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Kitcher's argument is mainly pragmatic-it will 
waste too much time and is difficult to do well. 
He does not reject discussion of creationism 
because it is really religion, in part because he 
does not draw a sharp line between science and 
non-science or pseudo-science. As he puts it, 
there is good science, mediocre science, bad 
science, terrible science, and then creation 
science.

Incidentally, Newton saw himself as articulating 
an essentially religious world view, but that 
doesn't mean that classical mechanics can be 
dismissed as religion. Of course classical 
mechanics can be tested, but then (Kitcher and I 
would both argue) creationism can also be 
scientifically evaluated and rejected. From that 
perspective it has about as much plausibility as 
the claim that the moon is made of blue cheese.

--P.

>I haven't read the Kitcher book but will get 
>hold of it asap, many thanks for that 
>recommendation, Jon.
>
>Phil, in a nutshell, what is Kitcher's argument 
>against the approach I suggested in my IHT oped? 
>I have received two basic kinds of criticism, 
>one hostile to allowing any sort of religion 
>into the classroom and the second maintaining 
>that what I suggest is impractical in a high 
>school biology class.
>
>cheers, Michael
>
>On 2/26/07, Jon Beckwith 
><<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> 
>wrote:
>
>>On the issue of creationism., ID and evolution, 
>>I strongly recommend the book "Use and Abuse of 
>>Biology"m MIT Press, by Philip Kitcher- a 
>>philosopher at Columbia- an older but timeless 
>>book plus his recent article in his book "In 
>>Mendel's Mirror" Oxford Univ. Press.
>>
>
>         On IQ and heredity, the article by Eric 
>Turkheimer et al. which I have attached 
>indicates some changes in this pitiful field. 
>They found that the heritability of IQ in people 
>of low SES was close to zero.  I don't 
>necessarily agree with all of their conclusions, 
>but the group which includes mainstream 
>psychologists like Irv Gottesman is not one you 
>would necessarily expect this conclusion from. 
>(I haven't looked closely but I believe that 
>Frank Sulloway in this week's New York Review 
>misrepresents the article.)  There are still 
>many problems in their study but if you want a 
>source that I feel gives a good feel for them, 
>look at the book that came out of the AAAS, 
>Hastings Center working group that I was part 
>of, referenced below.
>                                                 Jon Beckwith
>
>Jon Beckwith
>Dept. of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
>Harvard Medical School
>200 Longwood Ave.
>Boston, MA 02115
>
>Tel. 617-432-1920
>FAX 617-738-7664
>e-mail <mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>website <<http://beck2.med.harvard.edu/>http://beck2.med.harvard.edu/>
>see my articles and book:
>My book, a memoir: Making Genes, Making Waves: A 
>Social Activist in Science, Harvard University 
>Press (2002) 
><http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/BECMAK.html>http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/BECMAK.html
>Copies conformes ou copies qu'on forme ? 
>Sciences et Avenir Hors-SÚrie #149, p.71 (2006)
>Should we make a fuss? A case for social 
>responsibility in science. F. Huang and J. 
>Beckwith, Nature Biotechnology. 23:1479-1480 
>(2005).
>Whither Human Behavioral Genetics, J. Beckwith in Wrestling with
>Behavioral Genetics: Ethics, Science, and Public 
>Conversation, eds. E. Parens, A. Chapman and N. 
>Press.  Johns Hopkins University Press (2005)
>
>
>
>
>
>--
><http://www.michaelbalter.com>www.michaelbalter.com
>
>******************************************
>Michael Balter
>Contributing Correspondent, Science
><mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
>******************************************