Humility in the Classroom? What a Concept!
A cognitive psychologist at SUNY-Oswego, Roger Taylor, has a new book out, Epistemology and Science Education: Understanding the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design Controversy (Routledge). He counsels educators that, rather than seeking to indoctrinate students with Darwinism, better to humbly allow them to judge and evaluate the evidence for themselves, excluding neither Darwinism nor intelligent design as a "scientific theory." What a novel concept!
Professor Taylor, either a very brave man or a reckless one, elaborates:
"The more you know about science, the more you know that it's tentative. In terms of evolution, let students know that this is our current theory, but it could be overturned. Science is a way of understanding the world, and this is our current understanding."
Is there a place for intelligent design in science classrooms?
"Intelligent design can be considered a scientific theory," he said. "Look back -- astrology and alchemy were the best theories that scholars of the day had at the time. Over the centuries, scientists learned they weren't very predictive, weren't very useful. That was one of the things that distinguishes what we consider a scientific theory from a non-scientific theory."
Taylor argues for an approach to evolution that involves showing, not telling -- in an evidence-based, non-opinionated way -- about the origin and development of species, and letting students learn to think for themselves. Nor should scientists proclaim their disciplines flawless.
"Science is very messy," Taylor said.