Friday, November 30, 2007

Walter Williams Responds

Dr. Williams was kind enough to respond to my post. Here is his response:

Thanks for the compliments but you miss my point, or I didn't make it clear. Whether intelligent design is nonsense (I personally think it is) or not is not the issue. It's parental rights!

He is correct about parental rights and my wife and I argued about this and the nature of science until the wee hours of the morning. The scientist in me thinks, though, that science education, precisely because it is not a social issue, should not be treated in quite the same way. A theory is well supported or it is not. If it is not, it should not be offered as an "alternative explanation." This is why we don't teach the theory of phlogisten or the models of Lysenko. Further, we would look askance at teachers who did so.

Should parents be allowed to take their children out of an arena in which they do not agree with what the children are being taught? Absolutely. And with regard to sex education and prayer in school, I encourage it. But if the parents want to teach their children creationism or ID, someone needs to take them aside and tell them that, while it is their right to do so, it will badly prepare the child for future scientific coursework or endeavors. Science education in this country is not very good. ID and creationism just make it worse.

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