Re: HUMOR: Open Letter to Kansas School Board

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Jun 22 2005 - 11:00:10 MDT

> The word theory is used in science to mean a model or framework
> describing the behaviour of a natural or social phenomenon.
> Intelligent Design, like every flavor of creationism, provides no
> alternative model or framework, but is a claim that the phenomenon
> being described-- evolution-- doesn't exist. It shouldn't be dignified
> with the use of the word theory.
> -Matt


IMO, creationism is an alternate theory as to how the universe was created.

It's a really dumb theory, but it's still a theory..

Agreed that it's not a theory about how organisms *evolved*, because it
rejects evolution.

(Similarly, steady state theory is not a theory about how the universe was
created, because it argues the universe was always here...)

You can argue that creationism is a bad theory because it's not
falsifiable -- but then, falsifying the natural selection theory isn't so
easy either...

The notion of validation/refutation of scientific theories is a subtle
topic, more so than most scientists acknowledge.

I like Lakatos's approach according to which scientific research programs
are judged based on "progressiveness" -- based on their fecundity at
generating interesting new ideas. By this standard, natural selection
excels whereas creationism truly sucks ass...


for my thoughts on philosophy of science, presented in a more general way.

-- ben

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