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Should "intelligent design" be taught in biology?

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Raptor Witness

PostPosted: August 5, 2005 03:31 PM 

Regarding president Bush's recent statement that "intelligent design" should be generally be taught alongside evolution in public school. [Link to Bush statement]

Given what we may, or may not, be seeing on Mars, how might this philosophy affect the future funding for Mars research and exploration?

My argument has always been that this is a simple thought experiment. That is, if we sent out a probe to look for intelligent life on another planet, and it beamed back photographs of that planet being materially organized, we would immediately believe that something intelligent had been at work down there. Alien life would likely use the same criteria for our own planet, seeing the roads, high-rise buildings, etc..

This means we already recognize that the organization of matter is a key to spotting "intelligent design." Therefore, if we look at the universe and it's organization as a whole, the same rule should apply. That is, the organization of the universe implies an intelligent design.

Einstein's statement that "God does not play dice with the universe," is well known, and essentially the same simple argument. It's a valid thought experiment easily conducted and replicated by students. Therefore, I am in support of the president's proposal. To ignore this idea, is to promote chaos in our culture, and chaos is the opposite of intelligent design.

Bending a little to our culture is smart. A little compromise will help bring in money for science from a very rich bunch of folks, who are often more disciplined and organized in their work habits. "Great signs" in the Heavens may seem silly and unscientific, but it means one big thing to the Christian community, Jesus is coming. Go ahead and pass the collection plate NASA, the "sign" of Jonah is before you.


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PostPosted: August 5, 2005 05:56 PM 

If intelligent design should be taught along side evolution -- then astrology needs to be taught with astronomy, alchemy along with chemistry, etc...

Raptor Witness

Posts: 704

Reply: 2

PostPosted: August 5, 2005 06:57 PM 

Yeah, but what logical thought experiment would support astrology? Also, the goals of alchemy have been achieved with nuclear manipulation of atomic nuclei. [Turning lead into gold] However, there may be better examples of the point you're trying to make.

It seems hypocritical to stretch evolution back to "creation" without speculating about a higher power's involvement. After all, we have not created life in the laboratory from scratch yet, making evolution a thought experiment with respect to origins, as well.

Celtic Viking

Posts: 6

Reply: 3

PostPosted: August 6, 2005 05:55 AM 


ID implies a pre-existing designer and relies on an unprovable\untestable assertion that the designer simply exists.

It's faith based not proof based and as a result utterly unscientific since its foundation is the acceptance that ultimately there is an unexplainable source for everything. Consequently it's inherently unprovable hence its appeal to those who live by faith not reason.

As a supposed "scientific" idea it is fundamentally intellectually dishonest. ID (if accepted as true) allows any researcher to "explain away" anomolies found in any research. That is why it is unscientific and just plain wrong.

Your logical thought experiment shows another feature common in ID "arguments". Take an item, describe it's order or complexity as unexplainable then explain away the apparent mystery as "evidence" of design. "Scientific Proof" requires one to make assertions that can then be tested.


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PostPosted: August 6, 2005 08:32 AM 

ID is not a science. It's theories are not testable. Since it purports the existance of the supernatural (beyond-nature) tt cannot be subjected to the Scientific Method.
I have no problem with it being taught. In Religion class.
The problem with your thought experiment is that there are lots of physical systems that are self organizing. Can you device an experiment to tell the difference between natural organization, and supernatural organization?

Raptor Witness

Posts: 704

Reply: 5

PostPosted: August 6, 2005 09:36 AM 

Forget your scientific pride long enough to realize that instead of Heritage USA, we could be building bases on the moon. How long do you want to wait for this, while we're spending billions so the Iraqi people can eventually have civil war? How scientific is that?

This is about money and compromise, a reasonable compromise. Forget your science long enough to take some of that precious money off the table. No wonder scientists make such poor administrators. Smile

Doug Ellison

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PostPosted: August 6, 2005 09:36 AM 

It should be tought in what would be called 'RE' or 'Scripture' here in the UK - basically Religous Studies - for it constitutes part of a religous belief.

It should not be tought within a scientific curriculum.



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PostPosted: August 6, 2005 04:47 PM 

Alchemy should definitely be taught as a part of chemistry. It gives an important insight into the history of chemistry. It was also good enough for Sir Isaac Newton, who spent a large part of his time in alchemy, which boils down to experimentation to see how substances behave, albeit with the aim of turning base metals into gold.

Don't denigrade alchemy by comparison to intelligent design.


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Reply: 8

PostPosted: August 6, 2005 06:09 PM 

Acknowledging the replies of the persons before me with respect, and the opinions of the general public who may read this over time, this is far from science and Mars, but a subject well deserving public discussion and concern by all.
The content is for us as individuals is as powerful as the geology upon which we ride as a thin, frail, raft of life.
Several concepts and several problems mix in the stewpot on the general subject. The comment I just made seems irreverent and foolish to 'committed' persons, and mildly spoken to those committed to placing the argument on a back burner in the social/political 'stewpot' we ride around in. While we may see ourselves as masters of intellect and determination these days in this country (the US), we are riding a wave of opinion and economics which is stable and favorable to us here (we ride the wave as successful surfers).. Without much change in structure and content we can be easily drug feet first through a dismal or simply challenging period of time which would turn favor to the argument that 'doctrine' holds value and 'truths' become permanent stablizing content fed to ourselves and our children to prevent an unsteady economic or social/political circulation pattern from dragging the population into lessor steady economics or social/political patterns. I believe the dangers of the preimminence of 'doctrine' over the free scientific functioning of rapidly changing information basics can hurt both the worlds economic base and the peoples information transformation of the industry base.
To start the argument, the education base is the power of long term economic dominion of the population. Fast or slow in content adjustment, it follows that the population will function as followers of the style of information, either fast or slow respectively.
Independent thought on the subject in very general terms is mixed, based upon information obtained from science, and also upon information obtained from 'doctrine'.
The teaching of science conceptually based upon programmed material which is not sourced from official science channels is split into a hundred methodology groups who hold distinctly alternative views of the bulk of the content details of that 'doctrine' upon which each group seperately relies for the slow, long term stability of the effect the 'doctrine' has upon each individual. Each content group is different in evolving lineage and final explaination of the cause and effect of the 'doctrine' details. Only a very few of them have any intermediary, nor any origin-to-concurrent cause and effect content based upon science argument. Most all rely upon varieties of extensions beyond science, such as 'magic' and 'absolute adjustments' in the points of 'doctrine' where science has shown disagreeable content with the various alternative groups explaining ontology and making historical referencing.
Wariness at the reliance upon a faulty content, based upon unvarying(unwavering) bad science 'doctrine' should be seriously considered in the decision as to whether these groups should be allowed to use the public money to press an argument filled to the brim with discordances and disfunctional science in the teaching of natural history, such as the process of 'historical physical adaptation'.
Not one of the groups has as yet shown a taste for integrating science and the doctrines advocated. Not one has closed the gaps in information which they advocate be used as 'scientific explaination' in teaching the science of cause and effect.
Doctrine is doctrine, not required to be science but simply argument.
Science is science, required to be detailed and sought as a detailing exercise in providing repetitious testing and reliability in cause and effect.
The two are different.
The content is very different.
The effect upon using each in teaching content in science subjects will result in an economic pattern which is predictable.
There is currently a two channel process of teaching which allowing persons to seek either the reliance upon 'doctrine' from a 'hundred' sources, or the more routine process of science reliant training which preserves cause-and-effect in long term historical appearances.

The two channel process has not as yet shown any favor to the 'doctrine' method of teaching 'absolutism' in making adjustments in thinking about natural history .
If the groups involved can show cause and effect detailing better, or if the persons trained in such methods are shown to be more socially accurate in caretaking the population and it's scientific endeavors, we should give at that time the seperate channel a full integration in the public money, but only in the subjects they pertain to.

I admit to you who hold a devotion to the doctrines of religious groups, I studied Biblical Archeology magazine issues when it was published, and found amazingly accuracy and detailed content between the predictble sites and subjects. This was based mostly upon middle eastern locations. There are many religions. There are many additional doctrines not religious. They all would seek a 'piece of the pie' in a presence in the public schools.
Which religion would be taught to all?

There is also the argument of law(in the US), which prevents the mixing of religion and social public training of children. Private training is not under discussion here.

Long term science cause and effect is the subject under discussion here. That subject is not discussed within the doctrines of most all the individual religious and doctrinal groups suggested as interested in the subject. If they show little content and no interest in the subject, why would they be allowed to corner the teaching process in the subject?

Teaching the process of 'natural intelligence' as inherent in science and biology is a challenge as science is a young subject(less than a thousand years) for humans who are much the animal and a little human as well. Unfortunately.

Teaching that there is probable functioning life on Mars is currently a near scandal even in this group, Mars Rover Blog, based upon a resistance to accurate observance of photographic details. How can we survive a pit stop to a time when these doctrines were brewed into existance by men.

Do you notice that NO doctrine has been presented by any other beings but MEN?

Why do you believe that is the case?
Is this just an economic program?

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