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Nature of Science

In discussing dissent in science, Explore Evolution continues to misrepresent the nature of science itself. Science is treated as a courtroom trial with scientists serving as "expert witnesses" and students acting as juries, selecting their preferred outcome from several debating advocates. The "Case for"/"Case against" structure of the book is held out as an example of how science works and should work, with disagreeing voices presented without a context of experimentation and hypothesis testing.

Science certainly can be adversarial, but there are rarely only two sides to scientitific disagreements, and no participant in the scientific process should act like a jury – silent and disconnected. Scientific inquiry requires active participation: forming hypotheses, gathering data to test those hypotheses, modifying the hypothesis to reflect new evidence, and discussing (not debating) the meaning of results. Debate implies two fixed sides, with one absolutely right and the other absolutely wrong. Scientific discourse relies on the willingness of all involved to adjust their views as new evidence becomes available. Explore Evolution, by misrepresenting the scientific process, the views of practicing scientists, and the knowledge gained by scientific practice, shows no such willingness.