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Obey No1kinobe

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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.

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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

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    Aug 18 2012: The picture is not a self-portrait of me in this life but one of my alter-ego, for sure.

    As Tibetan Buddhist (or how about just a Buddhist or even better...just a man in general) and per practice and free will, I do not believe in a Creator designer (as worded). I believe that evolution is reliable, inspiring so much gratitude and appreciation for the world we live in and all its bounty. It's truly unfortunate that many people miss this focal point.

    I do think science should be taught just as standalone science in schools unless the class is specifically a scientific-intel design curriculum, which is really delving into the social science or social studies stage. However, I also would like to see Intel Design as another class that would give students an opportunity to challenge both sides of the coin, if you will. Again, science will not suffer and evolution will remain on course if Intel Design advocates pitch their tents on the same academic camp ground.

    Schools have gay-lesbian-bisexual-homosexual education awareness, and the preliminary worry by anti-gay or homophobic groups was that such programs would (1) turn entire campuses into gay congregational centers, (2) straight students would be brainwashed into gayness, and (3) ideas as absurd as the school mascot and football team switching to pink uniforms and colors etc... What we generally have found is that gay-awareness does this: raise awareness, promote sensitivity and diminish hate crimes by not condoning violence. If a student chooses a gay option it's either an inherent thing or experimentation; not an awareness program. Therefore, the brainwash argument is invalid. And assuming that pink is strictly a gay color or somehow weakens an athletic program is just a reflection of homophobic hysteria.

    As such, I don't think people should be Intel Designerphobic. I'm not. You either disagree or agree. Whatever the case may be, public schools should be open forums for open debate.
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      Aug 18 2012: Thanks Charles.

      I'm not sure legitmising ID by teaching it alongside science, or raising the debate in science classes is the same thing as awareness education about sexuality.

      The attack on science, particularly evolution is about undermining science that doesn't agree with a particular type of creationist belief. Have you heard about the stickers and statements undermining evolution. To the evangelicals this is a spiritual war and evolution is a foundation for evil.

      I'm all for debate but I'm not naive enough to believe that teaching the controversy in science class is about open mindedness. Its about putting unscientific debunked religiously inspired as an equal legitimate alternative, or maybe a superior one depending on the teacher, to the best scientific theory we have to pretend there is some science behind creationist views. Its teaching a bit of answers in genesis in classrooms. Its teaching disguised religion under the cover of open debate.

      Lets debate it. Fine. Lets debate it in professional science. Lets debate it in public. But don''t let religion sneak into science class if it has no scientific merit. That's my view anyway.

      I'm not sure school classrooms are the right place for deciding what is science and whether something found to be religious and non scientific should be taught in schools. I probably wouldn't have such an issue if ID was discussed as an example of trying to bypass the scientific consensus process and the fact that it's key claims are debunked, but I guess it would not be taught that way. Maybe it is a good topic for debate in constitutional studies or social studies in regards to the threat and strategies of christian evangelicals to undermine the seperation of church and state.

      Anyway, we disagree, but I appreciate the thoughtful comments and debate.

      In Aus we don't have official seperation. So more of a worry. Also from outside the US the tea party and evangelicals and dominionists and some politicians are a little scary.

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