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So what is so wrong with teaching ID as an alternative to Evolution in the classroom? Could a class "help students apply critical thinking to questions about evolution and Intelligent Design”? Here's how one school went about it:

The teacher assigned to develop the syllabus and teach the class is the soccer coach, certified to teach Geography and Health. "She quickly admits she is not certified to teach science."

One speaker scheduled to speak on behalf of evolution died 18 months before. Other speakers were put on the list without their permission.

As part of the course, 24 videos will be shown. When the teacher was asked about the videos, she said “I don't know. They were lent to me by a friend. They are at my house. I haven't watched them yet.” Apparently not a single school official has any idea what the videos contain.

According to the course description, "Physical and chemical evidence will be presented suggesting the earth is thousands of years old, not billions."

The teacher writes: "The idea of this class was not created on the spur of the moment. I believe that this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach. And despite all odds, I am teaching the class."


Is this how ID will be showcased in our classrooms?


http://www.mountainenterprise.com/IntellDesign-stories/051230-False_Info.html
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According to the course description, "Physical and chemical evidence will be presented suggesting the earth is thousands of years old, not billions."


That's not ID. ID does not take a position on the age of the earth, like anthropology takes no position on the speed of light.

No ID theorist believes that stuff.
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That's not ID. ID does not take a position on the age of the earth, like anthropology takes no position on the speed of light.

No ID theorist believes that stuff.


That's my point. ID classes are being created and taught by teachers who have no idea of what they are doing. If the teacher is going to provide evidence of a thousand year old earth, how can she present an unbiased view of evolution?



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That's my point. ID classes are being created and taught by teachers who have no idea of what they are doing. If the teacher is going to provide evidence of a thousand year old earth, how can she present an unbiased view of evolution?

It took me years to figure out this subtle word game that ID plays, and how it is supposedly different from creationism. And I love reading this stuff every chance I get. How is the average high school teacher, who doesn't even specialize in evolution, supposed to read the minds of the Discovery Institute and give the kind of nuanced ID presentation that is required?
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It took me years to figure out this subtle word game that ID plays, and how it is supposedly different from creationism. And I love reading this stuff every chance I get. How is the average high school teacher, who doesn't even specialize in evolution, supposed to read the minds of the Discovery Institute and give the kind of nuanced ID presentation that is required?

I've another question.

If evolution is not the absolute best explanation of the data, then where are the non-theistic claims?

One could easily become the most important scientist of our time if one could make it clear that there is a better explanation of the data.

These Idists like Behe like to say that they are scientists, and perhaps they are, but they are also ALL theists.

There is not one atheist that sees any value in ID "theory". If there were something there, any competent scientist would jump at the chance to show it. They don't- not because ID is against their professed lack of a belief in a creator, but because there is nothing there to jump at.

k
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There is not one atheist that sees any value in ID "theory". If there were something there, any competent scientist would jump at the chance to show it. They don't- not because ID is against their professed lack of a belief in a creator, but because there is nothing there to jump at.


But how do you really know what's inside someone's head, if they a) don't want you to know, or b) are not being honest with themselves.

The history of science argues against your assertion. Some scientists were repelled by the Big Bang theory because of it's perceived theistic implications. They at least admitted why they had problems with it, and it wasn't the "science".

You can't be an atheist and see any truth in ID.

Bryan
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You can't be an atheist and see any truth in ID.

How in the world can you say this and then say that bringing ID into the public school classroom doesn't violate the separation of church and state???

- Joe
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The history of science argues against your assertion. Some scientists were repelled by the Big Bang theory because of it's perceived theistic implications. They at least admitted why they had problems with it, and it wasn't the "science".

You keep bringing up the Big Bang as an example of scientific bias, but I think it makes the opposite point. As soon as the big bang theory was proposed scientists began experiments to test the model. It soon became clear that the big bang was a better explanation for existing data and it has now become the dominant theory.

The history of the Big bang theory demonstrates that science has little problem adopting theories with theistic implications as long as it is good science. That's the problem with ID.
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If evolution is not the absolute best explanation of the data, then where are the non-theistic claims?

There's panspermia. I think your point is made by the fact that despite the high profile names that have at one time or another proposed panspermia (Hoyle, Crick) it remains on the fringes of the field.
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If evolution is not the absolute best explanation of the data, then where are the non-theistic claims?

There's panspermia.


The best that panspermia can do is throw a several more billion years and a multitude of possible venues at the problem of abiogenesis. In other words, it increases the chances that life will spontaneously arise, but it doesn't add anything to how that might occur.

- Joe
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You can't be an atheist and see any truth in ID.

Does that mean that space aliens are completely out now? ID requires God?


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Does that mean that space aliens are completely out now? ID requires God?


Think about it . . . if you were an atheist, but you were convinced that natural processes can't account for some biological systems, and that there must be something beyond natural processes at work . . . could you really maintain at the same level of confidence that there is no God, or that you have no evidence of God?

I guess there's always directed panspermia, but it doesn't sound like its got much going for it.

Once you let ID in the door, you cease to be an atheist, IMO. Not because the theory includes God, but it strongly implies God.

Bryan
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Once you let ID in the door, you cease to be an atheist

Public schools should not be teaching subjects that would convert students from atheism. No matter how it is positioned, converting kids from atheism is religion.


On the other hand, Evolution and theism are not mutually exclusive. Theists and Atheists believe in Evolution.|
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There is not one atheist that sees any value in ID "theory". If there were something there, any competent scientist would jump at the chance to show it. They don't- not because ID is against their professed lack of a belief in a creator, but because there is nothing there to jump at.

--------------------------------------------

But how do you really know what's inside someone's head, if they a) don't want you to know, or b) are not being honest with themselves.

The history of science argues against your assertion. Some scientists were repelled by the Big Bang theory because of it's perceived theistic implications. They at least admitted why they had problems with it, and it wasn't the "science".

You can't be an atheist and see any truth in ID.


I can't find any references to any scientists arguing against the BB theory because of its perceived theistic implications.

All I can find are theistic claims that BB theory strengthens their worldview, and scientific rebuttals that show how silly that claim is in light of the BB theory itself.

Maybe you could find a link that might show these initial objections?

k

k


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I can't find any references to any scientists arguing against the BB theory because of its perceived theistic implications.

All I can find are theistic claims that BB theory strengthens their worldview, and scientific rebuttals that show how silly that claim is in light of the BB theory itself.

Maybe you could find a link that might show these initial objections?


Maybe I should modify what I said . . . some scientists refused (at least at first) to accept the Big Bang theory, because it's implications were in conflict with their view of God.


Einstein was an atheist, at least at the time of his major discoveries, and his intial equations showed that the universe could not be static (as was his view), so he introduced a constant into his equations to make it work, something he later admitted was a mistake.

Some of this is reflected in Ned Wrights (UCLA) page http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmo_constant.html where he states:

"Einstein's original cosmological model was a static, homogeneous model with spherical geometry. The gravitational effect of matter caused an acceleration in this model which Einstein did not want, since at the time the Universe was not known to be expanding. Thus Einstein introduced a cosmological constant into his equations for General Relativity. This term acts to counteract the gravitational pull of matter, and so it has been described as an anti-gravity effect. . . . In addition to this flaw of instability, the static model's premise of a static Universe was shown by Hubble to be incorrect. This led Einstein to refer to the cosmological constant as his greatest blunder, and to drop it from his equations."

I'm not sure its been definitively proven that Einstein refused to believe in an expanding universe because of his theological beliefs, but I submit that it is the most likely explanation.

For another case, you have Fred Hoyle and Herman Bondi, who in 1948 promoted their steady-state theory with a sort of continual creation feature, which did away with the need for a beginning to the universe. They stated in their writings that they were opposed to the idea that anything could transcend the realm of nature.

Hoyle said he had aesthetic objections to the creation of the universe in the remote past. He also said the Christian view of creation was offering to man an eternity of frustration (or something to that effect), and later said: "The attribution of definite age to the Universe, whatever it might be, is to exalt the concept of time above the Universe, and since the Universe is everything this is crackpot in itself."

I have not verified all the stuff above, getting it second hand, but it fits with most of what I've seen. Here's some other similar quotes:

“Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of Nature [as implied by the Big Bang] is repugnant to me. . . . I should like to find a genuine loophole.” Sir Arthur Eddington, Nature, Vol. 127, 1931, p. 450.

"The biggest problem with the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe is philosophical--perhaps even theological--what was there before the bang? This problem alone was sufficient to give a great initial impetus to the Steady State theory; but with that theory now sadly in conflict with the observations, the best way round this initial difficulty is provided by a model in which the universe expands from a singularity, collapses back again, and repeats the cycle indefinitely" John Gribbin, "Oscillating Universe Bounces Back," Nature, Vol. 259, 1976: 15.

“In spite of other successes of the general theory of relativity, the Big Bang, and in particular the idea that the universe had a beginning, was fought bitterly every step of the way.” Hubert P. Yockey, Information Theory and Molecular Biology, 1992, Cambridge University Press.

So I'm not making this idea up k. It's simply a fact that at least one motivation for scientists rejecting the Big Bang theory was philosophical, not scientific.

Is it so hard to believe that scientists are human too? <g>

Bryan
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So I'm not making this idea up k. It's simply a fact that at least one motivation for scientists rejecting the Big Bang theory was philosophical, not scientific.

Is it so hard to believe that scientists are human too? <g>


No.

But it is hard to believe that the initial arguments against the BB theory can in any way be compared to the arguments against ID.

For them to be in any way similar, there would have had to have been a scientist that had based his assumptions on the idea that there could be no creator. There haven't been any of those and that is ALL ID could possibly argue against.

The BB was supported by actual, documentable, falsifiable data in the positive- not just an idea without any way to disprove it. That's why it was accepted so quickly.

Come up with a better explanation, and we'll listen. No one has (yet).

k




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