BIO Web of Conferences
Volume 4, 2015ORIGINS – Studies in Biological and Cultural Evolution
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||24 June 2015|
Why do we not teach that the earth is flat?
Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB – UMR 7205 – CNRS, MNHN, UPMC, EPHE), Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Universités, 57 rue Cuvier, CP. 39, and 75005 Paris, France
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scientific explanations of the Origins (of Earth, life, species, Man …) are contested nowadays even within schools. A school curriculum is a strong political act. In the French context, as far back as 1792, republicans have put knowledge at the heart of the development of French citizenship. In state schools, we teach knowledge, not religious beliefs or opinions. This implies, however, that one must be able to tell the difference. We propose a typology using two criteria. First, is the claim upheld individually or collectively? And second, does the legitimacy of the claim come from an authority figure or from a rational justification? We emphasise the collective nature and the autonomy of the process by which scientific knowledge is validated, as the direct by-products of experimental reproducibility. These characteristics have as a consequence that science is implicitly secular on an international scale. The reproducibility of experiments relies on four fundamental cognitive expectations which are described here: initial scepticism of the facts, principle of realism, rationality and methodological materialism. Failure to fulfil these expectations discredits any claim creationism may make to qualify as scientific.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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