The verdict is in on Intelligent Design

by DaniGirl on December 20, 2005 · 5 comments

in Uncategorized

I just read about this over on the Bad Astronomy Blog. There has been a trial going on in Dover, Pennsylvania on whether Intelligent Design should be taught in science class along with the theory of evolution. I’ve ranted on this topic before a few times frequently regularly.

Here’s the story. In 2004, the Dover Area School District amended its science curriculum with the following statement: “Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin’s Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design.” Later that year, a group of 11 parents filed a suit alleging that the school board’s policy was a violation of the US First Amendment. (Facts quoted from the National Centre for Science Education web site.)

The verdict, which came in today, found that ID is not a science and therefore has no place being taught in a science classroom. The judge’s conclusion states, in part:

In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.


To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

Score one for the good guys. Don’t rest easy, though. According to the trial FAQs posted by NCSE, “since the beginning of 2004, 14 states (AL, AR, FL, GA, KS, MN, MO, MS, MT, NY, OK, PA, SC, and TX) have introduced legislation that would advance antievolution efforts.” Even the president himself has said he doesn’t have a problem with ID being taught as science.

There are yet miles to go before we sleep…

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dapopster December 21, 2005 at 1:50 pm

Actually both theories don’t hold much water — the idea that the universe is a physical thingy that evolved on its own — and the idea that it was created out of nothing by some outside being called God. I’m partial to the eastern/metaphysical view that the universe is really God in form, and that portion we see through the lenses of our dense physical body is just a narrow slice of whats actually there. Us and the universe are basically energy beings, not physical beings. Our physical component is sort of like the shell on a clam.

2 Phantom Scribbler December 21, 2005 at 3:19 pm

Um. Like you said, Dani. Miles to go before we sleep.

3 Running2Ks December 21, 2005 at 8:21 pm

It is a raging and endless debate situation, of course, and–well, *sigh*.

4 Rachel December 22, 2005 at 4:20 am

I think that whole point of it all should not be that one or the other should, or shouldn’t be taught… the point should be that intelligent design, creationism and other theories involving God should be taught in religious classrooms and private schools, and evolution should be taught in science classes.
I was, I feel, lucky to have gone to a private, Catholic high school that taught both creationism (as religion) and evolution (as science) and allowed it’s students to think for themselves.
I will say that while I do strongly believe as I already said, that God belongs in religious institutions, I will also stress the idea that our professors taught us which was that, simply because we don’t believe in, or agree with a theory doesn’t mean that we can’t take the time to learn about it. Part of growing up is learning to see and analyze two sides of an argument.

5 Danigirl December 22, 2005 at 1:44 pm

Rachel, I agree with you on all points. I too went to a Catholic high school, and while creationism was definitely taught in religion class, I honestly don’t remember whether I learned about evolution in science class – although I probably did.
I don’t have a problem with the theory of ID being taught in the schools – but as you said, it belongs in religion class. The fact that they were trying to teach it in science class and pass it off as a scientific theory equivalent to (or, in most cases, superior to) the theory of evolution is what boiled my kettle.

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