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John Simkin

Creationism and the Teaching of Science

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And it was precisely in answer to the "Argument from Design" - most recently (for Darwin) advanced by William Paley in his book "Natural Theology" - that Darwin wrote The Origin of Species.  It is also why Intelligent Design is not science.  Science is concerned solely with natural causation.

Darwin answered the argument from design quite well, in the Origin.  He even used the eye as an example, in a direct reference to Paley, who used the eye as Tim does - "it's too complicated".  But Darwin showed that even incredible complex structures such as the eye can evolve in a step-by-step fashion.

Teaching Intelligent Design in a science class makes as much sense as teaching Moby Dick in a math class.

What is taught in a science class will frequently depend on local culture, legislative circumstances and the judiciary. The blue-collar voter in Ohio will probably argue for something that makes him feel safe.

Edited by Gregory Carlin

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Gregory -

I agree with your assessment - local circumstance and lawyers will determine much about what is taught in the science classroom. And don't you think that's a damn shame? Shouldn't what we teach in the science classroom be science?

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I've put a new article online about the state of affairs since a U.S. federal judge ruled the teaching of intelligent design in public school unscientific and unconstitutional, at least in Dover, Pennsylvania. The article includes a brief history of the creation/evolution dispute beginning with the Scopes Trial.

http://www.hobrad.com/critical.htm

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I've put a new article online about the state of affairs since a U.S. federal judge ruled the teaching of intelligent design in public school unscientific and unconstitutional, at least in Dover, Pennsylvania. The article includes a brief history of the creation/evolution dispute beginning with the Scopes Trial.

http://www.hobrad.com/critical.htm

[/quote

Intelligent design is alive and kicking in UK schools (well one at least) although not in the science department. It runs alongside the idea noted above that if you're opting for 'big bang' and therefore something temporal and causal, then in logic there would be some original cause, ie someone to knock over the first domino....

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The problem, at least the way I see it, with teaching ID on the same level as an alternative to evolution is that it simply doesn't stack up as an equal brach of inquiry.

In the last year alone there were hundreds of peer-reviewed papers in dozens of journals in evolutionary biology and genetics alone - add to that geology, anthropology, archaeology, etc.

ID has no journal, has no scientific peer-reviewed process. It doesn't even have a methodology as to how things are designed. Evolution, for all the disagreements about how it happens, proposes ideas as to the mechanism.

Simply saying "it's too complex, must have been designed." is a good starting place. But ending it there and then saying it's on the same playing field as evolution is scientifically bankrupt. It's a disservice to ID really. William Dembski (major ID proponent) recently commented that he would rather not have seen the Dover case go to trial as he thinks more needs to be done to enhance the scientific foundation of ID before bringing it into a classroom setting. Until the science catches up with the idea, then it remains more a philosophical concept than a scientific one.

Edited by Scott Deitche

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