
But back to Dr. Education Mr. Brayton, he has this to say in response to a particular exam question posed by Dr. Dembski, who asks his students to answer to the scientific legitimacy of ID at the Dover trial, if they were called as expert witnesses: “Perhaps he was just hoping to invoke memories of his own non-testimony at that trial.” How does one invoke memories of a non-testimony? I just…well…I just have my doubts about Mr. Brayton’s cogency at giving educational advice. He doesn’t have the curriculum vitae that Dr. Dembski has, nor the obvious credibility at first blush. I personally think he should stick to writing about Panda’s Thumbs, and leave the teaching to those who actually are professors.
It occured to me that Mr. Brayton is trying to teach us from his blog that nothing can be taught from blogs.