|Lessons: Creationism ? rev.11.11.2007||Back to Lessons|
Richard Dawkins nails it here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjxZ6MrBl9E&feature=player_detailpage
11.11.2007: Thank you, ACLU, for mounting the challenges to Dover PA's School Board.
There are some fun and funny debates on Creationism and its ilk on YouTube. But most True Believers miss some critical issues about "Theories."
Start with Wikipedia's definition page for "Theory"...
It has several very important distinctions, usually missing from the "debate" over creationism, religion, science, etc....
You see, Science and The Scientific Method are all about "predictability."
Theories are first created to explain observations and to predict what "should" happen the next time the same conditions exist.
Then theories are tested. Conditions are established, experiments are run, and observations are made.
If the observations don't agree with the prediction, the experiment and the measurements are called into question. Was the experiment set up properly? Were the measurements done right? Did they have enough accuracy and/or precision to measure what they were asked to?
Then, if the experiment and measurements pass these tests still don't fit the original theory, the theory is re-examined for errors and either modified to improve its predictive value [i.e, predictive accuracy] or thrown out.
The Scientific Method supports the creation of theories, which are to be tested to see how well they reflect observable reality and can make predictions of future observations.
Creationism is inherently untestable and has no predictive capability. it's all hindsight, hence useless in the "real world."
Just like my mother used to "believe in Destiny"... something was either Destined To Happen or Not Destined To Happen.
It annoyed the hell out of her when I pointed out that Destiny, as an explanation, or as a belief system, was useless. It had no predictive component. It only looked in the rearview mirror, "analyzing" what had already happened and, after the fact, attributing it to "Destiny."
If it doesn't have a predictive component or predictive value, it's fun to play with but otherwise useless. Creationism fits this category of "useless, other than to play with," perfectly.