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← Teaching science in public schools without stepping around religion

Steven Mading's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Steven Mading

Comment 9 by Nordic11 :

Hi jdbilak,

Don't confuse science with philosophy. Teach your students how effective science is when exploring how the universe works but realize the severe limitations science when trying to understand why the universe works. Statements such as "the evolution of the universe is completely random without purpose or meaning" or "the universe has no supernatural elements to it" are philosophical inferences that the scientific method is incapable of supporting or denying. In other words, stick to science in science class and leave naturalism for philosophy class.

Enjoy your day!

"How" asks what are the steps that caused a thing to happen.

"Why" asks what was the intent behind making it happen.

In a world that was not deliberately created by a mind that intended it to have a purpose, there isn't any real difference between "how" and "why". They're the same thing as long as there isn't a sentience behind the actions.

What this means is that as soon as someone comes along trying to claim that the "inability" of science to answer the question "why" the universe is like it is is somehow a deficiency, that person is already presuming, before any evidence is examined, that the universe has an intended purpose by a sentient creator.

The "why" question becomes relevant only after you have some other reason to think there's a sentient creator. It is dishonest to use it as the reason to propose the existence of a sentient creator. Any argument of the form "science is deficient because it can't answer why there's a universe, while religion on the other hand, can" is blatantly deceptive for this reason. The question "why" doesn't become relevant until after you have reason to presume there's a creator.

Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:10:28 UTC | #949392