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Is it reasonable to teach Intelligent Design in physics or statistic classes to seniors in high school?

The purpose of permitting ID to be taught to seniors should be to attempt to find a well-reasoned explanation for intelligent life. What is necessary to permit ID to be discussed “legally”(separating church and state) in the class room is to divorce ID from any religious affiliation e.g. the Bible.

For our universe to originate by chance is about on a par with winning the Power Ball lottery a 1000 times in a row without ever buying a losing ticket! When you factor in all the conditions necessary for intelligent life to exist, it appears the universe is “fine-tuned” to support life e.g. if the force of gravity is off by one part in 10^36 in the range of all forces (the most powerful is the strong force), life does not exist. If the mass of a proton is off a tiny amount only blue giant stars can form; they can't support life.

The scientific explanation for our universe is that there are an infinite number of universes and this one originated by chance. Since we cannot observe, measure or replicate extra universes is this any more reasonable than ID?

Humanity is a pioneer in this universe; after the “Big Bang” 13.8 billion years ago, it takes a first generation star to explode to make heavy elements and a second generation star like our sun to corral those elements to support life on a planet. It takes 3.8 billion years to get from life to intelligent life.

We will be billions of years more evolved than civilizations growing up around third generation stars. By the time our sun becomes a red giant, we can take the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus (for raw materials) and go into orbit around Jupiter; we will then extract hygrogen from Jupiter for fusion energy that will serve us until the universe ends.


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  • Jun 9 2013: You can separate church from state but you can't separate church from ID. It is a religious discussion...this has been established by the US Supreme court on a number of cases
    There are other "natural" reasons why Higgs is the power that it is and dark energy has the power levels that we see and these do not require the creation of an infinite deity who has manipulated the creation of our universe. I am referring to the multiverse hypothesis. ID is only thinly disguised religious creationism and has no place in a science class no matter how disconcerting you find the multiverse hypothesis.
    • Jun 9 2013: An interesting book by Bradley Monton, "Seeking God in Science An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design" covers the trial where ID was struck down. Here is a key part of that trial:

      "Jones (US Federal judge Jone E Jones III was the presiding judge in Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Are School District , et al.), in support of his demarcation criterion of methodological naturalism, cites the definition of science from the prestigious National Academy of Sciences"

      "Science is a particular way of knowing about the world. In science, explanations are restricted to those that can be inferred from the confirmable data---the results obtained through observation and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amenable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science."

      Just after this quote, Jones says that, "This rigorous attachment to 'natural' explanations is an essential attribute to science by definition and convention." But as Monton points out, "But in fact the NAS definition never makes reference to 'natural' explanations--there is no restriction to naturalism at all in the definition."

      Monton then provides an experimental test of supernatural causation.

      We might take heed of the advice of Larry Laudan, "If we stand up and be counted on the side of reason, we ought to drop terms like 'pseudo-science' and 'unscientific from our vocabulary; they are just hollow phrases which do only emotive work for us."

      From Monton, "If our goal is to believe truth and avoid falsehood, and if we are rational people who take into account evidence in deciding what to believe, then we need to focus on the question of what evidence there is for and against intelligent design." "But sometimes it is more important to be intellectually honest than to do what it takes to stop people from doing something you don't like."
      • Jun 9 2013: So, you are basing your argument for ID in a science classroom on the definition of "natural"?
        To my understanding, ID has never produced any evidence for a supernatural creation, it only speculates because the ID proponent does not know or can not imagine an evolutionary solution to some biological device.
        Strip the lawereeze away and ID is still creationism that falls back onto religion for its answer, not science.
        • Jun 9 2013: I am a firm believer that the earth is about 4.5 billion years ago; I don't think the argument of irreducible components is a viable concept, but the mere existence of a universe that would support life is improbable.

          Even the cowinner of the Nobel Prize, Crick, co-discover of DNA offers the following opinion, "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going." And Crick, I believe, is referring just to the limitations imposed by biology and doesn't even address the "fine-tuning" required of physical contants.

          Gordon, are you claiming that Crick is a Creationist?

          I have stripped away the "lawereeze" and I reject your argument that it falls back into religion. I am a deist who rejects the teachings of religion who thinks that ID is an hypothesis that needs testing; I don't accept it or reject it, but retain an open mind.

          Where people get in trouble with evolution is the absolutism of Darwinian Evolution; check the literature, there are excellent examples of Lamarkian Evolution in certain restricted circumstances. To the best of knowledge (I may be wrong here) there has never been a case in the laboratory where one species e.g. fruit flies has ever evolved into a new species no matter what environmental conditions are used. We have had thousands(?) of generations of fruit flies yet no matter how many environmental insults they are subjected to do they never evolve into another species.

          Evolution is obviously right (I think that evolution is the hardest of hard sciences), yet how come we find it so difficult to create through means available to Mother Nature, new species?
      • Jun 9 2013: Richard,

        I would be very careful with any quotes taken from creationist web sites. I would not dare say anything about what Crick thought without the proper context for that quote, if that quote is at all accurate. I am used to finding that quotes by creationists mean very different things when looked at in their context.

        Crick was certainly not a creationist, and I bet that, if he wrote those words, what followed was an explanation about how that conundrum could be solved.

        Oh, after googling a bit I found that his sentence followed your quote:

        "But this should not be taken to imply that there are good reasons to believe that it could not have started on the earth by a perfectly reasonable sequence of fairly ordinary chemical reactions."

        I am not saying that such is the end of it. Both of us would have to read much more before jumping to conclusions. My point is just that isolated quotes tell nothing of what some scientist thoughts were on these issues.
      • Jun 9 2013: Richard.
        If you are going to quote Crick, please do it honestly. The actual quote is
        "An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going. But this should not be taken to imply that there are good reasons to believe that it could not have started on the earth by a perfectly reasonable sequence of fairly ordinary chemical reactions. The plain fact is that the time available was too long, the many microenvironments on the earth's surface too diverse, the various chemical possibilities too numerous and our own knowledge and imagination too feeble to allow us to be able to unravel exactly how it might or might not have happened such a long time ago, especially as we have no experimental evidence from that era to check our ideas against."

        On your second reference to Lamarkian Evolution, you probably also know that it is a disproved theory which was created before DNA was discovered. Genes are the only way that traits are passed on from one generation to another. For those not familiar, Lamarkian evolution assumes that an elephant stretching its trunk during its life would cause its offspring to have longer trunks.

        Fruit flies are not raised to evolve, and not allowed to evolve, they are used to study genetic changes from a common starting point. In fact, fruit flies have evolved again and again in genetic experiments, the progeny is always destroyed afterwards.
        • Jun 11 2013: Me bad! My minimal understanding of biology is showing!
        • Jun 11 2013: I merely quoted the part Monton provided; it certainly does not look good either for the author, out of apparent deception to quote a partial quote, or me for believing it was not taken out of context.
      • Jun 10 2013: Richard,

        You are a bit uninformed about fruit flies. They have speciated in the lab. There has been other examples of new species arising either in the lab, or in islands observed since their formation and colonization. There is no such thing as any absolutism about Darwinian evolution. Evolutionary theory today has phenomena other than natural selection whose importance in the evolutionary process has been validated, such as random genetic drift, endosymbiosis, or horizontal gene transfer. Truly man, stop reading ID literature and start reading reputable resources.
      • Jun 11 2013: Richard
        I missed your reference to Bradley Monton.
        Although not a "hack" (he has a PhD in philosophy from Princeton and is currently an Associate Professor at Colorado), he makes several logic mistakes in his book.
        First he uses the genetic fallacy (dismissing something due to its origin rather than substance).
        Secondly he clearly believes the Discovery Institute propaganda and ...
        Thirdly he seems to believe that the lack of a compelling argument against a given premise is equivalent to evidence in its favor

        If you are interested in the other side of the argument you can check out information on Robert T. Pennock as a spokeperson against teaching ID in the science classroom

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