Tuesday, 6 September 2005

Truth vs fairness

The Guardian has a good essay by Richard Dawkins of Oxford and Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago on the debate over teaching Intelligent Design in schools:
The call for balance, by the way, was always tempered by the maxim, "When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly half way between. It is possible for one side simply to be wrong."

...

Why, then, would two lifelong educators and passionate advocates of the "both sides" style of teaching join with essentially all biologists in making an exception of the alleged controversy between creation and evolution? What is wrong with the apparently sweet reasonableness of "it is only fair to teach both sides"? The answer is simple. This is not a scientific controversy at all.
Dawkins and Coyne may be writing about the Intelligent Design controversy, but the general point they make is a good one: just because two opposite points of view exist does not mean the truth must necessarily lie in between, even if in many cases it does, and to think so is fallacious.



I've always believed in evolution, and I've always believed in God.
I remember that my dad was reading to me from dinosaur books and he was teaching me about the fundamentals of my religion.

I've had my doubts in both at times, but I never really saw the two concepts as contradictory, especially not when I was growing up. Which is why it was a slight shock to my system to find out that not everybody thought like I did and that some people took evolutionary theories as such an affront to the concept of an omnipotent God.


Post a Comment

Create a Link