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Courts rule Divine Creation is Science

  1. May 6, 2005 #1
    CNN Story


    Intelligent Design is a neat little trick developed by creationists that uses the scientific method to present a possible theory that implies a creator.
    Last edited: May 7, 2005
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  3. May 6, 2005 #2


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    The link isn't working. Scare the hell out of us --- "courtroom style debate" isn't an actual ruling --- "thank god."
  4. May 7, 2005 #3
    My apologies for not posting the full article, I was just trying to save a little space on this forum. The link is working fine now. Let me start off by saying:

    I think that anything schools can do to help our youth think more on their own should be strongly encouraged. With the abundance of information and mis-information on the Web these days, our kids need a viable strategy for wading through it and skimming off the facts.

    Now you can offend me. :smile:
  5. May 7, 2005 #4


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    Talk about lousy reporting --- starts off saying Harris (the "design" nut) organized the "hearing" --- later says Ks. St. Board of Ed. set it up. Deja vu all over again.

    Gotta wonder if schools actually performed whether it would cut down on this endless business of setting standards and performance guidelines.

    The hope being that if that door ain't open, the nutsos don't get their feet in it.
    Last edited: May 7, 2005
  6. May 7, 2005 #5
    I want to emphasize that science, and more importantly scientists, are not infallible. Science searches for better understanding of our universe. If creationism or intelligent design theory is presented as a scientific theory in our schools, it must be open to the same standards of proof and disproof, open to critical assessment, and subject to the same standards as all scientific theories. Otherwise, creationism and intelligent design should be presented as articles of faith and not a matter of science.
  7. May 7, 2005 #6


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    You did the right thing--I believe PF guidelines state you are not to post entire articles. :smile: Some more sources -- a link for the Washington Post (and unfortunately the New York Times link is for subscribers only).


    Though I would say it should be limited to only mentioning creationism as an alternative belief--but not a theory, and therefore that is all that is said. Like mythology, etc., if a student wants to take theology classes, they can with the clear understanding that the are studying religious beliefs. But likewise, I feel evolution should be an elective, so if parents don't want their child to take this class then they don't have to.
  8. May 7, 2005 #7
    Intelligent Design doesn't exclude evolution. From what I have read, ID (Intelligent Design) is more of an alternative to the Big Bang than anything else. Creationists probably hope that this will lead to teaching Creationism, but it opens the door for teaching string theory, among other potential things, as well.
  9. May 7, 2005 #8


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    The problem is that if a religion is going to serve its members, it has to keep up with the times and find a way to deal with new discoveries and knowledge. A lot of the people behind this have a backwards view of what religion is supposed to be. They're very fundamentalist and their attitude is that humans only exist to serve their church, not the other way around.

    If they're that committed to creationism, let them establish their own religious school for whoever they can convince to attend. You can't ignore every development that has occurred over the last 2000 years and expect public schools to cater to your beliefs.

    Likewise, it would be just as appropriate to drop the 'diversification training'. While there may be nothing wrong with this in principle, in practice, the issue has consumed so much attention that more and more communities are threatening the very existence of public shools with school voucher programs. I could even live with dropping the Christmas, er, I mean Holiday presentations, even though those were always so much fun.

    Schools should concentrate on the skills people need to do the jobs they're most likely to hold. They need to increase the emphasis on science and math and quit trying to push anyone's social agenda.

    Ehh, and maybe should put a little emphasis on spelling, too. :rofl:
  10. May 7, 2005 #9
    tell me guys, on thursday there was national day of prayer in USA right ? do you have to pray in class ? who came up with this stupidity ?
  11. May 7, 2005 #10
    I think this is the situation we already have, isn't it? High school biology class is an elective--you only have to take it if you want the science credit. I agree with you that not every parent would be comfortable with having their child study science, but for those that are, let's make sure the class meets the regular criteria for science I mentioned.
  12. May 7, 2005 #11

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    A recent concoction? Hardly. The Argument from Design goes at least as far back as Thomas Aquinas.

    That said, I don't believe biology classes are the appropriate venue for discussions of Intelligent Design. They do belong in philosophy and theology classes. IMO, discussions of the Design Argument are not about how the complex systems we observe now came about, but why they came about.
  13. May 7, 2005 #12


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    I don't see how "Intelligent Design" can be a scientific theory. Is it falsifiable?
  14. May 7, 2005 #13


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    Good catch. The AU folks can be biased as well.
    However, since the AU is one of the foremost groups that represent the "other side" of the story, here is another quote to this question:
    For an opposing view feel free to visit the site for the Task Force.
  15. May 7, 2005 #14
    Intelligent Design vs. Evolutionary Theory

    A preponderance of credible data argues strongly against the literal creationism theory or the theory that the world was created exactly as the Bible described. It is more difficult to evaluate a more allegorical interpretation of the creationism theory because such interpretations are variable and difficult to pin down in terms of details.

    The argument for intelligent design is largely based on the judgment that the world and life is too complex to have evolved randomly and must have been created by a intelligent being by design. In a sense, it is the logical counterpart to a "random" model and this is often used as an negative argument for intelligent design.

    This unfortunately gives the inaccurate impression that evolutionary theory proposes a random mechanism for change or that evolutionary theory claims to explain all of life. Evolutionary theory simply states that selective pressure explain many aspects of life, as we know it. Darwin proposed natural selection to explain certain phenomena, not all life.

    From a pedagogical point of view, we should value theories by how well they predict phenomena. For example, the arithmetic theory is valuable because they predict the outcome off addition, subtraction, and multiplication phenomena. Likewise, Newtonian physics is very useful for predicting certain classes of phenomena. Evolutionary theory predicts many biological phenomena.

    Last year, troubled by an informal poll that suggested a majority of students at Columbia thought that evolution is an "unproven" theory, I asked several students to give me three examples of how evolutionary theory affects the science that they are doing now. I was flabbergasted when none of the students can name even one example.

    One obvious example is the similarity of humans and non-human animals. If God indeed the similarity of gene sequences in humans and other animals, with differences that correlate with evolutionary distance from us? A second example is evolution of many life forms, such as bacteria and their responses to antibiotics, right before our eyes.

    Several students actually came up with a novel explanation. They said that God deliberately made evolution a part of life, in order to fool us humans. This corollary to the creationism or intelligent design theory would be difficult to prove or disprove. Both theories are not also not particularly parsimonious.

    If both creationism and intelligent design theory were included in science classes but only if they should discussed rigorously and critically. Such a discussion would actually very very good. I am afraid, however, that proponents of both theories might object to such critical discussion and evaluation, calling such discussion blasphemous.
    Last edited: May 7, 2005
  16. May 7, 2005 #15
    They can't justifiably allow Intelligent Design in schools. Teachers are supposed to present concepts logically, and, therefore, would have to question the existence of God. A teacher might recieve a question on God and be expected to answer. The problems with allowing Intelligent Design go beyond the flaw in the concept itself.

    I was frightened when I saw the title of this thread. Intelligent Design is an attempt by fundamentalists to spread their doctrine.
  17. May 8, 2005 #16


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    Courts should judge themselves incompetent at ruling in these matters, and give full jurisdictional powers in these matters to a collegium of tenured science professors.

    Just my two cents..
  18. May 8, 2005 #17
    It depends on where you go to school. When I was in high school, everyone had to take 3 science classes. The standard track that most students took was General Science->Biology->Chemistry. For the honors students it was more like Biology->Chemistry->Physics. You couldn't take Chem/Physics until you had Biology, so I would be hard pressed to call it an elective.

    My understanding is that it's not a 'court' in any legal sense of the word. It's members of the Kansas Board of Education having hearings about what should be taught in classrooms.

    I think most people's problem (mine included) with ID is it's not a testable, disprovable theory. As many times as the Theory of Special Relativity has been verified, if we find a circustance where the speed of light is *not* constant, we have to admit there is something wrong with the theory and modify it or come up with a new theory. Too many people have the impression that 'theory' is the same as 'idea' when it comes to science.

    My understanding of ID is that it states 'the odds against life coming into existence are 1 in 10100000. Given these odds, there's no way it could have just happened randomly.' Bad logic (and possibly bad math) notwithstanding, I've never heard a way we can test this idea. You either believe it or disbelieve it, and that to me sounds like a subject for a philosophy or theology class.
  19. May 8, 2005 #18


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    Intelligent Design differs from the argument from design in that the former (usually) intentionally avoids mentioning God, gods, or anything overtly religious.
    Here's what I think is the crux of this or any other similar argument, from the Majority Opinion in a US Supreme Court case regarding creationism in public schools:
    Even though some IDers have tried to disguise their religious motivations, I don't think they're fooling anyone.
    From the CNN story:
    They are offering an answer that is supported by scientific evidence, as is appropriate in a science class. The US government is not biased against or towards religion; It is secular. Offering answers that may be in conflict with religious teachings is not a problem in a secular science class. And any alternate theory presented still must be a scientific theory, and ID is not.
    Furthermore, evolution itself is not a theory. Evolution is an observed fact. Natural Selection and other proposed evolutionary processes are theories.
  20. May 8, 2005 #19


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    The day has no legal significance and no connection to the state. I'm pretty sure it was a church organization that came up with it and I don't see what's so stupid about it. If people want to all pray about something on the same day, let them.
  21. May 8, 2005 #20
    it is stupid with BIG S.why because USA suppose to be secular nation .but when you see politicians and that moron Bush and his criminal gang praying in white house only one question comes to my mind WTF!
    Oh ! i know very well this is just smoke and mirror on their behalf so uneducated masses follow in their path but then again I ask my self even more so WTF ! is wrong with americans.
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