May 16, 2005

Wingnuts: German, not English!

According to Echidne, wingnuts on the Kansas school board are considering redefining science:

Instead, they want to define it as "a systematic method of continuing investigation," without specifying what kind of answer is being sought. The definition would appear in the introduction to the state's science standards.

There is a language in which this definition of science works: German. The German word Wissenschaft is used to refer to any systematic body of investigation or research, including physics and psychology. Of course, in English, science is used much more narrowly: a systematic investigation of the natural world, in search of naturalistic answers. Germans make a distinction like ours, between Naturwissenschaft, or natural sciences, and Geisteswissenschaft, or social sciences and humanities (the line between anthropology, psychology, and philosophy is kind of fuzzy for Anglophones, too). That's why Creationism and ID, by definition, go beyond science, or Naturwissenschaft. And why changing these definitions will do nothing but make Kansas high school science classes worthless outside the state.

No comments: