Chapter

<i>On the Origin of Species</i> and the Limits of Science

David w. Goldsmith

in For the Rock Record

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257580
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943711 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257580.003.0009
On the Origin of Species and the Limits of Science

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Currently the United States is home to a small but mobilized grassroots effort to have the model of intelligent design (ID) integrated into public school science curricula. What might seem strange is that many of the leading advocates for ID are well aware that by most current definitions, ID does not qualify as science. ID is not the first theory to challenge the scientific community to rethink the limits of the scientific method. In some cases, revolutionary discoveries have required scientists to discard everything they previously thought about a subject or its proper method of study. When Charles Darwin first published On the Origin of Species, many of his critics seized on his methods just as fiercely as they did on his conclusions. This essay compares ID with natural selection, a theory that in fact broke new methodological ground in the past, to demonstrate that the exclusion of ID from proper science is due not to some shortsightedness on the part of the scientific community, but to ID's own implicit weaknesses.

Keywords: Charles Darwin; science; intelligent design; natural selection; scientific method

Chapter.  7567 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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