Speaker: Science above the fray

Science isn’t a fighter. Science just is what it is.

“My concern is that science not be hijacked,” said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which opposes the teaching of religious views in science classes. “It’s too important to be associated with an ideological concern.”

In the ongoing battle between evolution and intelligent design, Scott told a Kansas University audience Thursday night, science as a discipline shouldn’t be part of the battle’s landscape.

Rather, Scott said, science’s only concern is with the empirical observation, testing and recording of the ways of the natural world.

If there is a fight to be waged, she said, it should be between those who believe some nonmaterial force helps shape the world – including intelligent design proponents – and those who philosophize the purity of the natural, observable world.

Scott has been an activist in the creationism versus evolution controversy for more than 20 years and, from her point of view, science stands above the fray.

As for other, less-tested branches of science, the fact that they are always changing shouldn’t become fodder for creationists, she said.

Science is meant to change, to try to always search for better explanations for how the world works.

Intelligent design proponents, she said, “confuse the unexplained with something being unexplainable.”

But that, she said, is what science does: tries to explain the things humans cannot yet fully understand.

Science does not – or at least should not – instead become one side in a prolonged ideological battle.

“Science,” Scott said, “doesn’t have a dog in most of these fights.”