Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Is Our Children Learning?

Much has been said about President Bush's recent remarks about Intelligent Design being taught alongside evolution in public schools. I will add my 1/50th of a dollar to the pile on.

I have no issue, per say, with Creationism of any faith being taught in school if it's taught as religion and not science. There is no Theory of Intelligent Design; it is a metaphysical belief based on the idea that the universe is too complex to have happened "by accident". Thus a divine Designer must be working behind the scenes.

From an empirical perspective, there is no evidence for Intelligent Design. It cannot be tested, proven or falsified in any way. It requires faith in some sort of metaphysical reality, be it the Creation myth in Genesis or any of the thousands of other origin myths that populate the history of human culture. The purpose of Intelligent Design is not to explain, in any quantitative way, the nature of the universe. The purpose of I.D. is to promote a human-centric view of the nature of reality; that some Divine Engineer acted in a human-like capacity and designed an ideal universe that conforms to a human sense of integrated complexity. It's a "God in the gaps" philosophical device used to explain away the aspects of the universe that yet defy our understanding. The same has been true of metaphysical beliefs throughout all of human history and such beliefs have often been discarded in the light of scientific discovery.

Science needs to be taught in our public schools with no interference from faith-based ideology. The blurring of the line in our public schools between faith and science has some very concrete consequences for our childrens' futures. As science is supplanted by faith in schools, we take from our children the ability to compete in the disciplines of science, leaving behind the role of the United States as a leader in research and innovation. That's too high a price to pay.

Mashing science together with religion weakens both.


Samurai Sam said...

I predict that a good friend of mine, who claimed he'd be "keeping an eye" on my blog, is going to disagree mightily with me here.

Just a hunch...

Anonymous said...

good post... thanks.

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DadOBot said...

What's pitiful is that US children and grown-ups alike know so little about science that this is even an issue.