Discoveroids Favor Objective Science — Maybe

You’re familiar with the way the Discovery Institute’s people — and other creationists — think. They rely on intuition — see The Magic of Design Intuition — and analogies — see Watchmaker analogy — and their personal impressions of how improbable the natural world is — see Discoveroids: The Odds Are Against Evolution. That kind of “thinking” leads them to their conclusion that life is a miracle, therefore Oogity Boogity!

This raw Subjectivism is quite unlike the way science works, so you can imagine our surprise at this new post at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: Yale President Calls for Objectivity in Science Education, written by Sarah Chaffee, whom we call “Savvy Sarah.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

A new article in Scientific American argues that “We Should Teach All Students, in Every Discipline, to Think Like Scientists.” The author, Peter Salovey, is notable. He is President of Yale University where he also teaches psychology. He might not welcome my saying so, but his emphasis on thinking critically and examining evidence is spot-on.

What? The Discoveroids favor scientific thinking? Savvy Sarah says:

Salovey wants Superhero Science. The picture with the article is a graphic of a female scientist standing on top of a building [It’s a church!] with her coat flowing behind her like a cape. His hope comes through in his first sentence: “If knowledge is power, scientists should easily be able to influence the behavior of others and world events.”

Ooooooooooooh! Influencing others — that appeals to the Discoveroids — if they’re the ones who do the influencing. She tells us:

The emphasis on “power” and “influencing behavior” sounds like an invitation to scientism, or worse. [Huh?] This innovation, for one, could easily be abused in the service of political and other agendas: [quote from the article]. Yet the article also calls for better science education and education in general. The language is excellent.

Where is Savvy Sarah going with this? She quotes some more from Scientific American:

Knowledge is power but only if individuals are able to analyze and compare information against their personal beliefs, are willing to champion data-driven decision making over ideology, and have access to a wealth of research findings to inform policy discussions and decisions.

What can a creationist do with that? For some reason, Savvy Sarah likes it. She continues:

Yes! Students learning to “weigh the quality and objectivity of data presented to them, and to change their minds when confronted with contrary evidence” as well as to “think critically and imaginatively about the world and to understand different viewpoints” — what a wonderful vision!

Huh? Then she links to the Discovery Institute’s Science Education Policy, which is essentially their demand that schools should Teach the Controversy. Somehow, we doubt that it’s what the President of Yale University has in mind.

Savvy Sarah ends with this:

If applied objectively [Hee hee!], this approach would enhance evolution education along with all parts of the curriculum! What do you say, Dr. Salovey?

The Discoveroids can hope, but we suspect that no one who matters is going to accommodate their desire to teach creationist fantasies as objective scientific theory.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Discoveroids Favor Objective Science — Maybe

  1. Michael Fugate

    Continually trying to link Darwin to Hitler is objective?

  2. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    I find it weird how those that claim to agree, better science education and education in general, spend so much time destroying education.

  3. Pete Moulton

    They sure didn’t teach Say-rah much about actual science at that bible college she went to, did they?

  4. Yes! Students learning to “weigh the quality and objectivity of data presented to them, and to change their minds when confronted with contrary evidence”…
    Yes, but Savvy Sarah regrettably forgets that to date there has been no evidence, no data whatsoever, supporting intelligent design that has ever passed the smell test.

  5. OK then, let me “weigh the quality and objectivity of data” – some of them. Actually I already did a few days ago.
    Savvy Sarah’s DiscoTute has its own research institute. For reasons that are clear (or if not will become clear very quickly) it has been neglected on this blog. Here is an overview of its publications:

    Now compare this with the publications about Evolution Theory.
    Could Savvy Sarah shine her (not so) bright light on two of my questions?

    1. Do the publications on the BI website meet the standards of well respected scientific magazines?
    2. What does the modest amount of publications on the BI website say about the progress of IDiot research?

    I’d be eager to learn from Savvy Sarah – what will she conclude when she “weighs the quality and objectivity of these data”?

  6. The big problem with ID is that there is no positive substance to it. The best they have to offer is that there is something wrong with evolution – so there has be (so they argue) ID – with no telling who what where when why or how.

  7. “Discoveroids Favor Objective Science”
    Our Curmudgeon has misspelled “Objectional”.

  8. Critical thinking…examine the evidence…teach both viewpoints…gee, where have we seen this before? Straight from the academic freedom playbook.

  9. Michael Fugate

    I can’t see how teaching students to think could possibly help the DI.

  10. Eric Lipps

    “Teach the controversy”? Fine–if there actually were one, in the scientific community. But there isn’t. As readers of this blog know, the overwhelming majority of actual scientists support evolution, because the overwhelming majority of the actual evidence does. That’s why creationists keep trying to force the teaching of their views by law they know they’re far more likely to make headway in the political arena than in the scientific one.

  11. One can always say “maybe you’re mistaken”. Political change can be based on pure negativism – overthrow the old order with no idea of what comes next. But in the sciences – as well as the arts and humanities – there is a demand for an alternative.
    There is no positive, substantial alternative to evolutionary biology.

  12. @MichaelF has problems with his sight: “I can’t see how teaching students to think could possibly help the DI.”
    That’s because you omitted a crucial part. Let me help you:

    “Teaching students to think what the IDiots prescribe them to think could possibly help the DI.”
    Clearer now?

  13. Michael Fugate

    That’s not thinking, it’s parroting.

  14. Ross Cameron

    ‘The emphasis on “power” and “influencing behavior” sounds like an invitation to scientism, or worse’. There was a device used by religion a while back that was great at influencing behavior. I think it was called ‘the rack’.