Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, is again poking a stick at the guard dogs of evolution in Intelligent Design Part 3.  But he is right on target, asking the simple questions – if there is a phenomenon that science can not explain, which may have an intelligent origin, should we tell students about it?  And if it was of intelligent origin, how would we know? 

He implies that anti-IDers won’t even teach ID in the schools as non-science.  He asks, "why aren’t they even willing to do something like this?"

“Kids, astronomy is science and astrology isn’t. Here are some more examples of things that aren’t science…”

Why?  Because they have religious reasons masquerading as and hiding within valid science reasons, and are trying to supress anything that contradicts them.  Adams’ nice bit of humorous writing concludes with…

You may commence misinterpreting what I just wrote and attacking that misinterpretation now.

By the way, some of the comments on the entry are really worth reading.  Here’s one I partcularly enjoy:

The theory of evolution is just the creation myth of secular humanism and almost every other religion that ascribes to naturalism. It makes statements about the past, a past which cannot be repeated or observed and therefore has little to do with science. I realize this is an entirely unpopular position to be in since neither side is willing to start a discussion with their own creation story on an equal footing with the other. In addition, it is easy to see from this discussion that very few people understand their own position and that of those who do there are even fewer who understand the beliefs of the other.

Earlier someone defined the scientific method as "disproving hypotheses systematically until the only remaining possibility that hasn’t been disproven is taken as fact". While I would replace "fact" with "most likely" this is not my major quibble. The argument against evolution as science but instead as myth is that since it makes statements about the non-observable past it cannot be disproven. Science is not about proving things, but about disproving hypotheses.

This relates to the thought experiment in that science cannot tell us when we have gone right, but only when we have gone wrong. If I postulate "I sent the lightning!" science can say nothing, this is a statement about the past and is left to historians who do research, not science. If I postulate "The lightning comes on the second Tuesday after a full moon!" then science can say something. The scientist waits for the proper conditions and then sees if the prediction matches the results. If it does it may strengthen our belief in the theory but it cannot prove it. If it does not, then the theory is bogus and we throw it out.

I take the rather awkward position, seemingly on my own, that evolution, creationism, ID, the flying spaghetti monster theory, and such other creation myths if taught at all in schools should all be taught in a religion class. The short time in which our middle and high school students spend snoozing though science classes should be filled with more practical matters in how cells work here and now than with stories about how they came to be that way. Science is about the here and now, what we can observe and disprove, it is not the all powerful be all end all of what can be known. Leave the history to the historians.