Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Intelligently Designed for Legal Debate

Yesterday President Bush came out in favor of teaching "Intelligent Design" as science in public schools. Associated Baptist Press and Ethics Daily both have good articles on the story.

I've written about "Intelligent Design" before. Here's a blog about "Intelligent Design -- Another Concept that Closes the Mind" that is a companion to this one about "Inerrancy - A Concept that Closes the Mind." Here's one "On Teaching the 'Debate' about Evolution," here's another one about "Philosophy and Intelligent Design," and another one about "Designing Intelligent Science Education." For those interested in a more thorough discussion about creation and evolution, here's a link to a speech on "Evolution and Religion: Do They Conflict?"

12 comments:

grandma1 said...

Unscrewing the Inscrutable has an interesting posting on this subject today. You might want to read it. I can't believe we have to revisit this issue ever so often. I thought it was settled with the monkey trial.

D.R. said...

Bruce,
Not suprisingly, after reading all of your articles on Intellegent Design I am completely floored by your lack of serious discussion on the subject. You treat it flippantly as if evolution is a not a theory, but a law. Just in case you didn't know, it's not. It is only one means of explaining the universe. The other means is that an intellegent being created it. Those are the only two theories that make sense. Hence, both should be given air time in our schools.

I found one statement you made quite interesting. You said, "The easiest way to discover this [that ID is just trying to teach creationism] is to ask the proponents of "Intelligent Design" to explain how their "theory" can be tested to prove its veracity or falsity and how the theory expands our understanding of nature." I find your "test" interesting since evolutionists cannot test evolutionary theory. What Darwin discovered was adaptation, but not macro-evolution. No scientist has ever caused or observed a change in the structure of DNA such that would bring about the evolution of a monkey into a man. Nothing even close has been observed or repeated. Hence, your test is not comprehensive because even evolutionists cannot do such a thing. That is why it is still called a "theory" -- because it is not repeatable like say the Law of Gravity. Thus ID taking evolutionary arguments and showing serious flaws is a legitimate concern. It is science to show such propositions to students such as the theory of Irreducable Complexity set forth by Michael Behe a respected and leading ID scholar.

So in essence you has silenced free speech by denying the right that the Scopes Monkey Trial provided, which was to legally allow both sides to be taught in the public schools. Creationism or not, there are serious flaws in evolution that students have the right to know about.

To Grandma, you need to research the trial again. It did not block teaching creationism or ID, but rather in essence legalized teaching evolution (see http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scopes/evolut.htm). On second though, just pick up the movie. Either way you will see your statement was not legitimate.

D.R. said...

By the way, Bruce, you might want to read Stephen Meyer's answer to your objection here: http://www.evolutionnews.org/index.php?title=darwinism_against_design_warning_the_sci&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

I think he explains it better than I do.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

d.r.,

No one is opposed to teaching "Intelligent Design" in the appropriate class.

It belongs in a class on religion, not science.

I don't want science to pretend that it is religion any more than I want religion to pretend that it is science.

D.R. said...

But see, that is just it. ID is not religion. It is a critique on evolutionary theory. The fact that the only legitimate critique is one that is the same for the Big Bang, which is that an intellegent being that is eternal was the instigator of this universe and of mankind, is not enough of a reason not to go ahead with it. You say you are a mainstream baptist and a traditionalist baptist, but this is well inside the bounds of legitimate religious expression in the public square. Why wouldn't you support it? Religion is not being forced upon anyone in teaching ID. It is simply placed as an option. Giving an option is not indoctrination, it is education and that is completely appropriate. Isn't that what we should be giving kids? Both sides of the argument, even if it means speaking in God-talk. The problem with many of your positions is that it eliminates religious talk, something the framers of the constitution never envisioned and something that stagnates conversation and free speech. You should be all for this because it is about equality of views.

D.R. said...

And by the way, how can you call Behe's book religious and not scientific. Have you ever read "Darwin's Black Box"?

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

D.R.

You are confused about the methods of science and religion.

You are also convinced that you know all there is to know about both.

It is a waste of time laboring the point with you.

D.R. said...

Wait a minute. I think that is a cop-out. I am not the confused one here. First of all, you got your answer from Stephen Meyer and you didn't respond to it and second you haven't made your case that there is no science involved in ID. You just merely dismissed it. Dismissal is not a form of debate. And now you say I don't understand methods? Answer the questions at least! How do you say there is no science in ID when Behe's book is clearly a legitimate scientific critique of evolutionary doctrine and that is the type of stuff ID advocates say should be introduced into the curiculum. Now I ask you again, how can you be against that and yet claim you hate indoctrination?

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

d.r.

First, I've looked twice and find nothing at the link you provided that proves any point you are making.

Second, I don't think anything I say will register with you.

One of us is wasting his time in this discussion.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

D.R.,

You're posts have become the equivalent of electronic graffitti.

I'm removing them from now on.

Troll on someone else's blog.

D.R. said...

Check my weblog soon. I will post my response to your behavior over there since you keep deleting my comments.

Dr. Bruce Prescott said...

D.R.

I'm glad you've decided to post on your own blog.

I'll check in from time to time.