Belief in Science

Josh Mitteldorf

💬 "Science is the opposite of belief" ~ K. Mullis

It was about 20 years ago that my mother made a substantial contribution to the National Center for Science Education, and I had the privilege of a personal interview with the executive director, Eugenie Scott. I was an active researcher in evolutionary biology at the time, and Eugenie’s primary concern at NCSE was to ban the teaching in public schools of religion under the guise of “creation science”.

I took the position that this was a golden opportunity to teach what science is: What distinguishes science from other belief systems? What is a “theory”, and how is it different from a creed? What makes a good theory or a bad theory? Let’s teach creation science and Darwinian evolution side-by-side, (I suggested) and cite the evidence supporting each. Give the students the opportunity to debate and to construct their own arguments, and along the way they will learn the open minded, disciplined logical approach that is the foundation of the scientific method.

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