Scott Pilutik

I am an attorney and consultant living and working in Manhattan, focusing primarily on church/state constitutional law. I'm a recognized expert on the Church of Scientology organization. I also have strong interests in intellectual property law where it intersects with emerging media, and free speech.

I support the efforts of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I am a member of the New York County Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association. I also enjoy (watching) hockey and (doing) photograhy.

Online I can be found on Facebook, Twitter. My resume can be viewed here. I can be reached by phone at 212.645.6241 or by e-mail at pilutik[at]gmail.com.

Science =/= Democracy

Panda Thumber Jason Rosenhouse tackles a challenge by Southwest Daily Times writer George Deipenbrock, who was seeking a “good argument” on why “teaching only the evolution theory does not violate the [Kansas] education science mission statement to make all students lifelong learners who can use science to make reasoned decisions. Presenting only one life science theory in classes without alternatives breeds ignorance and violates the mission statement.”

Rosenhouse deconstructs the ‘balance’ assumption/paradigm that Deipenbrock seeks well enough, but later in the response hits the nail cleaner than I’ve ever seen it hit when he says:

The fact is that every scientific theory presented as orthodoxy in science classes began in exactly the place ID finds itself now: A heresy believed by a handul of people dissatisfied with the orthodox view. In no case, however, did the adherents of the heresy earn their place in the curriculum by appealing directly to schools boards and state legislatures. In every case the heresy won out by producing evidence adequate to convince a large majority of scientists.

As I related in the comments on his site – Here we have a dubious majority (in some cases) who have deemed themselves privileged to contravene a process (scientific method) that has historically acted as the ruling principle for the procedure by which theories are accepted. The selection process is ingrained in the nature of scientific method itself. If we do away with that procedure, we do away with scientific method. The ID propenents invite a “scientific acceptance by majority” proposition that is truly dangerous.

  • http://notoriousapostate.blogspot.com notorious apostate

    This attempt to get ID into schools is a very good example of what it means not to be in the reality-based community, i.e. ignoring the facts and trying to shape people’s opinions regardless. Science does not equal democracy but I do think that democracy and an honest willingness to find out what the world is like do go hand in hand. Of course, the truth is not democratic – just because x per cent of Americans believe that angels/aliens/etc walk the earth does not make it so. The link goes the other way – a commitment to democratic ideals follows from the rejection of all utopias together with a modicum of empathy and a dose of humility – all traits that speak of a realistic view on the world.