An Unintelligent Design for Teaching Science in Our Schools
In a discussion with reporters yesterday, the president said that we should be teaching ”intelligent design” in our science classes alongside evolution. If you are in the dark on this movement, you should know that advocates of “intelligent design” argue life is so complex that a supernatural agent MUST be pulling the strings, making everything from the rising and falling of the tides to the cycle of life go so smoothly.
Smoothly? Does that include the tsunami that killed about one quarter of a million people? How about the Inquisition? Shuttle explosions? The plague? Deformed babies? The Holocaust? Genocide in Darfur?
Talk about a Pandora’s box. This is the problem with teaching religion, superstition, or belief in a science class.
There are, of course, still the radicals who say that evolution should not be taught at ALL in schools. But this new momentum for “side-by-side” instruction of “intelligent design” is more insidious because it masquerades as enlightened reason.
These Christian activists claim that it is only fair to present an “alternative” to evolution in the schools. Is not education all about exposure to differing views?
We are not trying to push evolution out, they claim, or deny that scientific “evidence” supports evolution. No, they say, we just want kids to know that there is a religious point of view that they should consider.
One must then ask them: why THIS belief? If they are honest about their desire to simply expose children to a non-evolutionary belief-based “explanation,” how about the Hindu creation myth?
Why not introduce them to the ancient Greek belief that a giant bird—the only creature in the great void—laid a golden egg with two halves that became the earth and the sky?
Can we introduce them to the view that aliens keep us as pets in a big-ass cage and watch us for their amusement?
To be consistent with their own argument for putting their approach in the schools, “intelligent design” advocates must acknowledge that any and all of these beliefs are equally suitable as their own Christian creation myth to serve as a faith-based alternative to evolution in our schools.
Funny, though, I do not hear a lot of these folks clamoring for any of these other supernatural beliefs. Only their own. I guess they really do think their view is correct and should be imposed on everyone.
Faith belongs in houses of worship. A church (or synagogue or mosque or temple or ritual circle) is a place for religion ... and last time I checked, there were not many churches teaching modern science.
Not all religious leaders reject evolution—they just do not put it on a pedestal in their houses of worship. They not see it as worthy, in that forum, of equal time with the beliefs they seek to inculcate.
Reason belongs in science classes. A science class is a place for rational thought ... and last time I checked, there was not overwhelming physical evidence for a string-puller in the sky.
Not all teachers reject religion—they just do not put it on a pedestal in their science classes. They do not see it as worthy, in that forum, of equal time with the reasoning they seek to inculcate.
Nor should they.