Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Erika's New and Hot, Week 4, and review of Aydon

I found this article from the New York Times called "Believing Scripture, but Playing by Science's Rules" (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/12/science/12geologist.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5070&en=a14a18ae872aa874&ex=1177473600). The subject was this student, Marcus Ross, who just graduated with a Ph.D. in geoscience from the University of Rhode Island. He wrote a normal, accurate dissertation on mosasaurs, a type of marine reptile that went extinct about 65 million years ago. The weird thing is, Dr. Ross is a "young earth creationist." He believes the world is, at most, about 10,000 years old.
There are several issues this idea raises. First, Dr. Ross wrote his dissertation keeping two distinct paradigms in his mind simultaneously: is that intellectually honest? He describes using the numbers of science to do his research, keeping his opinions about their validity separate.
At the same time, some people don't think people with beliefs like Dr. Ross deserve to receive the title "philosphers of science," claiming students shouldn't be able to graduate without understanding and believing in the philosophy of science. Others strongly resist the idea of discriminating against anybody for their religious beliefs in an academic setting. Still others are afraid of what such students will use their degrees for- the famous example used in the article is of a young earth creationist who graduated from Harvard and worked under Stephen Jay Gould. In his circle, he used that degree and connection to make his "science" appear more legitimate. Interesting issues...
Here's the link to my book review: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product//1841198013/ref=cm_rv_thx_view/103-6525976-1702211

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