@voyou 'Alt-ac' is so transparently a way for tenured academics to avoid feeling bad about not confronting the terrible ac… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/919969788679655426 16 Oct 17 Reply Retweet Favorite

Nobel laureates to Royal Society: “Keep philosophy of science out of science classes”

There’s been an absolutely absurd response to Michael Reiss’s eminently sensible suggestion that science teachers could use discussions of creationism to talk about the difference between science and non-science. Reiss said:

If questions or issues about creationism and intelligent design arise during science lessons they can be used to illustrate a number of aspects of how science works.

In response to which the New Scientist compared him to Sarah Palin, and a couple of Nobel laureates are calling for him to be sacked from his position as education director of the Royal Society. And of course Dawkins got involved.

I initially posted this just because I thought it was amusingly stupid. But now I think there may be something a bit more pernicious going on. A number of people objecting to Reiss have said things like “teach creation in religious studies,” or “keep it in philosophy class” (see e.g. the comments on that New Scientist blog post). What’s wrong about this is the suggestion that philosophy of science, or the question of the nature and bounds of science, is irrelevant to science itself. This is a problem because it implies a belief that a scientific worldview is somehow obvious, rather than a particular way of thinking that took a long time and a lot of trouble to develop.