After much contemplation, I decided not to enable comments on this blog. Those hoping to communicate with me can easily find my email online, and I can sometimes be found on the BioLogos discussion forums. When sensible, I might also comment on blog posts that discuss and link to posts on Peaceful Science. However, there will not be comments directly on this blog.
This comment policy does require some explanation.
On one hand, comments are an important way for readers to interact with each other and me about the content on this blog. Real relationships and community can form in these interactions. They are important.
On the other hand, evolution and religion are very controversial. On my lab’s website, comments were very wide ranging, and not always civil. It really takes a great deal of effort to effectively moderate open forums on the topics I care about. As a full-time scientist, I do not have the time to do this effectively.
So, at least for now, will not be allow comments on this blog at this time. This is a decision made with mixed feelings. Hopefully a better solution will arise in the future.
Debates About Science
In my view, science is not up for public debate. Arguments on the internet between non-professionals have absolutely no bearing on how mainstream science progresses. This is just not how science works.
Science is not intuitive. It is very mathematical and technical. Science requires very careful adherence to specific logical rules and standards. There are a multitude of rhetorically strong points (that convince the crowds) that are totally false scientifically. The rules and conclusions of mainstream science, therefore are not up for debate in the public square in any meaningful sense. Therefore, I usually avoid public debates about science.
Do not mistake this as an “appeal to authority.” Science can certainly be wrong. At times it is. Even when it is right, science’s certainty and scope are sharply limited. If you feel the need, go ahead and disagree with science. You might even be right. Let’s just not fantasize that public debate affects scientific opinion at all. It does not.
Instead of debate, my goal here is to offer a clear explanation of how mainstream science understands about our world. In what way, using the rules of mainstream science, is the evidence for common descent so clear? What, exactly, is the scientific definition of evolution, and why do scientists include theistic evolutionists? What are the rules of science? What are the limits and strengths of science?
Perhaps you will disagree strongly with what you learn of mainstream science. My aim is not to change your mind. Rather, I hope that you might understand what you reject, and that, perhaps, I might understand you too.