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View Full Version : Is 'Intelligent Design' really just Creationism in sweats?


Volcana
Jan 7th, 2005, 12:43 AM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6795094/


School district defends intelligent design
It says alternative to Darwin isn’t religious belief

http://media.msnbc.msn.com/i/msnbc/Components/Sources/sourceReuters.gif (http://www.reuters.com/) Updated: 1:15 p.m. ET Jan. 6, 2005

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania school district on Wednesday rejected charges that plans to include references to an alternative to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in high-school biology classes would be illegal.

The Dover Area School District near Harrisburg is the first in the United States to introduce “intelligent design,” a concept proposing that the natural world is so complex it must have been made by an intelligent being, into a science curriculum. Such a concept is an alternative to the Darwinian theory of evolution, which sees biological change as a natural scientific process, not necessarily guided by an intelligent being.

The district was sued (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6713443/) by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State on Dec. 14 over plans to include intelligent-design theory starting next week. The lawsuit is the first to challenge the teaching, which the groups say violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

The civil rights groups argued that intelligent design is a thinly veiled version of creationism — the belief that the earth was made by God. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1980s that teaching creationism in public-school science classes would violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

Policy 'does not advance religion'
The school district said in Wednesday’s court filing that its “biology curriculum policy does not advance religion.”

Instead, it informs “students about the existing scientific controversy surrounding Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.”

Christian conservatives, who played an important role in the re-election of President Bush, have been pressing for decades for creationism to be taught in schools. Intelligent design’s proponents say their theory does not presuppose any particular supernatural being, and is not creationism.

Lawyers for the school board said that no religious beliefs would be taught, and that Darwinian evolution would continue to be taught as well.

Statement refers to book
On Jan. 13, teachers will be required to read a statement saying that intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view, and that if students want to read more about it, they can read a book called “Of Pandas and People” which they can find in the school library.

Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU in Pennsylvania, said the plaintiffs will not seek an order to stop the policy being implemented next week and hope the case will go to trial in the coming months.
“This is the first legal challenge to intelligent design, and that alone makes it important,” Walczak said. “If we lose, we really fear that you will see school districts all across the country teaching intelligent design.”

NOTE: The arguement that 'intelligent design' does not advance any single religion is sustainable, at least in the abstract. The idea that it isn't 'creationism' is absurd.

jelena4me
Jan 7th, 2005, 08:05 AM
The problem with these religious nuts who are anxious to peddle their godly propoganda at all costs, is that the lack of proof for one theory does not necessarily make the alternative theory correct.

Yeah Darwinism has its wholes when it comes to humans. But there is no doubt that evolution has been at work in most of the development of the species, going back to one cell organisms.

So what if humans were given an "intelligent design" at some point. Possibly one of the more advanced forms of ape was cross-bred or genetically modified to produce early humans. But even if we could prove that, that is no proof for God or Jesus or any of their other claptrap.

More likely, it would suggest that an intelligent lifeform or alien had visited earth and performed the necessary operation. This is quite possible,as there is mathematically no doubt that other life is out there, so just because we have no direct evidence of it is irrelevant.

So "God" could easily be just an alien from another planet. Who knows.

But these religious twerps are so sure they know the answer, arent they?

Volcana
Jan 7th, 2005, 07:49 PM
Still, if you stop purely at 'the whole ting's so complex it couldn't have come about by chance', you aren't necessarily supporting religion. THESE people are doing that, but the concept need not.

ico4498
Jan 7th, 2005, 09:28 PM
Still, if you stop purely at 'the whole ting's so complex it couldn't have come about by chance', you aren't necessarily supporting religion. THESE people are doing that, but the concept need not.
but is it science or even scientific?

it seems to fall short in developing a testable working hypothesis, a prerequisite of scientific methodology. God, if she exists, seems unwilling to do any lab work.

jelena4me, the alien thingy is just as unscientific.

jacobruiz
Jan 7th, 2005, 10:22 PM
I don't think it would be bad idea at all to include some study of world religions and their effect on history and current events in high school.

But what worries me about these "intelligent design" proponents is that they are backed by the powerful religious right and no way are they stopping at having the teacher read something and then suggesting the students read a book from the school library. I currently live in the "heartland" :rolleyes: of this country and there are people here who equate Darwinism and the ACLU with Satanism. They would not stop until there no longer exists a separation of church and state and creationism is taught in science class as the true origin of the world.:o

Martian Willow
Jan 7th, 2005, 10:23 PM
Intelligent design is not the same as creationism, but I think these people are misusing the phrase, and creationism is what they really mean. Intelligent design doesn't contradict Darwinism, so it can't really be an alternative to it.

jacobruiz
Jan 7th, 2005, 10:28 PM
I think they are not misusing the phrase as much as hiding behind it.

lakeway11
Jan 7th, 2005, 11:20 PM
get rid of public schools and we wouldn't need this debate

flyingmachine
Jan 8th, 2005, 12:32 AM
Intelligent design is not the same as creationism, but I think these people are misusing the phrase, and creationism is what they really mean. Intelligent design doesn't contradict Darwinism, so it can't really be an alternative to it.
Intelligent Design is not creationism but technoogy/science base on the idea of how human brain works and evolution does come to it because I'm afraid they base that on science reaserch not anything out of the bible. :o For most people who doesn't know anything about it Intelligent Design = Darwinism and for these Relgious nuts anything related to that is devil.
Anyway I know that kind of thing will happened especially when after G W Bush re-elected. :o

jelena4me
Jan 8th, 2005, 08:57 AM
.

jelena4me, the alien thingy is just as unscientific.
I wasnt providing any scientific evidence for it, but its a theory has not been disproven, and if you think about it, its seems very logical and far more likely than the "God" nonsense peddled by many.

Why shouldnt we be the lab experiment of some aliens? Sounds entirely plausible to me.

Mariangelina
Jan 8th, 2005, 12:34 PM
I don't have any proof George W. Bush is the President of the United States. I've never seen him in person. I've never gone to the White House and seen him living there. I've never personally spoken with anyone I trust who has irrefutable evidence he is. It's all just hearsay- rumours here and there about an electoral vote majority, but is that tangible proof? Noooo. And I sure as hell don't want him to be president. So, when impressionable children are taught about current affairs, I say as well as that silly majoritarian view that Bush is the president, there should be the alternative of telling them I'M the president. There's some great evidence. I have an opinion on everything. I'm loud. I think the White House is pretty. I have personally been to the US... let me see... fifteen times. (I'm actually Canadian, but they wouldn't teach that part.)

My point is, just because idea A hasn't been proven to your satisfaction, idea B doesn't have much greater a chance of being right. "Theory" in scientific terms doesn't mean some nebulous potential explanation. Evolution's not a hypothesis. A theory's something that so far checks out. It makes sense, it's passed all its tests. The purpose of education is teaching children about the world the most accurately science knows how, not making sure their ideas toe the religious party line.

I believe God definitely had something to do with the creation of the universe, and a hell of a lot that happened afterwards, including a lot of the complexity of the natural world. I couldn't tell you for certain, I wasn't there, but I still believe it. Call me crazy, I don't care. But I believe evolution is true, because we've seen it in action with such things as antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and logically, it would happen in almost any population of organisms- some with certain characteristics are more likely to pass on their genes, and over time, the population changes.

I completely think public schools should teach more about religion- but different religions, don't push one over the other, and don't mix them with secular subjects. Lakeway, maybe I value public schools more than I should having never gone to one (I suspect in practice they're just as shitty as Catholic ones, minus the silly uniforms) but don't you think there's something to be said for an education in which people can learn and mix with others of totally different backgrounds, learn to understand them, in which no particular religious viewpoint is given dominance? I think it permits people to make more informed choices about religion, and prevents a lot of the bitterness and cynicism toward it I see in Catholic schools.

Volcana
Jan 9th, 2005, 12:56 AM
but is it science or even scientific?

it seems to fall short in developing a testable working hypothesis, a prerequisite of scientific methodology. God, if she exists, seems unwilling to do any lab work.Maybe reality IS the lab work.:)

Actually, it isn't, in it's purest state, necessarily UN-scientific. It's more of application of rigor. In other words, COULD something as complex as a cell have come about by starting at random? And, secondly, DID it?

The answer to COULD it, to me, has always been yes, because I have a biology background, and an appreciation of the time scale. DID it? Well, THAT is unproven. And even if we duplicate the process in a lab, that wouldn't prove that it happened that way previously.

It's possible that the 'intelligent design' was putting the right right mix of sub-atomic particals in one place, condensing them to a singularity, then having a barbecue.

ico4498
Jan 9th, 2005, 10:17 PM
It's possible that the 'intelligent design' was putting the right right mix of sub-atomic particals in one place, condensing them to a singularity, then having a barbecue. cute analogy for the primordial soup.

our "reality" can't be the lab work (for life). too many limitations of ignorance to process scientifically.

design science has been around for awhile. an anthropologist may deduce that a piece of rock has been subject to forces outside nature. the deduction is fairly solid science since the scientist has zillions of pieces of similar rock from the same geographical area, subject to the same/similar natural forces. easy enough for the anthropologist to conclude that a particular piece of rock was subject to intelligent construct. eg: human tool.

the occurrence of life isn't a valid design science object. I'll try to make my explanation succinct.

probability and occurrence MUST be placed within context to have meaning. the chances of throwing snake eyes 4 times in succession is very low. say 1 in a million plus. however, if you've thrown the die 10 million times, you're almost certain to witness the unlikely.

to our uncertain knowledge, earth is unique re: life. the chance production of a single small cell protein molecule seems almost impossible. the odds bend even the most conscious mathematican's concept of whats possible. yet the numbers are meaningless without a finite comprehension of the universe, and the frequency of life in that finite universe. in other words, who knows how many times the die have been cast, in time and space?

that is what makes so called "intelligent design" hoodoo science.

Justeenium
Jan 10th, 2005, 07:29 AM
get rid of public schools and we wouldn't need this debate
you are Free Willy from the [M], i have no doubt in my mind now.

moby
Jan 10th, 2005, 09:15 AM
Intelligent design is not the same as creationism, but I think these people are misusing the phrase, and creationism is what they really mean. Intelligent design doesn't contradict Darwinism, so it can't really be an alternative to it.
Huh? Intelligent design does contradict Darwinism, in that it excludes natural selection, which happens to be the keystone of the evolutionary theory,.

I agree with ico4498.