TED Conversations

Obey No1kinobe

TEDCRED 100+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Is intelligent design science and should it be taught in public schools?

Most definitions of modern science describe a methodology of finding testable explanations of the universe or similar.

I often hear evolution is a theory not a fact. A scientific theory explains the facts and is verifiable or demonstrable. Evolution is one of the most validated theories around.

I propose ID is not science. It is not verifiable and its challenges to evolution. For example the arguments about irreducible complexity have been debunked e.g. a subset of components of the bacterial flagellum are used by some bacteria inject harmful proteins into other cells. There are so many transitional forms scientists argue whether some of them are birds, reptiles or mammals.

To allow ID into science you would need to change the definition of science and drop the testable requirement. This would enable astrology, alchemy and crystal healing alongside astronomy, chemistry and physics.

I also hear the argument why not include all sides of the debate. Scientifically there is no debate. Philosophically, this is akin to suggesting alchemy be taught alongside chemistry, or Greek mythology as history.

I propose it should not. This does not stop parents teaching their kids any religious dogma they choose within the law. But it is not science and religious beliefs have no place being taught in public schools.

+9
Share:

Closing Statement from Obey No1kinobe

ID is a form of creationism promoted by the Discovery Institute and supported by many evangelical Christians. The Institute defines it as "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

Evolutionary theory is the foundation of modern biology. Whether you want to believe it or not explains the development different species and genetic similarities between species. Essentially gene frequency changes due to natural selection, from less adapted to more adapted. At some stage the divergence of one group may get to the point where they can not interbreed successfully with other related groups or their ancestors ie they become a new species. This is a gradual process, supported by much evidence in the fossil record, DNA and gene analysis.

The key argument for ID is irreducible complexity which proposes the bacterial flagellum, immune system, blood clotting could not have evolved or developed from something similar. They need all the parts to do anything. In all cases it has been proven that these are reducable. They could have evolved.

ID is basically, life is complex, hard to explain, so it must be designed. Read the comments and Í hope you see there is a sound argument that ID has tried to bypass scientific consensus. It is a discredited hypothesis except for those who want to believe. Also, you start to get into mythology when you try and describe and explain the creator for which there is nop verifiable evidence.

While there is no scientific evidence for design, we can not scientifically say the universe isn't. That is a philosophical question. If you value the truth then science can inform faith. We can respect religion except where it is wrong. The universe is not 6,000 years old. Life evolved. We should not make special exceptions to promote falsehoods in schools. Our children deserve better. If our growing understanding makes some beliefs obsolete, so be it

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Aug 18 2012: Intel Design (ID) should be taught or at the least "discussed" in schools right alongside with evolutionary theory (ET). The focus should be point-counterpoint, comparison-contrast, pro-con, etc. Time can and should be spent arguing about the central issues rather than haggling over definitions and labels. The ultimate goal is to walk away from a rational argument with positive notes that can lead to individual acceptance or denial of ID and ET; not fundamentalist tones of divisiveness that pit camps of opposing theories against each other. I mean, c'mon, don't we already have bipartisanship and politics in general for that? Embracing the negative value of "us versus them" thinking in academic arenas does not advance science, does not promote ID any better than a jalapeno suppository encased in a cooling spearmint capsule designed for pain relief.

    Let's not be afraid of ID and ET. Let's argue to not argue but to reason and respect perspectives, viewpoints, and rational conceptual framework. It might certainly take some time before everyone agrees that the world is not flat and even more time before society abandons the need to crucify modern Galileos but in the present time let's throw them both in the mix. If an Iguana wants to believe that it can thrive on the North Pole as a car insurance spokeslizard, and a bulimic Elephant believes it can describe three blind men...then let it be so.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it until my rocketship lifts off from the studio set where they filmed the moon landing.
    • thumb
      Aug 18 2012: Hi Charles. Who is the picture of? Not a self portrait I guess.

      Thanks for the opinion. Do you believe in a creator designer? Or do you think evolution about as proven and reliable theory as you get.?

      I have to disagree. School science is to teach science not to give quackery the respect of being included alongside consensus science.

      Are you okay teaching one form of religious explanation as an alternative to science in a US public school.

      I suggest it is a dangerous precedent to let public relations and political lobbying decide include whatever religious mumbo jumbo the majority or most motivated want, bypassing the testing and peer review and consensus forming every other piece of science has to go through.

      Next they will be teaching Earth and the universe is less than 10,000 years old. There goes geology and cosmology and history. Then the flood. Then you might as well call it an evangelical Christian education.

      IF you don't think evangelicals won't hijack education if you give them a chance your more trustworthy of their motives than I am.

      Why should an exception be made for ID just because science shows we evolved and this highlights literal creationist faith based beliefs are wrong.

      All children get 10-12 years school education. Its should not be diluted or confused by creationism in disguise.

      I suggest college philosophy or religious studies might be a better place to discuss it. OR actually via peer reviewed scientific paper if they stopped focusing on the PR and politicing and did some science.

      Don't be fooled by teach the controversy.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.