The “teach the conflicts” rationale for working intelligent design into public-school science classes has a certain appeal. It sounds to most people like a healthy aversion to orthodoxy. Of course, most scientists don’t like it, because in science – as opposed to, say, literary criticism – interpretations can be wrong. (my italics)Clearly Margaret Talbot hasn’t spent much time reading literary-critical journals lately, or marking undergraduate papers. Or for that matter attending student productions of Shakespeare plays. At a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream a couple-three years back at Our University, the fellow playing Lysander read the wonderfully sarcastic line, “do you marry him” (if you, Demetrius, are so beloved by Hermia’s father, maybe you should marry him rather than Hermia; ie, "do" as an imperative) – as a question: “do you marry him?” If that ain’t a wrong piece of literary interpretation, I can’t imagine what is.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Yes, fuzzy humanists can be wrong too
A nifty, vivid article by Margaret Talbot in the 5 December New Yorker on the Dover “intelligent design” trial. Kenneth Miller, a Brown University biologist, testifies that 99.9% of all the organisms that have ever lived on earth are now extinct: “an intelligent designer who designed things, 99.9 per cent of which didn’t last, certainly wouldn’t be very intelligent.” One moment ruffled my hackles in Talbot’s discussion of the pro-ID Discovery Insitute’s “teach the conflicts” approach:
Posted by Mark Scroggins at 2:14 PM