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Friday, August 05, 2005

Intelligent design corrupts education?

Reading over a comment on my last post I cam accross This web post where PZ Meyers suggests that
George W. Bush has endorsed Intelligent Design creationism's plan to corrupt education.
Corrupt education? #1 since when was education not corrupt. #2 How in the hell can presenting a belief "corrupt education"? And then there's this one "Scientists have established the fact of evolution". Problem is what scientist consider to be fact has always changed based on technology and discoveries. A scientific fact is really a well-tested hypothesis.

It makes more sense to me that this person would WANT this to happen. If scientific theory about evolution is more sound that Creationism it would present the obvious if taught in schools.


  • Because the belief is a religious one, not a scientific one. There is no scientific theory about creation to compare to evolution. You can't fashion experiments to test wether a big invisible being had something to do with the creation of the universe. You can't search for the magic fairy dust he used, or the echo of the words 'let there be light' reverberating off stars or something.

    It corrupts education because it teaches myth as if it were science. Creationism can never become a really well-tested hypothesis. Evolution starts with evidence, observing the world around us, then forming an explanation around which humans can form consensus. Creationism is starts with an explanation, formed before the existence of science, dictated by ancient religious texts, one you are required to believe to avoid burning in hell, then tries to find evidence to justify it. To teach kids that that's ok corrupts education. To teach it as if it were science is lunacy. Witch hunts are only a step away.

    (Sorry I'm always so disagreeable. :) I enjoy your posts. You might enjoy this article as much as I did.)

    By Anonymous derek, at 2:17 PM  

  • Wow, loved that article! I am going to have to download that program and try it out.

    Being disagreeable is a good thing. It is thought-provoking.

    "It corrupts education because it teaches myth as if it were science."

    I have to disagree with you on that. Think about it, a "science" teacher teaching creationism. I seriously doubt a science teacher will do anything but present the beliefs to students. Probably in a science-biased manner as well. I never met a science teacher that wasn't a serious science geek.

    I am not a creationist. I am quite the opposite. However I guarantee there are some things I do not know about creationism and what its core beliefs are. I would have liked to been presented that when I was in high-school. I could have taken in what I felt was valid and disregarded the rest. I am open-minded.

    I see that it is a slippery slope. for many reasons. Which I am going to blog about soon. However, science in its nature is and should be about accepting ideas which are thought of as lunacy. The very prospect of the atom, electronics and even evolution would have been considered lunacy at one point in our time.

    By Blogger spillburt, at 8:09 AM  

  • Yes, one of the most fascinating articles I've read this year I think. Haven't been able to get Avida to compile on my mac though.. :(

    I can see your point about wanting to learn about it. I guess I could see a comparison of creation myths being quite appropriate in sociology class. Being raised as a born-again Christian, I sometimes forget that not everyone else has learned about it. And there may be, as you say, some benefit to presenting creation myths together an in similar context. But not along side evolution. They're too different.

    I also agree that when it comes down to the actual teaching, science teachers would probably find a good way to deal with it. But also consider Christian science teachers. Some Christians don't feel they're good Christians unless they try to get everyone else to be Christians too, "save" them. Some consider it a requirement to get into heaven, a mandate by God that supersedes whatever rules the school or society set. These people frequently don't socialize with others that feel differently, so the mob mentality and conformist pressure can become quite intense. Many evil things become justifiable if they are mandated by God or for a "higher purpose".

    The mentality that created witch hunts, the psychotic conformity and the fear and judgement of those that don't conform is quite alive and well in American society. (The documentary "Capturing The Friedmans" is an interesting possible example of it happening recently in a non-religious setting.) But say Kansas or Utah, where more that 50% of the science teacher may be devote Christians, in my opinion they've already shown that they are prone to believing in mass delusions, so I certainly hesitate to give them foothold into "science" without the ability to test anything. I guess I see creationism as the exact type of thing science was created to save us from.

    Personally, I learned creationism from the Bible. If you want to learn it, it's doesn't take long, just read the first few chapters. When I asked the logical questions you get after reading it, most of the answers ended up with something like, that's for God to know and you not to ask about. The brand of Christianity I grew up with says everything you read there is the absolute truth, the word of God. If you believe otherwise you're going to hell and we need to save you. Anyway, I would think it'd be a real cake walk to teach creationism without including the Bible, and that may still be unconstitutional.

    By Anonymous derek, at 12:34 PM  

  • I didn't think about the "Bible-belt" areas. I went to private schools and some were "Christian" schools. I came accross some of the same issues as you. I distinctively remember being punished by having to write sentences out of the bible. I could never understand why they would punish me with something I am supposed to respect.

    It is a slippery slope. There isn't a really good way to implement it without stepping on toes. Probably why it hasn't been taught in schools. I still think I would have benefitted from learning the core beliefs in school. I don't like arguing for or against something I don't know much about.

    By Blogger spillburt, at 11:41 AM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:27 PM  

  • "Intelligent Design" is as scientific as saying that we are all the dream of a giant butterfly. Or any of a similar vast array of absurd statements. In science it's wrong to assume the truth of any assertion a priori. People arguing for "intelligent design" are as fools arguing for the existence of Santa Claus. Equally infantile!

    By Blogger Rafael Espericueta, at 7:55 AM  

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