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Royal Diminishing Society

A slightly off-topic post…

I am talking about the Royal Society, once based on nobody’s words, but where today keeping up the appearances is the only thing that matters.

They’ve just sacked somebody everybody agrees with, including…the Royal Society!

Trouble appears to have been, the RS fears some words could be “open to misinterpretation”. The shock! The horror!

The end result is that they’re diminished, in the words of Lord Robert Winston. This most curious story may be useful to understand recent RS attitudes about people doubting AGW…

ps just to be clear, I do not think creationism can be taken as a viable alternative to evolution, and I consider Intelligent Design as bordering on the blasphemous

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  1. 2008/09/18 at 08:02

    Ed: that is not the issue at all. Please compare what Michael Reiss has said a few days ago, and what the Royal Society is saying now. The sad thing is, there is no practical difference.

    This is Reiss on Sep 13:

    Creationism should be discussed in school science lessons, rather than excluded, says the director of education at the Royal Society. Professor Michael Reiss says that if pupils have strongly-held beliefs about creationism these should be explored. Rather than dismissing creationism as a “misconception”, he says it should be seen as a cultural “world view”. Teachers should take the time to explain why creationism had no scientific basis, Prof Reiss said. He stressed that the topic should not be taught as science.

    This is the Royal Society on Sep 16:

    The Royal Society reiterated that its position was that creationism had no scientific basis and should not be part of the science curriculum. “However, if a young person raises creationism in a science class, teachers should be in a position to explain why evolution is a sound scientific theory and why creationism is not, in any way, scientific.”

    (my emphasis above)

    The Royal Society’s attitude is equivalent to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. And the dismissal of Reiss (“guilty” of having raised the issue at all) is only a political move, to “keep up appearances”by getting rid of somebody “tainted” because…he’s been misquoted!

  2. 2008/09/18 at 04:59

    How is it “diminishing” to stand up and defend good standards and good, solid, truthful education?

    To the contrary, the Society would be diminished if they compromised — “oh, here superstition is okay.”

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