demarcation problem

Gansos en la laguna

Sauce for the Goose

Judge Jones, in his Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion expressed an entrenched view common not only among members of the media and scientific establishment. But why isn’t the theory of intelligent design scientific? On what basis do critics of the theory make that claim? And is it justified? Read More ›

Traipsing into Evolution

A clear solution to the debate over biological origins has evaded scientists and philosophers for millennia. Since the ancient Greeks, thousands of pages of debate from scholars on all sides have yielded two types of answers: those which invoke only material causes and those which explore the possibility that intelligence had a direct role in shaping life. Yet in 2005, one United States federal judge thought he could settle this longstanding question of science and philosophy once and for all.

Read More ›
cross spider on a web with dew drops
Photo by BlueManXL on Adobe Stock

The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design

Underlying Darwin's repudiation of creationist legitimacy lay an entirely different conception of science than had prevailed among earlier naturalists. Darwin's attacks on his creationist and idealist opponents in part expressed and in part established an emerging positivistic "episteme" in which the mere mention of unverifiable "acts of Divine will" or "the plan of creation" would increasingly serve to disqualify theories from consideration as science qua science. Read More ›
Photo by Jon Tyson

The Demarcation of Science and Religion

What is science? What is religion? How do the two intersect? Historians of science address these questions by analyzing how the scientific and religious beliefs of particular scientists or cultures have interacted at specific times. Philosophers of science and religion, however, have sought to characterize the relationship between them in more general terms. Their endeavor has required defining science and religion in order to distinguish or "demarcate" them from each other by clear and objective criteria. During modern times, theologians and philosophers of science have attempted to make categorical demarcations between science and religion on various definitional grounds. Read More ›
Microphone in focus against blurred people at roundtable event
Licensed from Adobe Stock

All Forms of Science Designed for Discussion

Since Darwin's theory has as many religious implications as the theory of intelligent design, it is not possible to demarcate the two on the grounds that one is science and the other is religion. Read More ›

Teaching the Controversy

Public schools face a dilemma when they address the subject of biological origins. From the Scopes "Monkey Trial" (1925) to the Supreme Court's opinion in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), the teaching of biological origins has put the public schools in the awkward role of resolving a controversy that divides scientists, educators, and the courts. While the experts debate the issues, and the media sometimes inflame the controversy, school boards, administrators, and teachers must still answer the question, What should we teach our students about how living organisms arose on earth? Read More ›