Science and Religion in Online Argumentation about Socioscientific Issues: A Case Study from Indonesia

Aditomo, Anindito (2016) Science and Religion in Online Argumentation about Socioscientific Issues: A Case Study from Indonesia. In: Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA) 47th Annual Conference, 27 June – 1 July 2016, Canberra, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Being able to participate in argumentation about socio-scientific issues is an important part of scientific literacy. In some societies, the challenge of learning to argue is made more complicated by conflicts between science and religious doctrines. This study used discourse analysis to understand how the science-religion tension is manifested in online argumentation. A blog post (and its comment section) on the topic of homosexuality diagnosis in Indonesia was used as a case study. Informed by a ‘design perspective’ of discourse (Goodwin, 2001), the analysis focused on argumentation strategies arguers employed and the roles of science and religion in the enactment of those strategies. Findings show that science and religion were invoked differently depending on the position of the arguer with regards to the issue. Those who were favorable of the blog author’s position invoked scientific consensus and findings from empirical studies to make value judgments appear as having an objective basis. In contrast, those holding the opposite position used a number of strategies to undermine the epistemic authority of science. One strategy involved associating science with Western values which is portrayed as incompatible with Indonesian values. Another strategy was to contrast scientific claims with a conception of the natural order. Yet another strategy was to associate scientific claims with socially and morally undesirable consequences. These findings underscore the difficulty and the importance of helping science teachers and students to reconcile conflicting views related to science and religion.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: argumentation, discourse analysis, science, religion, Indonesia
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Psychology > Department of Psychology
Depositing User: Anindito Aditomo 205003
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 04:54
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2017 04:54

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