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richard moody jr

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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 11 2013: Why are we still talking about creationism?

    The conversation is should we teach (or how about contrast and compare) random evolution in the establishment of our universe and a planned evolution of an intelligent design.
    With the sad state of affairs in our current public education, I am not sure that it would be useful. In an AP class or similar advanced education program, I believe that the subject would provide a great exercise in mental agility to consider all the ramifications of our universe and how it came to be.
    There is no need to inject a religious connotation (creationism) into this conversation. I would point out that religion either the belief in or the belief not in are beliefs. And lest I remind you, belief is a matter of opinion. We can not prove or disprove beliefs.
    I am not sure if the universe came about as a series random acts or was there some plan by someone or something that laid it all out. I've read all I could, considered all possibilities and came to the conclusion... I can't hazard a guess. The is one thing that makes me lean toward the I D side is that I can't fathom the number of random combinations it would take to make all this happen.
    • Jun 11 2013: Mike,

      How many times should I repeat that the random versus intelligence is a false dichotomy? If we scientists thought that the natural world is pure randomness we would not be looking for patterns, laws, and other inclinations in nature. That's not how scientists view reality. The either pure randomness or pure intelligence is a false dichotomy established by creationists as a rhetorical device to convince those who do not understand science enough. But this fallacious rhetoric does not help us communicate with each other, does it?

      As per considering intelligence to be involved. It is not that we deny the possibility a priory. It is much more that we know that just saying that an intelligence was involved is not enough, we need at least two ingredients before going there:

      1. Evidence that there is/was intelligences around with enough technology to do the deed.
      2. Establish whether natural processes could not do the deed.

      As humanity, we have been fooled into thinking that volcanoes were angry intelligences with no other reasoning but thinking that destruction could only come from human-like anger. A natural inclination because we are so familiar with our own behaviours than with the bigger, and smaller, scale natural world. But that was far from scientific. It was imagination gone wild.

      In science we do propose hypotheses, often educated ones, sometimes very wild ones. As such, people and scientists are free to think that maybe ID. However, it does not become science until there's clear scientific work pointing to intelligence rather than merely guessing intelligence out of scientific illiteracy and religious inclinations. I have said it many times here: if ID wants to get into the classroom, they better start doing science instead of their rhetorical, political, and legal actions. They should do science and let it take its course.
      • Jun 12 2013: Let us discuss these two observations,
        "1. Evidence that there is/was intelligences around with enough technology to do the deed.
        2. Establish whether natural processes could not do the deed."

        We have gone from inventing the wheel to landing a man on the moon and countless other accomplishments in just 10,000 years. Can we really put limitations on an intelligence 1 billion more advanced than us?

        That we cannot provide evidence of this process may simply because we lack the technology to do it; in the mean time we have circumstantial evidence (at least according to some scientists).

        Why would you say that natural processes have to be ruled out as incompatible with ID? I would suggest the opposite. If the natural world is a by product of ID wouldn't you predict that it would have certain properties that are consistent with ID e.g. the "fine-tuning" argument.

        Frankly, what concerns me more about ID is what kind of cruel monster would build into the whole system survival of the fittest? Nature is savage and brutal when viewed through the lens of survival of the fittest. What could be worse than the predator/prey relationship? Maybe when Christ referred to the wolf lying down with the lamb he was implying the end of the predator/prey relationship.
        • Jun 12 2013: "Can we really put limitations on an intelligence 1 billion more advanced than us?"

          Do you have any evidence that there's an intelligence "1 billion more advanced than us"? Maybe we lack the technologies to find the evidence, but then why put forward such things as ID in the science curriculum is we have no scientific access to such speculation? When will this be clear to you? Hey, volcanoes produce fires bigger than ours, therefore their fires were intelligently produced! Hey, we can't put limitations on an intelligence much bigger than ours! Therefore we should teach that volcanoes have intelligently produced fires! See the problems yet?

          The IDers don't even have "circumstantial" evidence. They suffer from science illiteracy and promote religious agendas, not evidence.

          I did not say that natural processes have to be ruled out as incompatible with ID. i said that we should be able to establish that natural processes could not have done whatever is been used as "circumstantial" evidence for ID. There's a big difference. I know we can produce fire. Before blaming people on that forest, I should first establish if people was there around making little fires, and that the fire was not produced by something like lighting hitting inflammable materials. And here at least we know that there's intelligences that could make such fires!

          The fine-tuning argument is fallacious. I have explained why to you already.

          What concerns me about ID is that it relies on people's ignorance and scientific illiteracy combined with very poor philosophy.
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          Jun 12 2013: richard extrapolating out from what we have achieved to universe creation is not really evidence of universe creators is it.

          Also I suggest universe creation is an entirely different category to any thing a biological creature such as humans have been able to build. We have always made stuff from other stuff. Not stuff from nothing, and nothing that remotely points to universe creation.

          Then you come back to the argument maybe we don't have the capability to detect real evidence of this universe creators. Exactly. Maybe we should wait to we have evidence before we give credence to any of the supernatural type arguments.

          Once you accept any explanation as a meaningful possibility because it can not be disproven or proven, then just about anything goes.

          We don't have the capability to detect dragons from other dimensions that play chess and create universes when bored. So they can not be ruled out for the same reasons.

          But where did the dragon creators come from? We also can not rule out that they were created by some other supernatural agency and so on and so on.

          Finally you are saying the universe creator might have created the universe the way it seems to be, with natural laws and processes. Isn't that rather circular?

          My invisible friend bob told me that is exactly what he did. He made the universe yesterday looking exactly how it did yesterday, complete with memories and the appearance it was older and built in natural processes.

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