Bush Endorsement Of 'Intelligent Design' In Public Schools

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loseyourname said:
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.
Thank you LYN!

Although the goal is critical thought, there is simply an overwhelming amount of necessary material in any science course I have ever seen laid out.

What would Bush (or any ID proponent) like to see shortchanged from any of these courses, so the ID could be taught?

Russ: Sorry for the confusion. Sometimes I post hastily. I trust you followed the link and got everything straightened out? I also had assumed that the Scientific American letter had been discussed here, in April, before I joined. I now assume that it wasn't.
 
  • #27
SOS2008
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russ_watters said:
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.
Good points. On the matter of your colleague, however, I don't know that I see his/her question as lacking in knowledge of the scientific method. But if it was, shame on him/her because PoliSci majors should know about the scientific method.

From last night on MSNBC's Hardball (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8811813/):

MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

A course based on the Bible, which is used in 37 states, is the latest front in the culture wars. In April of this year, the school board in Odessa, Texas, voted to add the elective high school Bible as literature course to its curriculum. Supporters say it's valuable as a literature class. Opponents say it teaches a narrow brand of Christianity and gets historic facts wrong. So, is it teaching fact or fiction—rather, fact or faith?
My question is why is the Bible being taught in a public school as a literature course at all? Many religions have institutions near schools that kids can 'elect' to attend, but not on school property. You know, in accordance with separation of church and state.
 
  • #28
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I took a bible course at Purdue university decades ago..... I wanted to learn about it as a work of literature. I don't know if they had courses on other sacred texts or not - I would have picked the bible course as it would have been easiest for me.

I don't know how I feel about teaching the Bible as literature, it seems different than teaching it as science, obviously!
 
  • #29
SOS2008 said:
My question is why is the Bible being taught in a public school as a literature course at all? Many religions have institutions near schools that kids can 'elect' to attend, but not on school property. You know, in accordance with separation of church and state.
I see nothing wrong with the teaching of the Bible's content in this way.

What I do see as the question is ... Is this a trojan horse to get the book back on campus and are the classes not teaching it as literature but as fact?

I have read most major philosophical works in translation without a 'guide' telling me what is "right and wrong" and have managaed to discover most of the inherent and 'common truths'.

Often, it is not the book that is in question but the 'authority' who stands before you WITH the book.
 
  • #30
russ_watters
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SOS2008 said:
My question is why is the Bible being taught in a public school as a literature course at all?
I read parts of the bible as literature in different courses in both public and private (non-christian) school. Seeing as how it's the most popular book of all time, how can you not teach it as literature?
Good points. On the matter of your colleague, however, I don't know that I see his/her question as lacking in knowledge of the scientific method. But if it was, shame on him/her because PoliSci majors should know about the scientific method.
No, that has nothing to do with the scientific method, but buoyancy is one of the more basic scientific concepts. It is one that I'd expect a 3 year old to understand, shortly after learning the difference between "blue" and "red". So the point was the lack of basic scientific knowledge/way of thinking.
 
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  • #31
russ_watters said:
I read parts of the bible as literature in different courses in both public and private (non-christian) school. Seeing as how it's the most popular book of all time, how can you not teach it as literature? No, that has nothing to do with the scientific method, but buoyancy is one of the more basic scientific concepts. It is one that I'd expect a 3 year old to understand, shortly after learning the difference between "blue" and "red". So the point was the lack of basic scientific knowledge/way of thinking.
It used to be he common book that was used to teach children to read and expose them to liturature since it was the most commonly available book to use. Since there are planty of books on hand now I don't really see the point in keeping it on, at least not anywhere that it will upset people.
 
  • #32
russ_watters said:
I read parts of the bible as literature in different courses in both public and private (non-christian) school. Seeing as how it's the most popular book of all time, how can you not teach it as literature?
Most popular? Maybe in an infamous sort of way. Most overhyped? Most often declared manditory reading? Most misinterpreted? Most abused? Most often forced on conquored nations?
 
  • #33
loseyourname
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The Smoking Man said:
Most popular? Maybe in an infamous sort of way. Most overhyped? Most often declared manditory reading? Most misinterpreted? Most abused? Most often forced on conquored nations?
He probably meant that it was the most read book worldwide in the last century. At least, I'm pretty sure I remember seeing that claim somewhere. I can't remember where at this point. Lord of the Rings was number two. I'm pretty sure no high school teaches that as literature, although it is popular in college level 'hero-literature' courses, my first exposure to it.

Anyway, I do think that knowledge of the bible as literature is critical to understanding the origins of many customs and traditions in western civilization. One thing that courses like this should strive to teach - at least I think they should - is that many particular pieces of Christian and especially Catholic doctrine have little to no scriptural basis.
 
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  • #34
vanesch
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pattylou said:
What would Bush (or any ID proponent) like to see shortchanged from any of these courses, so the ID could be taught?
The part of the program "on the intestinal tube length of rabbits eating meat" :tongue2:

The time spend on ID or whatever doesn't have to be very long: say, 2 hours or so. Hey, I recently bought a book on evolutionary biology, and it even has a (short) chapter on ID, Creationism and so on. I think it is time well spend. Happily, physicists don't have to spend time in their high school courses explaining Flat Earth theory yet, or the Ptolomean planetary system, but that is because the kids are not exposed at home to these ideas, so no need to debunk them. However, you cannot deny that kids HAVE been exposed to creationist ideas, so I think it is time well spend to talk a bit about them. Not too much of course, but a bit.
The reason is the following: if kids who were previously exposed to creationism somehow didn't see the difference between the two approaches, ALL THE REST you're going to tell them about evolution will be lost on them if they were not introduced to a critical reflection on creationism.
Now, if by "intelligent design" it is simply meant that god set out the laws of nature in such a way that evolution would take place the way it did, then you can easily show that this is a totally unfalsifiable statement - in which case you can, or cannot, adhere to it, from the scientific point it is meaningless. That doesn't mean that it is wrong, and if the person at hand feels emotionally better by adhering to it, you can say that science doesn't forbid him to do so, only that it is not part of its subject matter.
(after all, this was pope John-Paul II's point of view on the matter, if I'm not mistaking)
If the claim is that the earth was created 5000 years ago, I think it is not difficult to deduce quite some falsifiable statements from that proposition! And I really think that the time is well spend (if it doesn't take up a quarter of the course of course, but just an afternoon).
 
  • #35
russ_watters
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The Smoking Man said:
Most popular? Maybe in an infamous sort of way. Most overhyped? Most often declared manditory reading? Most misinterpreted? Most abused? Most often forced on conquored nations?
Most popular simply based on how many copies are sold/read. They don't list it on the NYT best seller's list because it would never leave.
 
  • #36
SOS2008
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TheStatutoryApe said:
It used to be he common book that was used to teach children to read and expose them to liturature since it was the most commonly available book to use. Since there are planty of books on hand now I don't really see the point in keeping it on, at least not anywhere that it will upset people.
And for other reasons... I don't feel the Bible should be taught as literature in literature classes because it goes against the Endorsement Test for separation of church and state (per a previous post of mine):
The Endorsement Test, which emphasizes government neutrality is summarized by Justice Sandra Day O'Conner: "Endorsement sends a message to non-adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community," Justice O'Connor continued that likewise "Disapproval sends the opposite message."
Any teaching of the Bible, or any other holy book should remain in theology. Not only because theology is the study of religion, and therefore a proper course title and context, more importantly one studies all religions--No one religion is being "endorsed" by the state.

As for ID, within Christianity there are so many beliefs, whether God literally made man from dust, or did so via evolution. But all variations involve a universe that exists by intelligent design, which can't be proven by scientific method (nor agreed upon within Christianity!).

IMO all these efforts are clearly a power struggle by fundamentalist radicals to take control by forcing their beliefs on others, and formally pronounce the U.S. as a Christian nation.
 
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  • #37
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SOS2008 said:
And for other reasons... I don't feel the Bible should be taught as literature in literature classes because it goes against the Endorsement Test for separation of church and state (per a previous post of mine):
Any teaching of the Bible, or any other holy book should remain in theology. Not only because theology is the study of religion, and therefore a proper course title and context, more importantly one studies all religions--No one religion is being "endorsed" by the state.
That eliminates Old World Literature as a possible course. If you're looking to study the earliest examples of written literature, religious books from one religion or another are the only examples you're likely to find.

In fact, if you're looking for insight into how people of any early civilization saw themselves, you're pretty much restricted to religious works. The legends of a civilization are almost as important as the history - one shows what they did while the other gives insight into why they did it.

Of course, you could never do a course like that justice in public high schools. If you treat someone's religion as a legend that gives insight into his early ancestors way of looking at the world, their family tends to go a little ballistic. What filters through is a very watered down product unlikely to offend the families of whatever religion the work happens to be about - often times even at the college level.

As to the Hardball interview, I would think there's a strong likelihood Kathy Miller was right, since it has to be pretty hard to present an objective literature course on the Bible in a county where Evangelical Protestant is the most popular religion - unfortunately for her, she didn't seem to do any preparation for the show and appeared pretty lame.
 
  • #38
reilly
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Signs of hope: a few weeks ago, prior to W's pronouncement, George Will said on ABC Sunday am TV, "Intelligent design is not a scientific theory. It cannot be disproved.'


In the interest of scientific fairness, I recently visited the website of Seattle's Discovery Institute, a major intellectual center for Intelligent design(ID) I know quite a few thoughtful, highly educated and sophisticated people who kind-of buy the "fair-is-fair' game played by the ID folks. So I wanted ammunition, and boy did I find it. There's lies, and damn lies, and ID propaganda -- it's so bad, that ... sputter, sputter. These are highly dishonest people who are after power.

Sad to say, they are masters of PR and politics so far: for example, "Well, evolution is just a theory." People who don't know much about science will say, 'Yeah/ Geez, i never thought of that,... The use of "just" is brilliant. But the logic of the details of ID are tortured, patently absurd at times, and at best , badly written. No redeeming features that i could find. They can be defeated by their own words. Check it out (Discovery institute) for a not-so-good laugh.
Regards,
Reilly Atkinson
 
  • #39
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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.
Listen carefully : ID is NOT science, because IT HAS NOT GONE THROUGH THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS.
I wasn't implying it has, I wasn't even implying that it should be taught in schools, I just thought creationism and ID were two different things. ID being you believed in evolution and what not, but still believed God created the universe in a way that it would unfold specifical into what it is today. But I was mistaken. Sorry.

world is indeed only as old as the Bible says it is.
The Bible gives no evidence too how old the world is. The Hebrew word for day as was originally used in Genesis doesn't always mean a 'day' as in a 24 hour passage of time but can also mean an abstract interval of time.
 
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  • #40
This is what the National Academy of Science has to say on their site: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309064066/html/25.html
National Academy of Science said:
Despite ID sometimes being called Intelligent Design Theory, the National Academy of Sciences has said, intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because their claims cannot be tested by experiment and propose no new hypotheses of their own, instead they find gaps within current evolutionary theory and fill them in with speculative beliefs. The scientific community does not recognise ID as a scientific theory and considers it to be creationist pseudoscience. Both the Intelligent Design concept and the associated movement have come under considerable criticism.
 
  • #41
russ_watters
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SOS2008 said:
And for other reasons... I don't feel the Bible should be taught as literature in literature classes because it goes against the Endorsement Test for separation of church and state (per a previous post of mine).
Have there been any court cases on this? It looks to me like you have it backwards: by teaching it in a literature course, you aren't saying anything at all about the validity of the beliefs and therefore you couldn't possibly be endorsing them.
 
  • #42
russ_watters said:
Have there been any court cases on this? It looks to me like you have it backwards: by teaching it in a literature course, you aren't saying anything at all about the validity of the beliefs and therefore you couldn't possibly be endorsing them.
Actually, 'Literature' invites criticism because of the possibility of fiction.

'Science' implies fact with a small chance of error however the 'error' in this case can never be tested without disproving the existence of 'god' (something they merely inserted in the theory of evolution to produce THIS theory).

It's an insipid lie they are concocting where they have infiltrated the 'non-christian' theory of evolution with an act of faith and then challenge the scientific community to disprove the 'faith' that god exists thus destroying the theory of evolution.
 
  • #43
SOS2008
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BobG said:
That eliminates Old World Literature as a possible course. If you're looking to study the earliest examples of written literature, religious books from one religion or another are the only examples you're likely to find.

In fact, if you're looking for insight into how people of any early civilization saw themselves, you're pretty much restricted to religious works. The legends of a civilization are almost as important as the history - one shows what they did while the other gives insight into why they did it.

Of course, you could never do a course like that justice in public high schools. If you treat someone's religion as a legend that gives insight into his early ancestors way of looking at the world, their family tends to go a little ballistic. What filters through is a very watered down product unlikely to offend the families of whatever religion the work happens to be about - often times even at the college level.

As to the Hardball interview, I would think there's a strong likelihood Kathy Miller was right, since it has to be pretty hard to present an objective literature course on the Bible in a county where Evangelical Protestant is the most popular religion - unfortunately for her, she didn't seem to do any preparation for the show and appeared pretty lame.
Yes, it was the interview on Hardball and article: "Texas public school bringing Bible to classroom" http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7656551/ that prompted my question and comments...

I see a difference between mentioning the Bible as one of the most read books versus making it assigned reading and then discussing interpretation of it as is done with literature in such classes. The point Ms. Miller was trying to make is the slippery slope of differing interpretations of the Bible within Christianity. My point was that if the Bible is the only holy book reviewed in a literature class than it would go against the Endorsement Test, and if all holy books are reviewed/compared than it would become a theology class (to answer Russ's post as well).

Ultimately it is the never-ending effort of fundamentalists to force their beliefs on others. The place for studying the Bible is in church, or one's home, or if they like they can even preach about it in a public square, but not in government institutions supported by tax dollars.
 
  • #44
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selfAdjoint said:
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.
What does claiming the difference between evolution and ID is a matter of opinion imply a misunderstanding what the two are?

ID is even less predictive than superstring theory...
Any explanation that appeals to a supernatural element will always remain at least one step behind in predictive power.

while evolution ihas successful predictions to its credit - including the missing link!
How is it you mouth off about what the President doesn't know when you numbly claim evolution predicts missing links?

Rev Prez
 
  • #45
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Entropy said:
Why do fundamentalist make such a big deal about this?
Probably for the same reason you do. It's fun and interesting.

Rev Prez
 
  • #46
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Informal Logic said:
VERSUSThere is a difference between teaching ID in a science class...
I read endless variations of this "not in science class" bull, as if teaching it in any non-mythical context in a public setting would prove acceptable to you. If on the off chance philosophy of science ever made its way back to grade school, wouldn't be odd not to discuss alternatives to naturalism? Or would you only accept that if naturalism was presented as the prevailing view of reality?

Rev Prez
 
  • #47
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pattylou said:
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.
Care to break it down for us?

Bruce Alberts, president of the NAS, sends letters to science educators through which we can keep abreast of education issues on this matter.
Bruce Alberts is also president of an organization that polled as one the most atheist institutions in the country. The tone with which you lay out his concerns reflects a singular adoption of his views.

I learned through those letters...
As opposed to the great many other sources available to a resourceful educator like yourself? Maybe a major newspaper? Journal articles in Science and Nature, educational trades and whatnot? You know there's a lot more out there besides Albert and Answers in Genesis.

...that in Kansas, it isn't just evolution that is in the fundamentalists sights, but plate tectonics and the Big Bang as well.
I don't think it's any secret or new fact that young Earth creationism has a number of problems with modern planetary science and cosmology.

So physicists and earth science educators: They'll be knocking on your doors next!
How much of your curriculum is actually focused on evolutionary microbiology? Be honest now. And cite copiously. And before you snow me with all that "evolution is the means to piecing it all together" nonsense, remember I didn't ask that. I want to know how frequently evolution pops up in the text in any given section. Do you dive into it in depth while teaching transcription and transportation? Do you need to divert large amounts of time to selection while going over the Kreb cycle? At what point do you pile on problem sets challenging students to recover the immunology of long dead hominids?

And who exactly is knocking on your door?

I'm sure high school physics and earth science will survive Creationism as they always have. You teach a mundane subject to kids trying to get a kickstart on college. We don't need the dramatics.

Rev Prez
 
  • #48
SOS2008
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Despite the findings in the autopsy of Terri Schiavo that proved conclusively she was brain dead, and the case being dropped against her husband because it lacked any grounds...the people who STILL support such government intervention are the same people who argue in favor of ID being taught in public (government tax-funded) schools and other encroachments against separation of church and state. These people are so radical in their fundamentalism that it borders on cultism (drinking the Kool Aid), and sadly we can see it even here in a forum devoted to science, facts, and higher learning.
 
  • #49
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Rev Prez said:
Care to break it down for us?



Bruce Alberts is also president of an organization that polled as one the most atheist institutions in the country. The tone with which you lay out his concerns reflects a singular adoption of his views.



As opposed to the great many other sources available to a resourceful educator like yourself? Maybe a major newspaper? Journal articles in Science and Nature, educational trades and whatnot? You know there's a lot more out there besides Albert and Answers in Genesis.



I don't think it's any secret or new fact that young Earth creationism has a number of problems with modern planetary science and cosmology.



How much of your curriculum is actually focused on evolutionary microbiology? Be honest now. And cite copiously. And before you snow me with all that "evolution is the means to piecing it all together" nonsense, remember I didn't ask that. I want to know how frequently evolution pops up in the text in any given section. Do you dive into it in depth while teaching transcription and transportation? Do you need to divert large amounts of time to selection while going over the Kreb cycle? At what point do you pile on problem sets challenging students to recover the immunology of long dead hominids?

And who exactly is knocking on your door?

I'm sure high school physics and earth science will survive Creationism as they always have. You teach a mundane subject to kids trying to get a kickstart on college. We don't need the dramatics.

Rev Prez
I haven't been following this thread, but I see you directed a lot towards me. You are rather offensive, and have been from the get-go. Are you sure you're a reverend? You rather put me off religion.

But no mind.

Some of your basic errors are:

Transcription and *translation* not transportation

I teach at the college level, to pre-nursing students, not high school. Which aspect of infection and contagious diseases would you like me to drop from your nurses, or your children's nurses, education?

How did atheism get dragged into this?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As far as how often evolution comes up ---- I teach 17 lectures, one per week through the semester. In a very small nutshell:

One week we talk about the major kingdoms in the five kingdom system (phylogeny) describing characteristic features. This ties into evolution, directly.

One week we talk about antibiotics, and the rise of antibiotic resistant organisms. This ties into evolution, directly.

One week we talk about biotechnology, which relies heavily on organisms that are adapted to extreme environments such as hot springs (Taq polymerase, don't bother looking it up there are tons more.) This ties into evolution.

One week we talk about cellular structures, including intracellular organelles. This ties directly into evolution.

One week we talk about pathogenic viruses which mutate rapidly, such as HIV. We talk about the various methods with which these viruses have learned to survive. This ties into evolution.

One week we talk about bacterial classification, such as phage typing. This ties into evolution.

Off the top of my head, that's six times or roughly 35%. I suppose since the creationists like to drag Pasteur's work into the abiogenesis research (to argue that life had to be divinely started), we could throw in that week's lecture too (Pasteur's contributions and other figures through history.). 7 out of 17.

~~~~~~

Now Rev, I really don't see a fruitful discussion emerging out of this. If you'd like to focus your question to a single point (Instead of a tirade of ridiculous quasi-issues - The NAS an atheist group indeed! My god. Get over yourself. Even Jesus knew the world wasn't black and white.) and start a thread on that focused point, and if you'd like my input, then by all means proceed. But the above post you directed at me is simply childish, unsubstantiated, trolling and invective. Shame on you.

I'll say a prayer for you tonight.
 
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  • #50
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Rev Prez said:
Care to break it down for us?



Bruce Alberts is also president of an organization that polled as one the most atheist institutions in the country. The tone with which you lay out his concerns reflects a singular adoption of his views.



As opposed to the great many other sources available to a resourceful educator like yourself? Maybe a major newspaper? Journal articles in Science and Nature, educational trades and whatnot? You know there's a lot more out there besides Albert and Answers in Genesis.



I don't think it's any secret or new fact that young Earth creationism has a number of problems with modern planetary science and cosmology.



How much of your curriculum is actually focused on evolutionary microbiology? Be honest now. And cite copiously. And before you snow me with all that "evolution is the means to piecing it all together" nonsense, remember I didn't ask that. I want to know how frequently evolution pops up in the text in any given section. Do you dive into it in depth while teaching transcription and transportation? Do you need to divert large amounts of time to selection while going over the Kreb cycle? At what point do you pile on problem sets challenging students to recover the immunology of long dead hominids?

And who exactly is knocking on your door?

I'm sure high school physics and earth science will survive Creationism as they always have. You teach a mundane subject to kids trying to get a kickstart on college. We don't need the dramatics.

Rev Prez
The Krebs cycle is an excellent example of molecular evolution. And yes, we do include this during the week that we teach the krebs cycle, as the evolutionarily earlier form of the pathway is also required learning, and as fermentation is evolutionarily earlier yet, and derives fewer ATP's. So, 8 lectures out of 17.

And thank you for verifying that you have designs on more than the biological sciences.
 

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