Monday, September 26, 2005

Intelligent design case begins

The case to decide if the Dover, Pennsylvania school district can include creationism in its science curriculum began today.

For the AP preview of the case, click here. Here's the LA Times' take on it. For an update of today's events click here.

And for an editorial claiming that creationism, or intelligent design as its advocates call it, should be taught in science class, click here. For the record, creationism should be taught. It should be taught in religion class, not in science class. Newsflash: IT'S NOT SCIENCE!!

Want proof? Read this from the LA Times' article:

DOVER, Pa. — In the beginning, members of the Dover Area School District board wrangled over what should be required in their high school biology curriculum.

Some were adamant that science teachers should stick with the widely taught theory of evolution and random selection. Others said the teaching of "intelligent design" should also be required, arguing that certain elements of life, like cell structure, are best explained by an intelligent cause.

The debate had strong religious overtones.

"Nearly 2,000 years ago, someone died on a cross for us," said board member William Buckingham, who urged his colleagues to include intelligent design in ninth-grade science classes. "Shouldn't we have the courage to stand up for him?"


Yes, you should. In church-- NOT in public schools.

1 Comments:

Blogger publius said...

I was just blogging on the intelligent design issue myself at leenlawyer.blogspot.com I think that the scientific community also needs to look at its own views concerning "What is science."

The New York Times is following the Pennsylvania Intelligent Design case. This whole case as well as the controversy between religious conservatives and the scientific community stems from the failure of high schools to teach and many scientists to understand the philosophy of science. I studied this issue a bit in college, but Wikipedia has a nice primer on the issue (I personally found it very helpful). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science

As I wrote just recently on my own blog:
Essentially, the answer to the question "What is science?" boils down to scientific realism vs. instrumentalism. To paraphrase the wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_Science), realism contends that scientific statements truly describe the universe around us; instrumentalism contends that scientific statements are not necessarily true but they are useful tools for living in and manipulating the world around us. The question of whether realism or instrumentalism is correct is a question of philosophy and theology. A school should not teach theology. But, the efforts of religious conservatives to have creationism or intelligent design taught should indicate to us that the real problem is that schools are inadvertently teaching students science from the perspective of scientific realism. The solution is simply to raise the question of "What is science?" as part of the science curriculum such that the student is left free to decide whether they choose to be an instrumentalist or a realist. Once this is done, I think everyone will agree that the theory of evolution is what science courses should focus their time on because it is the most elegant, time tested, and useful theory for creating a model from which to manipulate the world around us. As for whether that model is "true," I will leave that issue for a blog on philosophy/theology.

8:20 PM  

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