Bush Endorsement Of 'Intelligent Design' In Public Schools

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SOS2008
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During a White House interview with a group of reporters yesterday, Bush was asked whether “intelligent design,” the latest version of “creationism,” should be taught in public school science courses.

Bush told the reporters that he favors teaching intelligent design “so people can understand what the debate is about.”

“I think part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” Bush said. “You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.”
http://www.au.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7497&news_iv_ctrl=1241&abbr=pr

The previous thread on this topic is not longer available, so here's an update on Dubya and further suppression of science and proper methodology of theories our children may be exposed to.
 

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  • #2
selfAdjoint
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By saying the difference between evolution and ID is just a difference of opinion, the President strokes his right wing religious backers and destroys any lingering hope he might understand anything about science. ID is even less predictive than superstring theory, while evolution ihas successful predictions to its credit - including the missing link!
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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selfAdjoint said:
ID is even less predictive than superstring theory
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: I never thought of it that way! Does this mean that DIT [Divine intervention theory] should rank with SST in the physics forum?

That is, if DIT is almost as good as SST. :biggrin:
 
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  • #4
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SOS2008 said:
http://www.au.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7497&news_iv_ctrl=1241&abbr=pr

The previous thread on this topic is not longer available, so here's an update on Dubya and further suppression of science and proper methodology of theories our children may be exposed to.
Yeah, I was complaining about this article earlier today on another board.

Blech.

I teach college level introductory Microbiology. We administered a questionnaire last fall to assess views on evolution and creation and so on among the student population. Although there isn't much call for creationism among the college micro students (thank God they absorbed a bit about the scientific method earlier in their education) , some of the responses were still disturbing.

Bruce Alberts, president of the NAS, sends letters to science educators through which we can keep abreast of education issues on this matter. I learned through those letters that in Kansas, it isn't just evolution that is in the fundamentalists sights, but plate tectonics and the Big Bang as well. So physicists and earth science educators: They'll be knocking on your doors next! No doubt they'll have reason to question teaching on health (unclean women), paleontology (the whole dinosaur thing has *got* to go), chemistry (turning people into pillars of salt for example), etc etc....

Hell, let's just throw out all scientific disciplines and teach Genesis, instead! We'd save a bundle on textbook costs.

The sad thing is, a devout fundamentalist would probably think this course would be a good idea. And that's precisely why it's wrong. Because they have no clue what science is as a system of study. It isn't a book of answers. It is a method of asking questions. God. :rolleyes:
 
  • #5
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During a White House interview with a group of reporters yesterday, Bush was asked whether “intelligent design,” the latest version of “creationism,” should be taught in public school science courses.
Err... I don't know about you guys but I see ID as something completely different from creationism. It isn't a literal "world created in seven days" kind of thing.


Why do fundamentalist make such a big deal about this? People who fight this stuff are weak in faith. I'm not afraid of hearing new ideas because I back up my faith with facts and I'm intelligent enough to make up my own mind about what I want and don't want to believe. I know what I believe is right because I can support it. As where these people want shut themselves off from everything in fear of being contradicted making them weak in their faith.

As long as public teachers aren't directly saying something like "well, this scripture is obviously wrong because [insert-scientific-theory] says [insert-event] is impossible" then I'm not offended about being taught different scientific ideas.

You never hear these people complaining about "World Religion Classes" which educate students about other religions and what they believe. By their logic, hearing about how Hindus believe the world was created is wrong because it contradicts their faith. But they don't complain about it.
 
  • #6
Entropy said:
Err... I don't know about you guys but I see ID as something completely different from creationism. It isn't a literal "world created in seven days" kind of thing.
Actually, there IS a whole field of pseudo-geologists who claim that the world is indeed only as old as the Bible says it is.

http://www.creator-creation.com/earth.htm [Broken]

Have a look at some of the sites .
 
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  • #7
Informal Logic
Entropy said:
...I'm not offended about being taught different scientific ideas.
VERSUS
Entropy said:
You never hear these people complaining about "World Religion Classes" which educate students about other religions and what they believe. By their logic, hearing about how Hindus believe the world was created is wrong because it contradicts their faith. But they don't complain about it.
There is a difference between teaching ID in a science class versus teaching it (or creationism) in a theology class. Unless there is a different definition of 'scientific' I am not aware of...?
 
  • #8
loseyourname
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The Smoking Man said:
Actually, there IS a whole field of pseudo-geologists who claim that the world is indeed only as old as the Bible says it is.

http://www.creator-creation.com/earth.htm [Broken]

Have a look at some of the sites .
They aren't ID advocates. Those are Young-Earth Creationists. IDers believe in evolution, but say the process must have been started by divine intervention due to what they call 'irreducible complexity' in certain biological systems.

Bush has probably never looked at either school of thought and has no idea what he's talking about.
 
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  • #9
Gokul43201
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Entropy said:
Err... I don't know about you guys but I see ID as something completely different from creationism. It isn't a literal "world created in seven days" kind of thing.
...

As long as public teachers aren't directly saying something like "well, this scripture is obviously wrong because [insert-scientific-theory] says [insert-event] is impossible" then I'm not offended about being taught different scientific ideas.
Listen carefully : ID is NOT science, because IT HAS NOT GONE THROUGH THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS.

Something has to satisfy the definition of SCIENCE, to be taught to students in a SCIENCE class. Show that ID satisfies objectivity, falsifiability, and predictive ability for starters. If you can't do even that, keep it the heck out of SCIENCE classes because IT ISN'T.

<sorry for the outrage, I think this will be the last time>
 
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  • #10
Loseyourname is right. Intelligent Design and Creationism are very differant. Intelligent design I think has even been around longer. Creationists try to prove that the Bible is true through science, and do a pitiable job at it too. Fundamentalists just use ID as a sort of compromise figuring that more people will be ok with it than the specifically christian creationist theories.
To their credit some of the real ID scientists are not promoting a "divine intervention" theory but possible "law like processes" that may have shaped evolution or more especially life orgins.

---edit---
Ofcourse I don't think that it should replace evolution, especially since a key aspect of it is evolution. And if it does find it's way in to text books it should only be an aside in referance to the debate on life origins and the manner in which evolution occurs. There are several schools of thought on this as far as I understand and I don't see what it would hurt to mention them among the others.
 
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  • #11
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It seems a bit silly to argue if creationism and ID are different, when the issue is whether the idea of a supreme being belongs in science education.

As Scientific American pointed ou in April, the two are distinct:

Moreover, we shamefully mistreated the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists by lumping them in with creationists. Creationists believe that God designed all life, and that’s a somewhat religious idea. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That’s what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn’t get bogged down in details.
and yet they aren't. I recommend reading the April Fools SciAm letter linked below.

http://www.gnn.tv/headlines/1842/Scientific_American_apologizes_for_not_being_balanced
 
  • #12
loseyourname
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pattylou said:
It seems a bit silly to argue if creationism and ID are different, when the issue is whether the idea of a supreme being belongs in science education.
What seems silly to me is that anyone would think ID should be taught in schools as anything other than a cautionary tale of how not to conduct a scientific inquiry. I highly doubt that Bush has ever looked at someone like Michael Behe's research or that he would even know what he was reading if he did.
 
  • #13
Astronuc
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That’s what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn’t get bogged down in details.
Or perhaps, ID doesn't get bogged down in reality. :biggrin:

There is a difference between teaching ID in a science class versus teaching it (or creationism) in a theology class. Unless there is a different definition of 'scientific' I am not aware of...?
That is the key issue.

I think it disingeous of Bush to suggert ID should be taught so that students understand the debate. ID is not on equal footing with science.

I do think comparative religion is worthwhile.
 
  • #14
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I wonder though if it might help to clarify things for a lot of kids who are getting mixed information. By discussing creationism and intelligent design to or to "expose people to different schools of thought " and questioning whether they can be falsified or whatever...then wouldn't it help kids to be able to differentiate between what is supportable and what is not?
Brought up properly and disected correctly, I think it would really help kids develop better critical thinking skills. *shrug*
 
  • #15
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kat said:
I wonder though if it might help to clarify things for a lot of kids who are getting mixed information. By discussing creationism and intelligent design to or to "expose people to different schools of thought " and questioning whether they can be falsified or whatever...then wouldn't it help kids to be able to differentiate between what is supportable and what is not?
Brought up properly and disected correctly, I think it would really help kids develop better critical thinking skills. *shrug*
Just don't commit the crime of calling it Science.
 
  • #16
loseyourname
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kat said:
I wonder though if it might help to clarify things for a lot of kids who are getting mixed information. By discussing creationism and intelligent design to or to "expose people to different schools of thought " and questioning whether they can be falsified or whatever...then wouldn't it help kids to be able to differentiate between what is supportable and what is not?
Brought up properly and disected correctly, I think it would really help kids develop better critical thinking skills. *shrug*
I wouldn't mind seeing this taught in a college course for bio majors. It's really pretty advanced for high school, though. If you teach the specifics of irreducible complexity and then get into the evidence against it, you're dealing with topics in biochemistry that are beyond what the average high schooler will understand. On the other hand, if you just discuss the politics of it, or perhaps why it is considered pseudoscience in the context of the philosophy of science, although not as technical, those are still college-level topics that don't get touched on in any other high school courses. The only place I could really see it being appropriate is in a current events course. Perhaps they could briefly explain the history of the debate and what is currently going on without getting into any of the more intricate aspects of the dispute.
 
  • #17
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kat said:
Brought up properly and disected correctly, I think it would really help kids develop better critical thinking skills.
In my experience, religious teachings, particularly those of funadmentalists, generally discourage "critical thinking" in favor of acceptance or 'belief'.
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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pattylou said:
As Scientific American pointed ou in April, the two are distinct:
Its a bit misleading quoting an April Fool's joke - I did a double-take, anyway, when I read it...
loseyourname said:
Bush has probably never looked at either school of thought and has no idea what he's talking about.
That would be my guess as well. But he hears the word "theory", thinks that makes it scientific, knows it is connected to religion, and thus likes it.
TheStatutoryApe said:
Intelligent Design and Creationism are very differant. Intelligent design I think has even been around longer.

Ofcourse I don't think that it should replace evolution, especially since a key aspect of it is evolution.
I wouldn't go that far. ID may not be Young Earth Creationism, but its still creationism. ID seems to me to be a creationist ploy - a way to dress-up creationism to make it sound scientific so it can be injected into schools or to fool people who aren't paying attention (Bush) into thinking they can have it both ways (in fact, you can have it both ways, but I'll save that one for later...).

I read the book on ID ("Darwin's Black Box") and it is well-written, but it isn't science, no matter how much the author wants to claim it is. Its actually pretty bizarre - the author provides the counter-arguments for his claims, then summarily dismisses them. Ie, the eye cannot be reduced - but here are examples of partially formed eyes - but that doesn't mean the eye can be reduced. Er, come again? :uhh:
kat said:
I wonder though if it might help to clarify things for a lot of kids who are getting mixed information. By discussing creationism and intelligent design to or to "expose people to different schools of thought " and questioning whether they can be falsified or whatever...then wouldn't it help kids to be able to differentiate between what is supportable and what is not?
Brought up properly and disected correctly, I think it would really help kids develop better critical thinking skills. *shrug*
If I were a science teacher who'se job it was to teach the scientific method, I'd do precisely that. The problem is that kids learn the scientific method in 8th or 9th grade physical science, then never touch it again. Spending a day in the beginning of every science class going back over the scientific method would be a good idea - and then spending a day discussing why ID is not a counter-theory to evolution would be worth the day just to help kill this issue.
 
  • #19
Gokul43201
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This is a little old (Jan 2005), but pertinent nevertheless :

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/103/31.0.html

For the first time ever, public high school administrators addressed students specifically about Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution. The Dover, Pennsylvania, school district mandated that students be taught that evolution is a theory, "not a fact."
...
All but one of the district's science teachers refused to read the required statement that said evolution is only a theory.
...
So today, administrators read the statement while teachers and a handful of students decided to opt out.

The statement says:

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin's Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.

With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.
How can anyone that knows anything about science approve a statement like that ? It's pretty obvious what kind of building that statement got written in.
 
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  • #20
Skyhunter
During a White House interview with a group of reporters yesterday, Bush was asked whether “intelligent design,” the latest version of “creationism,” should be taught in public school science courses.

Bush told the reporters that he favors teaching intelligent design “so people can understand what the debate is about.”

“I think part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” Bush said. “You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.”
I just love the way he tells them what their question was. Maybe he is not as dumb as he sounds. More likely Rove has already coached him how to re-frame the question so that it is about exposing people to different ideas. That way he panders to his fundamentalist base while sounding tolerant and accepting to the more reasonable people who still support him.

Wouldn't it be nice if he exposed himself to different ideas?

On second thought he doesn't seem to have the mental capacity to wrap his brain around complex issues and ideas.
 
  • #21
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
They aren't ID advocates. Those are Young-Earth Creationists. IDers believe in evolution, but say the process must have been started by divine intervention due to what they call 'irreducible complexity' in certain biological systems.

Bush has probably never looked at either school of thought and has no idea what he's talking about.
I agree with you once again. He is probably not familiar with either.

The Cheyenne had a word for any number over 100, it translated roughly as to many to count. To me this is the same as attributing 'irreducible complexity' to the divine.

I personally believe that intelligence is an integral part of existence, since I have a small amount of intelligence myself and can see evidence of intelligence all around me. However saying something is to complex to understand is intellectual laziness.
 
  • #22
Informal Logic
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8806938/

Bush remarks on 'intelligent design' fuel debate
Many scientists say view of creation is thinly-veiled religious thinking
Washington Post - Aug. 3, 2005

..."It is, of course, further indication that a fundamentalist right has really taken over much of the Republican Party," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a leading liberal lawmaker. Noting Bush's Ivy League education, Frank said, "People might cite George Bush as proof that you can be totally impervious to the effects of Harvard and Yale education."

Bush's comments were "irresponsible," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He said the president, by suggesting that students hear two viewpoints, "doesn't understand that one is a religious viewpoint and one is a scientific viewpoint." Lynn said Bush showed a "low level of understanding of science," adding that he worries that Bush's comments could be followed by a directive to the Justice Department to support legal efforts to change curricula.
This article expressed one of my very thoughts. How is it that educated people can be "impervious" to the scientific method? Probably in part because Bush was a mediocre student who majored in History.

In the meantime, I have to think many Republicans must be getting tired of the fundamentalist right taking over the party, and I find it hard to understand how so many people can continue to support Bush when his behavior continues to be outrageous.
 
  • #23
russ_watters
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Skyhunter said:
I just love the way he tells them what their question was. Maybe he is not as dumb as he sounds. More likely Rove has already coached him how to re-frame the question so that it is about exposing people to different ideas. That way he panders to his fundamentalist base while sounding tolerant and accepting to the more reasonable people who still support him.
Politics 101: if you get asked a question you don't like, rephrase it into one you do. I did notice that he beat around the....well... bush with his answers.
Informal Logic said:
This article expressed one of my very thoughts. How is it that educated people can be "impervious" to the scientific method? Probably in part because Bush was a mediocre student who majored in History.
Its more about being a history major than being a mediocre student. I had an esteemed colleague (a poly sci major, iirc) with quite a high gpa at the Naval Academy, who asked 'but if ships are made of metal, how can they float?' in one of our required "naval science" courses.

Only one of my close friends is a scientist/engineer (though one is a pseudo-marine biologist) - the rest, for the most part, just plain have no baseline knowledge of science and don't know anything about it. If the last time someone heard the definition of the word "theory" was in 8th grade physical science class, you cannot expect them to be able to distinguish between "The Theory of Evolution" and "Intelligent Design Theory".

Schools (government) are dropping the ball by not requiring more basic science courses.
 
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  • #24
vanesch
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russ_watters said:
Politics 101: if you get asked a question you don't like, rephrase it into one you do. I did notice that he beat around the....well... bush with his answers.
This is right. I have to say I don't like Bush for several reasons, but this answer of him is not one of them ; I'd say hat off: at the same time he doesn't sound like a creationist but as someone who stimulates intelligent debate, and doesn't shock his creationist electorate.

If the last time someone heard the definition of the word "theory" was in 8th grade physical science class, you cannot expect them to be able to distinguish between "The Theory of Evolution" and "Intelligent Design Theory".

Schools (government) are dropping the ball by not requiring more basic science courses.
I think that's right. In fact, for a general audience, it is counter productive to poohpooh astrology or creationism or homeopathy or so on the grounds that it is not scientific: this is simply perceived by the people as being "a narrow minded scientist". So in a way, Bush is right that the debate should be open. Not so much between ID and evolution, but between scientific approaches of statements and others.
I think it is much more productive to try to explain what it means to make falsifiable statements, and then try, from different view points, to deduce falsifiable statements. It is a bigger lesson in true science, than telling you that if you were to feed rabbits with meat, they would grow smaller intestinal tubes (as a natural science teacher told my wife when she was in high school)!
 
  • #25
loseyourname
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vanesch said:
I think that's right. In fact, for a general audience, it is counter productive to poohpooh astrology or creationism or homeopathy or so on the grounds that it is not scientific: this is simply perceived by the people as being "a narrow minded scientist". So in a way, Bush is right that the debate should be open. Not so much between ID and evolution, but between scientific approaches of statements and others.
I think it is much more productive to try to explain what it means to make falsifiable statements, and then try, from different view points, to deduce falsifiable statements. It is a bigger lesson in true science, than telling you that if you were to feed rabbits with meat, they would grow smaller intestinal tubes (as a natural science teacher told my wife when she was in high school)!
That's a very good point. The baseline level courses, even GEs in college, teach you the mundane details of the currently accepted theories, with some historical context given by the teaching of older theories and how they developed into the newer ones. No time is spent, however, on the philosophical underpinnings of the methodology and on what makes science science. I remember we did discuss this briefly in the General Bio for majors course I took two years ago - for all of half a day.

I have to admit, though, I am sympathetic to the instructors and to those who design the courses. Being a science student - especially a biology student - requires that you memorize endless facts. It's similar to being a history student. There is simply so much to learn that the first couple years are only going to teach you the actual facts of history as they are construed today. They probably don't get into teaching you how to actually be a historian or how historical inquiry is conducted until grad school.
 

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