Critical Thinking Challenge 1 Analysis

If you discovered major weakness in the platform statement of a scientific organization, give yourself a pat on the back! This original platform contained untestable statements–one cannot test that biodiversity is the result of an "unsupervised" or "impersonal" process because these are not attributes that can be resolved through a study of the physical world. The statement reveals that even scientists and science teachers, who should know better, can forget to consider the basic nature of science.

Ms. Goodstein likewise revealed that she didn't understand the nature of science when she concluded that the "....revision is clearly designed to allow for the possibility that a Master Hand...." She thus painted the platform authors with her own version of their intention. The authors had no such intentions; a reviewer pointed out that the platform contained untestable statements, and the words were excised because of embarrassment, not because of any religious conversion.

This example shows how carefully words must be considered for their meaning. It is likely that the platform authors were irritated by the influence of creationists, and their irritation caused an emotional reaction rather than an educated one. As a result, the very words intended by the authors to rebuff creationists ended up being used by the "Times'" article to promote creationism. While science is ideally unaffected by subjective traits such as bias, emotion, and egotism, scientists are just as human as others. The main defense we have against our own subjective traits is review of our statements by peers.