Steve Fuller is indeed a confusing fellow. In my essay, I remarked that Fuller testified in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District on behalf of the religious fundamentalists who had sought to introduce Intelligent Design into the Dover science curriculum. I briefly summarized Fuller's argument as "intelligent design is worth pursuing partly because great scientists of the past -- such as Newton -- believed in God." Fuller now replies that "it matters that important science has been done by people operating from religious beliefs not so different from the ones that are legally barred as 'intelligent design.'" I thank Professor Fuller for taking the time to confirm my characterization of his testimony.
Yet I confess that I remain confused about Fuller's argument. If it really is “tantamount to indoctrination” to appeal to the context of justification in order to distinguish legitimate from illegitimate science, then Fuller might as well go the full distance, and argue for teaching high school students alchemy and phrenology. One wonders why he has chosen to shill only for Intelligent Design.
posted by Michael Bérubé
December 22, 2008
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