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Author Topic:   What's the problem with teaching ID?
AZPaul3
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Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 16 of 337 (392366)
03-30-2007 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by JustinC
02-28-2006 6:59 PM


The Goose and the Gander.
It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.

- Thomas Jefferson

Unless you want my religious myths crammed down your throat, don’t try to cram yours down mine.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16030
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 17 of 337 (392367)
03-30-2007 5:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by JustinC
02-28-2006 6:59 PM


As a biology major interested in teaching highschool students, I'm the last person who wants ID taught in biology ... In spite of this, I'm having a little trouble articulating to people why it is such a big deal. What are some of problems that teaching ID in a biology curriculum would lead to?

It would require you to teach stuff you know to be false.

Can you stand up in front of children and tell them that "irreducible complexity can't evolve", or that "mutations only destroy genetic information". Can you in conscience recite their stuff about intermediate forms or thermodynamics? Or advocate the Argument from Design without laughing?

Could you do that --- just for thirty pieces of silver?

Moreover, since these people mostly pretend they want you to "teach both theories", you yourself would have to reveal to the children every other lesson that you were lying in the previous one.

To quote Steven Jay Gould:

"Creation science" has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage -- good teaching -- than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?

Creationists can recite creationist nonsense in good conscience only because they know no better. But science teachers do.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 338 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 18 of 337 (392378)
03-30-2007 7:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by JustinC
02-28-2006 6:59 PM


Where I.D. should be taught.
A number of people have given very good reasons for not teaching I.D. in science classes, but there is a place in education for teaching about I.D.

That place is in the history of science (or, more accurately perhaps, the history of philosophy of science) and it's very useful for students to see see an illustration of how one theory (evolution) replaced another (design), and the observations that led to the change. To leave it out would be a bit like teaching Big Bang theory without mentioning that the Steady State theory once predominated. It could also be taught in the history of theology and philoshophy, of course.

We often talk about the modern U.S. Discovery Institute expression of I.D., but not so much about I.D. when it was in its prime, and was the view of the overwhelming majority. Teaching about this is not what the D.I. people want, of course, because the truth is that their pet theories are outdated history, and that truth goes directly against their attempts to present them as exciting new science.

With Creationists in the U.S. constantly trying to get their foot in the science class door, the sensitivity to the subject of I.D. is understandable, but I would argue that if any history of science is being taught, then it should certainly get more than a mention.

I.D. is ancient, course, but the best known "modern" expression came from William Paley in his "Evidences of Christianity" (1802).

Here's Charles Darwin on the subject of William Paley.

quote:
In order to pass the B.A. examination, it was, also, necessary to get up Paley's Evidences of Christianity, and his Moral Philosophy. . . The logic of this book and as I may add of his Natural Theology gave me as much delight as did Euclid. The careful study of these works, without attempting to learn any part by rote, was the only part of the Academical Course which, as I then felt and as I still believe, was of the least use to me in the education of my mind. I did not at that time trouble myself about Paley's premises; and taking these on trust I was charmed and convinced of the long line of argumentation.

Charles Darwin. Autobiography

Paley's attitude was taken "on trust" by most people at the time. Like pre-Darwinian evolutionary theories, Lamarckian, Saltationist, etc., it should be taught, and if it wasn't for the Creationist's efforts to get such ideas described as twentieth-first century ones, rather than ancient, they would be taught as history, and without controversy.


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JustinC
Member (Idle past 2705 days)
Posts: 624
From: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Joined: 07-21-2003


Message 19 of 337 (392393)
03-30-2007 10:03 PM


Saving Some Face
I would like to point out that this thread is over a year old and I didn't mean to imply that I thought ID should be taught in school.

I was giving a brief speech in Public Speaking and I wanted a survey of all the different reasons why it shouldn't be taught-and there's no better source than EvC members.


    
pwnagepanda
Junior Member (Idle past 4008 days)
Posts: 7
From: Piedmont, California, USA
Joined: 05-29-2007


Message 20 of 337 (402788)
05-29-2007 11:57 PM


I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
It should be taught in a theology class or a critical thinking class. The best reason that Intelligent design sould not be taught is that A. it has been proven false and B. it is unfalsifiable, and therefore not science. However, It would be a good exercise in critiacal thinking if it were discussed in a class and then critiqued.


sorry, but science needs evidence
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jar
Member
Posts: 30712
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 21 of 337 (402792)
05-30-2007 12:07 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by pwnagepanda
05-29-2007 11:57 PM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
The best reason that Intelligent design sould not be taught is that A. it has been proven false and B. it is unfalsifiable, and therefore not science.

Beg pardon?

Want to try that one again?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16030
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 22 of 337 (402793)
05-30-2007 12:11 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by pwnagepanda
05-29-2007 11:57 PM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
A. it has been proven false and B. it is unfalsifiable.

I don't know how to put this tactfully, but ... have you ever considered the possibility that you might be an idiot?

As I say, tact is not my strong suit.

* bangs head gently against wall *


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16030
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 23 of 337 (402794)
05-30-2007 12:12 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by jar
05-30-2007 12:07 AM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
Beg pardon?

Want to try that one again?

Ah ... that was tactful.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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pwnagepanda
Junior Member (Idle past 4008 days)
Posts: 7
From: Piedmont, California, USA
Joined: 05-29-2007


Message 24 of 337 (402808)
05-30-2007 1:15 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Dr Adequate
05-30-2007 12:11 AM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
let me clarify, it has not exactly been proven false, but the criticisms that it makes of evoltion have been thoroughly refuted


sorry, but science needs evidence
This message is a reply to:
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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 337 (402822)
05-30-2007 7:29 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by pwnagepanda
05-29-2007 11:57 PM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
pwnagepanda

The best reason that Intelligent design sould not be taught is that A. it has been proven false and B. it is unfalsifiable, and therefore not science.

Do you read what you write or is your critical thinking cap at the dry cleaners today?


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19544
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 26 of 337 (402826)
05-30-2007 7:54 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by pwnagepanda
05-30-2007 1:15 AM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
Let me clarify, it has not exactly been proven false,...

being unfalsifiable.

but the criticisms that it makes of evoltion have been thoroughly refuted

Being mostly rehashed PRATTs of creationists that is no surprise.

And welcome to the fray

Enjoy


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Percy
Member
Posts: 17581
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 27 of 337 (402847)
05-30-2007 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by pwnagepanda
05-29-2007 11:57 PM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
pwnagenpanda writes:

The best reason that Intelligent design should not be taught is that A. it has been proven false and B. it is unfalsifiable, and therefore not science.

The inherent contradiction has already been noted, so I'll just explain the real reason why ID shouldn't be taught in science class. Science is a consensus activity. Accepted scientific theories form out of the scientific consensus. High school science curriculums are responsible for teaching the current consensus. Because ID is not part of that consensus, it shouldn't be taught in science class.

But one might ask, is it therefore as unacceptable to teach string theory as it is to teach ID, since string theory is not at this point in time a part of the scientific consensus, even though it is an area of intense scientific study. Why is it okay for a science teacher, in response to expressed interest from the students, to devote a class or two to string theory, but not to ID?

This is the kind of question where I find myself floundering. How long do I have to talk, how much do I have to write, in order to make clear why string theory is legitimate scientific investigation and ID is not? It's not that I can't explain it, because I think I can. It's just that way before I finish my explanation I will have lost my intended audience, for reasons ranging from short attention span to lack of serious interest to simple inability to grasp the concepts. This last is the most difficult to deal with, since how does one remedy a lifetime of ignoring science with a few posts on a message board?

We need to somehow come up with as pithy and easy to understand (and accurate) answers to questions about creation and ID as the creationist's response to evolution, "You never get a cat from a dog."

One could argue that you could just say about ID, "Scientists don't accept it, so we don't teach it." But the response will be something like, "Dembski's a PhD scientist," and now you're stuck explaining why Dembski isn't a scientist, but though his degrees are in math and theology this might be a tough argument to make, so you'd instead have to explain that Dembski doesn't really participate in the scientific endeavor, that what he's is doing is having no impact on the scientific consensus, and so forth, and you'd probably be largely unsuccessful at persuading anyone. I think we just have to admit that the creationist strategy of donning the trappings of science while not actually doing science is proving eminently successful at confusing the issue. The only place where we really win big is in court.

--Percy


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pwnagepanda
Junior Member (Idle past 4008 days)
Posts: 7
From: Piedmont, California, USA
Joined: 05-29-2007


Message 28 of 337 (402848)
05-30-2007 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by RAZD
05-30-2007 7:54 AM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
I didnt really think before I wrote, but what i meant was that it had been discredited because although it does not make any real predictions, the critisisms of evolution that it makes are not valid


sorry, but science needs evidence
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 337 (402852)
05-30-2007 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Percy
05-30-2007 10:31 AM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
Why is it okay for a science teacher, in response to expressed interest from the students, to devote a class or two to string theory, but not to ID?

Well, I think motive goes a long way. ID and creationism have been developed - openly, by their proponents - as a means to combat secular public education by creating a "wedge" issue they can use to insert official recognition of the existence of the Christian God in American public schools.

String theory is just a way to reconcile the untenable number of "elementary" particles in the universe. While it's essentially evidence-free at this point, it's also ideology-free; it's not a political wedge issue. It's basically Trivial Pursuit for eggheads.

Honestly I don't think creationism is completely out of place in the classroom; I don't think it would be inappropriate for a teacher, in response to a question about it, to inform students about what creationists contend and what evidence contradicts their view. I think, largely, teachers should concern themselves with true things; and to say that there are creationists, and that they believe such-and-such, are true things. Similarly, it's true that there is string theory, and it's proponents contend so-and-so, so I don't see that informing students of that is any big deal.


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DivineBeginning
Member (Idle past 3888 days)
Posts: 100
Joined: 11-16-2006


Message 30 of 337 (424210)
09-26-2007 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Coragyps
02-28-2006 8:33 PM


And this is how the other theories could be taught:
"We weren't there...in fact nobody was there and we have no idea what the conditions were like, but we do know exactly what happened and can somehow prove it using mumbo jumbo and man made theories. So let's get to work.
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