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Nathan

Should Creationism/Intelligent Design Be Taught in the Science Classroom?

Should Creationism/Intelligent Design Be Taught in the Science Classroom?  

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  1. 1. Should Creationism/Intelligent Design Be Taught in the Science Classroom?



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My vote is no, absolutely not.

Why? Because they are not science.

To be clear, Intelligent Design is just Creationism dressed up in a lab coat. It's also, just like Creationism (especially Young-Earth Creationism), utter bullshit.

The biggest issue with assuming an intelligent designer is that an intelligent designer who is complex enough to have designed this universe and all within it (including us) must have also been designed. Why? Because if the Universe is too complex to have been there from the beginning (or have come from nothing), then it stands to reason that an intelligent designer (who would have to be more complex to have created all this "complexity") must also have been created.

Now, I don't know a lot about the Big Bang, but I can tell you that the answer to "what came before" is "science doesn't know, yet, but they're looking". That doesn't mean "Goddonedidit" is a legitimate answer. In fact, it's a cop-out.

I will focus, however, specifically on Evolution (by Natural Selection, of course).

Let's keep in mind something, here. Evolution is not an "Origins Theory". Evolution does not explain how life got here. If you want to go into that, it's called "Abiogenesis". Evolution is simply an explanation of how life came to be what we see it as today after it was already here (in the form of primitive simple organisms).

I won't go into detail, because there is still much I have to learn (my love and life-path is music... science just happens to be a recently-developing hobby of mine).

1. Evolution does not violate the Laws of Thermodynamics because those laws apply to closed systems. You know something funny about the Earth? It's an open system, and gets tons (and I do mean tons) of energy from our Sun. That alone is enough to push along Evolution by Natural Selection over millions of years.

2. Evolution by Natural Selection is anything but random. It is, quite literally, changes occurring to ensure the survival of a species in a given environment. It's about Survival of the Fittest (on a gene scale, mind you... the fittest genes... or, as Dawkins proposed, "The Selfish Gene").

3. Turns out the eye is NOT irreducibly complex. So just how good is half an eye? Well, maybe not so good as a complete eye, but it's definitely better then a quarter of an eye and, obviously, quite a bit better then no eye at all.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Yj_lNQerUJ4

In fact, the Creationists make a fatal mistake in assuming the human eye is perfect. Far from it. If we close one eye, we find we have a blind spot. Granted, we have two eyes, but so do most living creatures. We also can only see light on a very narrow band of the light spectrum. We completely miss out on the "ultraviolet garden" that quite a few other creatures have the pleasure of being able to see.

Our eyes are also susceptible to damage (blindness, cataracts, etc), and wear down and get worse over the years (what glasses and contacts are for). And some people's eye-sight is worse then others (again, what glasses and contacts are for). We also don't have as sharp a focus with our eyesight as, say, eagles and foxes.

4. Evolution has predicted things that would be found, and they were found. Some examples (thanks to TalkOrigins.org):

Evolution has been the basis of many predictions. For example:

  • Darwin predicted, based on homologies with African apes, that human ancestors arose in Africa. That prediction has been supported by fossil and genetic evidence (Ingman et al. 2000).
  • Theory predicted that organisms in heterogeneous and rapidly changing environments should have higher mutation rates. This has been found in the case of bacteria infecting the lungs of chronic cystic fibrosis patients (Oliver et al. 2000).
  • Predator-prey dynamics are altered in predictable ways by evolution of the prey (Yoshida et al. 2003).
  • Ernst Mayr predicted in 1954 that speciation should be accompanied with faster genetic evolution. A phylogenetic analysis has supported this prediction (Webster et al. 2003).
  • Several authors predicted characteristics of the ancestor of craniates. On the basis of a detailed study, they found the fossil Haikouella "fit these predictions closely" (Mallatt and Chen 2003).
  • Evolution predicts that different sets of character data should still give the same phylogenetic trees. This has been confirmed informally myriad times and quantitatively, with different protein sequences, by Penny et al. (1982).
  • Insect wings evolved from gills, with an intermediate stage of skimming on the water surface. Since the primitive surface-skimming condition is widespread among stoneflies, J. H. Marden predicted that stoneflies would likely retain other primitive traits, too. This prediction led to the discovery in stoneflies of functional hemocyanin, used for oxygen transport in other arthropods but never before found in insects (Hagner-Holler et al. 2004; Marden 2005).

Another prediction oddly not listed here is what Evolution says explains why apes have 48 chromosomes (24 pairs) while humans only have 46 (23 pairs). According to Evolution, we humans should find, in our chromosomes, a chromosome that is a fusion of two ape chromosomes.

Guess what?

Yup. Found.

5. "Teach the controversy!"

Um...

Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5% are creationists, according to a 1991 Gallup poll (Robinson 1995, Witham 1997). However, this number includes those working in fields not related to life origins (such as computer scientists, mechanical engineers, etc.). Taking into account only those working in the relevant fields of earth and life sciences, there are about 480,000 scientists, but only about 700 believe in "creation-science" or consider it a valid theory (Robinson 1995). This means that less than 0.15 percent of relevant scientists believe in creationism. And that is just in the United States, which has more creationists than any other industrialized country. In other countries, the number of relevant scientists who accept creationism drops to less than one tenth of 1 percent.

Additionally, many scientific organizations believe the evidence so strongly that they have issued public statements to that effect (NCSE n.d.). The National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious science organizations, devotes a Web site to the topic (NAS 1999). A panel of seventy-two Nobel Laureates, seventeen state academies of science, and seven other scientific organizations created an amicus curiae brief which they submitted to the Supreme Court (Edwards v. Aguillard 1986). This report clarified what makes science different from religion and why creationism is not science.

(http://www.talkorigi...c/CA/CA111.html)

What controversy?

note: see Talk Origins for a comprehensive explanation of the "controversy" and in-depth debunking of Creationism.

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No.

Creationism should be taught in Theology/Religious Studies class, as it is a matter of faith. Evolution should be taught in science classes as it's a matter of science. I have no problem with creationism being taught to students, provided it's taught in the right class.

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No.

Creationism should be taught in Theology/Religious Studies class, as it is a matter of faith. Evolution should be taught in science classes as it's a matter of science. I have no problem with creationism being taught to students, provided it's taught in the right class.

On the caveat that it isn't taught as true. I would also have absolutely no problem with it being taught in a religious class as long as it's noted for what it is... a myth... a myth that has, in fact, been scientifically disproven.

The reason I make that caveat is because there are those who see it as perfectly sound science. That's why, if taught in a Theology/Religious class, it has to be pointed out that it is not science, nor is it true (or 100% accurate... or accurate at all). Otherwise the distinction won't be noticeable to some students, especially those growing up in a fundamentalist household (no, not all of them home-school their kids... I remember all my science teachers in high school had to deal with students whose parents were fundamentalists).

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No, but it should not be taught that God did not create the earth either. I beleive that God should not be a part of public schools, but that includes, of course, teaching that a God does not exist.

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On the caveat that it isn't taught as true. I would also have absolutely no problem with it being taught in a religious class as long as it's noted for what it is... a myth... a myth that has, in fact, been scientifically disproven.

The reason I make that caveat is because there are those who see it as perfectly sound science. That's why, if taught in a Theology/Religious class, it has to be pointed out that it is not science, nor is it true (or 100% accurate... or accurate at all). Otherwise the distinction won't be noticeable to some students, especially those growing up in a fundamentalist household (no, not all of them home-school their kids... I remember all my science teachers in high school had to deal with students whose parents were fundamentalists).

I would like to know where, who, and how, exactly, has God been disproven. Seems like it would've been some big news, right?

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I would like to know where, who, and how, exactly, has God been disproven. Seems like it would've been some big news, right?

I wasn't talking about God. I was talking about Creationism (specifically Young-Earth Creationism). There are plenty of people who believe in Theistic Evolution (science is right, but God lit the fuse on the Big Bang and... erm... "created"... the simple life that evolved over millions of years into what we see today). I was saying that (Young-Earth) Creationism has been proven wrong. Not God.

(However, Evolution certainly does limit the need for a supernatural intelligent designer [unless it was a rather lazy intelligent designer], and scientists have numerous hypotheses for Abiogenesis, most of which are holding up extremely well, that practically remove the need for a supernatural intelligent designer. God has not been disproven, but his existence becomes more and more implausible each and every day. In fact, the only true gap God has left to fit in is "before the Big Bang", and new evidence on the characteristics of our Universe may close that gap, as well. But this isn't the topic of the thread.)

Edited by Nathan

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No, but it should not be taught that God did not create the earth either.

Evolution teaches precisely that, though.

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Evolution teaches precisely that, though.

Not necessarily. Remember, Evolution is not an origin theory, so one could still ask "what made those simple living organisms that evolved into us?"

However, as I said above, it most definitely limits the need for a creator, and if science continues on the pattern it has been with Abiogenesis and the Universe, the need for an intelligent designer will most likely be removed entirely.

Edited by Nathan

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Not necessarily. Remember, Evolution is not an origin theory, so one could still ask "what made those simple living organisms that evolved into us?"

However, as I said above, it most definitely limits the need for a creator, and if science continues on the pattern it has been with Abiogenesis and the Universe, the need for an intelligent designer will most likely be removed entirely.

I think what I was driving at was that Creationism teaches that God created everything in 6 days, blah blah blah. Evolution does not. So in a way, evolution is the opposite of creationism, in so far as discussing how we all came to be.

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I think what I was driving at was that Creationism teaches that God created everything in 6 days, blah blah blah. Evolution does not. So in a way, evolution is the opposite of creationism, in so far as discussing how we all came to be.

Oh I see. Then yes, you're right.

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No, but neither should evolution be taught. What should be taught is science in a manner that is fair to both sides. What gets me is that both sides often want the other to be banished from the schoolroom, and replace that with the opposing side. It's hypocrisy. If both sides could learn to work together, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

My $0.02. :icecream:

Edited by pagemccartney95

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No, but neither should evolution be taught. What should be taught is science in a manner that is fair to both sides. What gets me is that both sides often want the other to be banished from the schoolroom, and replace that with the opposing side. It's hypocrisy. If both sides could learn to work together, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

My $0.02. :icecream:

Excuse me, but I feel you're incorrect here.

I don't think nor have I ever said that creationism should be banished from schools. It should be taught where it belongs, which is a Theology or Religious Studies class, right along with the creation stories of all the other major world religions. Creationism is not science and it does not belong in a science class. That is fact. Evolution is science-based. Therefore it belongs in a science class and nowhere else. That is also fact. You wouldn't teach evolution in Trigonometry class, would you? You wouldn't see creationism in PE, would you?

Please provide an example of a lesson that can be taught to students in grade 11 that is "fair to both sides". I'd like to know how you can teach both at the same time, since they are antithetical to each other.

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Excuse me, but I feel you're incorrect here.

I don't think nor have I ever said that creationism should be banished from schools. It should be taught where it belongs, which is a Theology or Religious Studies class, right along with the creation stories of all the other major world religions. Creationism is not science and it does not belong in a science class. That is fact. Evolution is science-based. Therefore it belongs in a science class and nowhere else. That is also fact. You wouldn't teach evolution in Trigonometry class, would you? You wouldn't see creationism in PE, would you?

Please provide an example of a lesson that can be taught to students in grade 11 that is "fair to both sides". I'd like to know how you can teach both at the same time, since they are antithetical to each other.

But you've missed my point. I actually agree with your first point.

A lesson fair to both sides would be that which shows both points of view:

"In debates over how the earth was made, some are Creationists, that is, they believe that a Supreme Being created the earth; others cite evolutionism, that is, everything started out in some basic form, and evolved into what it is today."

The lesson would go on in this manner, presenting both sides, biased to neither, and letting the students decide which they believe in.

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How can you expect a child to learn anything when you're not teaching them anything. Trying to talk out of both sides of your mouth to placate one group of people gets you a net gain of exactly zilch.

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But you've missed my point. I actually agree with your first point.

A lesson fair to both sides would be that which shows both points of view:

"In debates over how the earth was made, some are Creationists, that is, they believe that a Supreme Being created the earth; others cite evolutionism, that is, everything started out in some basic form, and evolved into what it is today."

The lesson would go on in this manner, presenting both sides, biased to neither, and letting the students decide which they believe in.

I have seen it done this way and always depends on the biases of the teacher. Some were good at deflecting the grand question (go ask your parents) but others, when asked to explain evolution, said that we came from monkeys, which came from some goop that came out of nowhere. The whole class laughs, gains nothing.

History needs to be taught in history. Algebra should be taught in an algebra class. And science needs to be taught in a science class. Creationism has no place in science.

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Creationism and Evolution are both theories, one of faith and one of science.

As for being taught in science classes, Creationism already is, albeit as part of the ongoing debate between the two schools of thought.

Conversely, Evolution is rarely, if not ever mentioned in Theology.

I find it all a bit of a bore when either argument is fobbed off by the believers of both camps as false as neither have been proven or disproven.

Intelligent Design is something new that implies some kind of divine or alien intervention that influenced how we as Humans formed our religious and scientific beliefs.

BTW the "Big Bang Theory" is the foundation of Darwin's Theory of Evolution, which according to his logic, without it Earth and the species therein would never have evolved.

Science is going to amazing lengths to "try" and demonstrate that BB is true with the Particle Accelerator experiments in Switzerland.

The other example of Science dabbling in dangerous BB experimentation is the advent of Atomic / Nuclear bombs and for what?

How did the Universe originate?

The truth be known is that no-one knows the answer and probably never will.

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Creationism/Intelligent Design should be taught in a Religious class. It should be taught like a History or English class. As in, the teacher opens the door, but the students have to choose to step through it.

I think theologians and scientists have a lot in common. Both are scholars and love information and learning.

Scientists can be spiritual. I'm going to go ahead and recommend this book of essays written by a scientist. Some of his predictions are a bit outdated (It was written like 20 years ago) http://www.amazon.ca/Night-Thoughts-Listening-Mahlers-Symphony/dp/0140243283

I think it's both spiritual and analytical, and it's just a damn good read.

Oh, and you should listen to Mahler as well. Highly recommended.

Also, you can not deny the spectacular soul moving pieces of art that have been inspired by religion. The greatest film of all time (in my opinion) is Andrei Rublev. A tale about a Russian monk who painted icons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Rublev If there was ever something that made me understand Christianity it was that film. Plus, Tarkovsky is in my top 5 of greatest film-makers in history.

Edited by Jarlaxle 56

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The more Jesus the better.

In what way? I have no issue with the concept of Jesus being taught in school, provided it's taught in the correct context and in the correct class. Science class, surely you understand, is no place for it.

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No, but my answer is based on my belief that religion and education should not mix anyway. To be educated on religion is fine. To be educated by religion, not so much.

Creationism/Intelligent Design, etc is educating those with the belief that God created the universe. Beliefs are subjective at best, and shouldn't be used in this context in the classroom. You could teach the basics of religion (granted it's in religious education, mind), stating that such-and-such religion believes that such-and-such formed the earth, but I wouldn't want that theory to be taught to children as if it were fact. And certainly not in Science, when it clearly isn't scientific fact.

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But you've missed my point. I actually agree with your first point.

A lesson fair to both sides would be that which shows both points of view:

"In debates over how the earth was made, some are Creationists, that is, they believe that a Supreme Being created the earth; others cite evolutionism, that is, everything started out in some basic form, and evolved into what it is today."

The lesson would go on in this manner, presenting both sides, biased to neither, and letting the students decide which they believe in.

The thing is you can't debate science/facts with faith/believe. You either discuss scientific theories or faith, you can't mix them both, and that is what creationism attempts to do.

I'm not a religious person but I also believe that there are things that science can't explain yet, if there's a god then there's a scientific explanation for His existence and we just haven't found it yet.

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if there's a god then there's a scientific explanation for His existence and we just haven't found it yet.

This is the kind of thing I have a problem with. You can't just rattle off the word "god" or "God" and assume everyone else has the same idea of what those two words mean. In fact no one has the same idea of what those words mean, so they're actually meaningless words that we use to describe a vague concept which we can't define let alone prove or disprove.

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In what way? I have no issue with the concept of Jesus being taught in school, provided it's taught in the correct context and in the correct class. Science class, surely you understand, is no place for it.

Sarcasm.

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Science shouldn't be faith. People make it too much of a faith at times like what has happened with global warming and other things but the fact that science facts change all the time and some aren't fully provable makes science what it is. Newton's laws of gravity will never fully be explained. But that doesn't make them any less true. Faith is about believing no matter what. That is completely different from science

Edited by NickZepp

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