Please, teach them Intelligent Design!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 7:59 PM Bookmark and Share
Most scientists and science educators would prefer things like intelligent design (ID) be erased from halls of human thought, however some are advocating (with good reason!) that these ideas and beliefs should be taught in our public schools - all in the name of good science.

Before you tally this as a small win for the creationism/ID proponents out there, have a look at the following (roughly 9 minute) talk by American astrophysicist and educator Neil deGrasse Tyson:



Why teach ID and similar belief systems in our schools? Clearly, not for the reasons young earth creationists say we should - we can't teach religion in public schools! ID and related assertions should be taught, however, because they are part of the history of science and human thought - and more importantly, because of the threat they pose to scientific progress. To ignore them is tantamount to begging history to repeat itself, at some point down the line.

So yes, intelligent design should be taught in (at least some) public schools, but in classes about the philosophy of science, comparative religion or the history of science. Intelligent design does not, however, belong in the science classroom along side actual scientific theories. (This last point, I should mention, has repeatedly been the finding of numerous state and federal court decisions, and nearly the entire scientific and public education communities.)

Where does that leave us? Perhaps, with the following challenge:
1. To develop guidelines on teaching intelligent design (and why it isn't science) in public classes on the philosophy of science, the history of science and/or in comparative religions courses. With many suggesting ID belongs in these courses, and not in a science class, we need to ensure classes like this one don't pass muster as legitimate alternatives to sneak creationism into public schools.

2. To develop appropriate materials to put those guidelines into practice. This include changes to the K-12 curriculum, not just university level courses.

Will such educational guidelines and materials ever make it into mainstream classrooms? Who knows. Is this even a good idea? That is a discussion I have yet to have (so I especially welcome your comments on this one!).

Hopefully we'll all do our part to continue to ensure ID is taught where it should be taught (if at all), and not in the science classroom.

2 comments:

Posted by: Adrian Corscadden | 4/01/2009 11:30 PM

lol....happy april fools to you too

Posted by: slybird | 4/02/2009 6:56 AM

"ntelligent design should be taught in (at least some) public schools, but in classes about the philosophy of science, comparative religion or the history of science."

I wish my high school was cool enough to have classes like that...

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