Unintelligent Design on Trial
As I write this, the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools is currently on trial, in Kitzmiller vs. Dover. 11 parents of schoolchildren, with the help of the ACLU, are suing the Dover Area School District (Pennsylvania) for supporting ID in biology classes and suggesting it as an alternative to evolution. Keep up to date with this trial by reading Red State Rabble, or the ACLU Blog. You can read the parents’ motivations here. Here’s the message that the science teachers were instructed to read to their students, which they refused to do:
The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part. Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations. Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves. With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.
I’m so sick of the ‘theory not fact’ bullshit i’m not even going to address that.
A number of interesting points have been made around the ‘balanced view’ teaching theory. For example, why is it that IDiots insist on targeting the youngest, most impressionable and least able to distinguish pseudoscience from science when introducing this balanced view? Why not introduce it at college level first? Why are they not insisting that University BSc students also get taught ID?
Secondly, why don’t our schools also give equal time to other theories? Shouldn’t we teach astrology alongside astronomy? Homeopathy alongside chemistry? Flat Earthism in Geography classes? If someone were to come forward and suggest any of these they would be laughed at.
And finally, why do christians not teach atheism or satanism, or even islam, judaism or buddhism alongside christianity in their churches? Doesn’t their congregation deserve a balanced view?
The Onion has a brilliant satire of Intelligent Design: Intelligent Falling. To quote:
Proponents of Intelligent Falling assert that the different theories used by secular physicists to explain gravity are not internally consistent. Even critics of Intelligent Falling admit that Einstein’s ideas about gravity are mathematically irreconcilable with quantum mechanics. This fact, Intelligent Falling proponents say, proves that gravity is a theory in crisis.