Skip to comments.Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design
Posted on 09/19/2005 3:32:34 PM PDT by dukeman
The Dover Area School district in Pennsylvania will soon defend its policy to require ninth grade students to hear a short statement about intelligent design before biology lessons on evolution.
Dover is believed to have been the first school system in the nation to require students to hear about the controversial concept. The school adopted the policy in October 2004, after which teachers were required to read a statement that says intelligent design is different than Darwins theory of evolution and refers students to a text book on intelligent design to get more information.
All the Dover school board did was allow students to get a glimpse of a controversy that is really boiling over in the scientific community, said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which is defending the school district, according to the Associated Press.
The civil trial is set to take place on Sept. 26 and will only be the latest chapter in a long-running legal debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools.
The controversy over intelligent design in public schools has received national attention with statements by President Bush expressing approval for the theory to be taught in class, along with the recent approval by the Kansas Board of Education to give preliminary approval to science standards that allow criticism of evolution.
Intelligent design theory states that some parts of the natural world are so complex that the most reasonable explanation is that they were made as products of an intelligent cause, rather than random mutation and natural selection.
In contrast to "creationism," which states specifically that God is the creator, intelligent design is more general, simply saying that life did not come about by chance. The "designer" could be anything or anyone, though many place God in the position of the designer.
Experts on the case include biochemist Michael Behe of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, who is proponent of intelligent design. He holds that the concept of irreducible complexity shows that there is an intelligent creator. He cites the example of a bacterial flagellum, an appendage to a bacterium that allows it to move about.
"Whenever we see such complex, functional mechanical systems, we always infer that they were designed. ... It is a conclusion based on physical evidence," AP reported Behe as saying in testimony before the state legislative panel in June where he was asked to talk about intelligent design.
Critics of intelligent design have dismissed the theory as a backdoor to creationism, with some calling it pseudo science.
In a 1999 assessment of intelligent design, the National Academy of sciences said the theory was not science.
''Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science," the NAS stated.
The controversy over Intelligent Design has been so highly talked about that the debate was also featured last month as a cover story for Time Magazine. In the feature article, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) President Albert Mohler, Jr., tackled the controversy with three other scholars in a forum addressing the question Can You Believe in God and Evolution? Behe was also among those whose views were addressed in the article.
Let's not be stupid about all of this.
The most logical thing is to present both sides of the argument since both are just theories. Then you present the facts that are known.
No one can prove how our world was created, and that is just the way it is.
Now, you can prove things like how old objects are through science such as carbon dating.
You can prove the similarities between the species through DNA, that's science.
However, you cannot prove that anything actually evolved. We've never seen a species actually evolve into a new species. It's just a theory. People present it as fact, and it is not.
I was a chemical engineering major for 3 years before I switched to computer science. I have a minor in chemistry.
I know science. Yes, there are lots of theories, but most of them can be proved. Evolution cannot be proved. I'm not saying that it didn't happen. I actually don't have a problem if it did.
However, I like to look at theories and prove them. That's what real scientist do.
"The most logical thing is to present both sides of the argument since both are just theories. Then you present the facts that are known."
Only one is a scientific theory though. ID doesn't cut the mustard.
"I know science. Yes, there are lots of theories, but most of them can be proved."
You don't science as well as you think. NO theory has been proved. Evolution is no different than the theory of universal gravity or quantum mechanics.
"However, I like to look at theories and prove them. That's what real scientist do."
That's what no scientist CAN do.
You have not shown you even know what the theory says. Smoke is still rising from your butt.
***It will probably never be to your satisfaction anyways, so I choose not to waste my time at it. Do you prefer blue or white smoke?
You haven't shown the least inclination in wanting to know anything about evolution.
***You kinda got that part right. There was a time when I was fascinated by Velikovsky and I tried to wrestle with his theory. But it takes an expert in 5 different areas to really know whether it holds any water, and eventually I ran across Carl Sagans treatment of Velikovsky, it seemed like enough that I could form an opinion based upon both sides. The whole process took way too long. My frustration with the evo theory is that you need to be an expert in more than 5 different areas, and I dont wanna go there. It looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and it ain't a goose; it's probably a duck. The duck is a scientific squabble. It sure looks like a scientific squabble to me.
You want to discuss the politics of a science debate without any mention of the science. That is impossible.
***Did George Bush suddenly become a PhD biochemist? He discussed the politics of a science debate and didnt have to get peer reviewed for some research proposal, so why is that level of knowledge required of an average freeper? When freepers run for the school board and help determine the curriculum of the school, are they required to be PhDs in each area of inquiry to decide on what the curriculum should be? No. Therefore the level of knowledge required is not necessarily PhD level biochemistry nuances, and I choose not to go down that path. It is not impossible. George did it, the average school board member does it, and so can I.
The speed of light is still constant and hasn't changed. What are you talking about?
***Here you go, for starters:
You[r] only argument has been that Bush and Reagan like ID so we must take it seriously as science.
***No, my argument is that Bush & Reagan like ID and so we should take it seriously when examining the social policies surrounding the teaching of science and other subjects.
You DO know that the argument from authority is a logical fallacy, right? Especially when they have no science backgrounds.
***Since I dont see them as scientific authorities, that is not my argument and Im not using that fallacy. I see them as social policy authorities who consulted scientific authorities in their decisions. This argument from authority has its fallacy showing from another angle: Since I am not an authority in bio/chem/astronomy, folks here seem to have decided that my opinion holds no weight on a social policy issue.
You are way, WAY out of your league.
***I know that. Thats why I choose not to engage on the scientific end of the argument. Go argue with someone else who knows what theyre doing when it comes to that stuff.
Well-earned ridicule. You think whining about it will cause us to spare you?
***Would that work? Ohhh pleaaaase stooopppp riiiidiiiicuulllinnnggg meeeeee. I doubt it. What is the level of operating that makes you folks decide that youre going to ridicule them rather than answer their questions and deal with the points they bring up? This is, after all, a political website and not a science website. That might actually be a useful faq to put up on Patrick Henrys page. And I might as well point out, for your sakes, that there are a bunch of lurkers who probably think like me. They might just decide to pass on the debate and then 20 years from now, theyre in a position of authority deciding what the curriculum should be and the evo guys would be still wondering what happened.
Well, theres your problem. You thought it was a 'philosophy', when in fact evolution is a scientific theory.
***Weve covered this before. Copout. At the point of unknown, evo/creat/ID/abio/FengShui theyre all philosophies. Either come to the table and deal with the reality presented on the level of philosophy, or be bypassed by this generation of lurkers who would just as soon go home and watch Homer Simpson and then vote for ID being taught side-by-side at the next School Board Meeting.
If you were looking for a philosophy, why didn't you take up Feng Shui?
***If you guys continue to blindly whistle past this gaping hole in your position, dont be surprised if someone comes in and sets up shop there. There are philosophical elements to this evo/abio theory and they aren't going away. That is the source of much of your opposition.
If his advisors can't convince the President we need a viable immigration policy or a curb on federal spending, I doubt they'll have any more luck with biology.
At least Bush has the sense to employ a science advisor who does know the difference between science and ID.
***And yet, GWB seemed to overlook what his science advisors inputs when it came to that how and why do you think that happened? Did his political instincts override his deductive scientific leaning? Probably. That would mean that he perceives this whole debate as a bunch of eggheads arguing with each other over the finer points of some scientific squabble. His concern would be whether thats good for society and whether the republican party can mine it for votes in the future, plus probably some other concerns.
Evolution isn't a social policy any more than it's a philosophy.
***Here is where we differ. I see the haps side of evo/abio as a philosophy, and the teaching of evolution is the subject of social policy. I believe that a meaningful majority of americans agrees with me, which is significant in a social policy debate.
Why don't we discuss it as a scientific theory?
***Go ahead, knock yourselves out with all those other freepers who seem to know what they are doing. I am trying to limit my time and effort in a focused manner.
The HEART of the debate is what is good for us as a society and what should be taught to our children.
You sound Hillary.
Let's look at some scientific theories:
First of all, there were theories that the earth was either round or flat. Those theories were proved (or disproved).
Then there was the theory that the earth had been around for millions of years.
Through carbon dating we are learning just how old our earth is.
Before there was an atom bomb, there were theories about how to make one. Then the scientists figured out how.
Maybe you are right that no theory can be proved because once it is proved it isn't a theory it just becomes fact.
Thats why I choose not to engage on the scientific end of the argument.
Then why do you?
Don't you think that the subject matter being taught is germane to whether that subject matter should be taught? Are you really that dense?
***When freepers run for the school board and help determine the curriculum of the school, are they required to be PhDs in each area of inquiry to decide on what the curriculum should be? No. Therefore the level of knowledge required is not necessarily PhD level biochemistry nuances, and I choose not to go down that path. George did it, the average school board member does it, and so can I. Look at Math. Does the average school board member know anything about differential equations? Probably not, but it doesnt stop them from deciding on whats best for kids math curriculum. Why do you try to impose this level of authority in subject matter on average freepers when that is not required of school boards, the president, nor other policy makers, and especially in such a controversial subject matter?
"I'm here to discuss social policy, not the minute details of a theory that I don't care much about. I know as much as others who make policy know about this subject." .That's a scary thought.
***I see some of what Im saying is starting to sink in. A scary thought. Kind of like 12 jurors on the OJ trial ignoring all that DNA evidence. Those 12 jurors have 12 votes in making policy just like 12 PhD biochemists. The real scary thought is that there are a lot more OJ level jurors than PhD biochem guys. Now that some reality is starting to kick in, what would be best for teaching our children about evolution/ID? I think it is an advanced theory that should be reserved for advanced bio and philosophy, and we should stick to bringing those 12 jurors kids up to speed on the basics for this next generation. They need it. A real scary thought is that once the evo crowd realizes the bind that theyre in, they wont focus on all 12 of those kids, but only 2/7 of them so that they can regain a majority in the policy making realm. A sad form of educational elitism.
You are arguing that your total ignorance of the subject makes you just as qualified to discuss whether it should be taught or not than those who actually have studied it. Incredible.
***How would that look? Like this? I am totally Ignorant of Math and History, so I dont think that anyone else should know about it either. I suppose thats what it would look like. But thats not what I wrote, so that means youre using a straw argument. And furthermore, the subjects of Math & History dont have the spiritual vacuity that the haps side of evo/abio does at this time. What exactly are the requirements for someone to discuss social policy? Are they written somewhere on Patrick Henrys page? Is it a special secret decoder ring-enabled site here on Free Republic that I havent been aware of? The current requirement for someone on a school board is that they care enough to show up and get elected. If FR suddenly has a higher requirement than the average school board, I would like to know. If not, then youre imposing an artificial encumbrance to discussion of this policy issue.
Not at all. It's being kind.
***Then allow me to say that you are too kind.
"And if someone like me can't understand the theory, why are you folks trying to teach it to our kids? " So anything YOU can't understand shouldn't be taught? Your ignorance should be everybody's?
***Once again, some straw argumentation. Did I say dont teach ANYTHING I cant understand? No. I had trouble with thermodynamics, but that doesnt mean I suggest that others shouldnt learn it. And nowhere do I say that evo should NOT be taught, just that we should limit the negative spiritual effects that this soulless philosophy has on youngsters. I agree that evo/abio should be taught side by side with ID, I dont see the harm in it, I see it would be good for society and the net result would be good for most people involved.
"That's not what I want, so stop trying to read my mind. Just read my posts." I have. You want science by poll. Stop hiding from your arguments.
***Back & forth, same thing . BORING. Tell me what I think of my neighbor and I will give you the necessary credit needed to read my mind. Tell me what I want for dinner and I will listen to what you have to say about what I want regarding this issue. Better yet, why don't you just read what I wrote instead of this baloney.
"The plain and simple fact is, this is how some young evolutionists process the moral implications of the theory." Some people took Einstein's theory of relativity to mean that all morality is relative. Was it Einstein's fault that some people are stupid?
***Ok, lets work with that analogy. There was this kid named John Aristotle Phillips who wrote "Mushroom: The Story of the A-Bomb Kid." He designed his own atom bomb. Now, was it Einsteins fault? No. Is there something so inherently dangerous to the subject matter that it demands legitimate control so that society does not get harmed? Yes. I see the haps/evo stuff as a spiritual form of this story, and I think we need to limit the negative effects that can result from it.
Just because some people who know next to nothing about evolution completely misunderstand the implications doesn't in any way mean that there is any problem with the theory on a scientific level.
***Was there anything wrong with Phillips study on the scientific level? No, and yet we see the need to control it and at the time to keep it out of Pakistani hands. I see the need to control this spiritually dangerous teaching that might possibly radiate amoral behavior.
Why should we lie to our children that there is a scientific controversy because people like you are ignorant?
***Im not lying to my children, I do see a scientific controversy and I suspect so did GWB when he came out with his policy. There is also a political controversy mixed in with it. They are becoming more interlaced with each passing day.
It has nothing to do with their behavior. It is not applied to their behavior.
***And again I say COPOUT. There are obvious spiritual and social implications to the theory and those implications wont go away if you just keep poking your head in the sand.
Just because it is too sophisticated for YOU, doesn't mean that the average 12 year old won't get it.
***Wow, really? You honestly think that the average 12 year old can process this kind of information in an edifying way? The average ADULT doesnt know what a molecule is, and you think the average 12 year old can mentally wrestle with this spiritually dangerous philosophy? You have a very high opinion of the average 12 year old, and if that were the case I might agree with you. But since the average 12 year old cant find Germany on a map, I dont think theyre ready for this stuff.
Your smearing of evolution by associating it with child molesters and now Islamo-terrorists is a disgusting display, indicative of the paucity of your evidence (and very telling about your character).
***Bringing out character as a subject matter without addressing the points mentioned is a form of ad hominem argumentation. I was very explicit when I pointed out that the NAMBLA stuff is hyperbole. You're starting to get a little shrill, an interesting sign. You might want to reduce your caffeine intake and add fiber to your diet. And I didnt ASSOCIATE the two, I was using ANALOGY. From Dictionary.com
analogy P Pronunciation Key ( -n l -j )
n. pl. analogies
a. Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar.
b. A comparison based on such similarity. See Synonyms at likeness.
2. Biology. Correspondence in function or position between organs of dissimilar evolutionary origin or structure.
3. A form of logical inference or an instance of it, based on the assumption that if two things are known to be alike in some respects, then they must be alike in other respects.
4. Linguistics. The process by which words or morphemes are re-formed or created on the model of existing grammatical patterns in a language, often leading to greater regularity in paradigms, as evidenced by helped replacing holp and holpen as the past tense and past participle of help on the model of verbs such as yelp, yelped, yelped.
7 entries found for associate.
associate P Pronunciation Key ( -s sh - t , -s -)
v. associated, associating, associates
1. To join as a partner, ally, or friend.
2. To connect or join together; combine.
3. To connect in the mind or imagination: I always somehow associate Chatterton with autumn (John Keats).
1. To join in or form a league, union, or association. See Synonyms at join.
[Middle English associaten, from Latin associ re, associ t- : ad-, ad- + socius, companion; see sekw-1 in Indo-European Roots.]
Unless you have something of substance to critique about the theory, none of your opinions count for anything.
***A form of appeal to authority fallacy. Only those high priests worthy enough may engage in discourse on this subject, all other cretins must stay silent.
You sound Hillary.
***Ouch, yer right.
Thats why I choose not to engage on the scientific end of the argument....Then why do you?
***I'm operating at the level I'm comfortable with. You don't see stuff from me about the finer nuances of protein sequencing because I don't know that stuff. It looks fascinating, though.
I do see a scientific controversy
You just stated in post #123 "Thats why I choose not to engage on the scientific end of the argument."
And here you are already again engaging in the scientific end of the argument.
I do see a scientific controversy
You just stated in post #123 "Thats why I choose not to engage on the scientific end of the argument."
And here you are already again engaging in the scientific end of the argument.
***I see a scientific controversy raging around global warming and one around the safe levels of radioactivity and another around how much milk we should drink. That doesn't mean that I intend to get into the finer points of acidophilous cultures.
Actually other forms of radiometric dating. Radiocarbon dating tops out about 50,000 years ago. (But the other forms of dating tell us billions of years.)
Thanks for that background, Coyoteman, good stuff.
So, now where is my lead statement (repeated again below) wrong?
I am trying to stay away from the scientific end of this argument for the same reason that I stayed away for 7 years: It's too acrimonious, requires too much time/knowledge/digging/etc, and I see very little ROI for myself [from your post #76].
From this post, you have declared that you do not believe science,
***No, I'm just trying to stay away from it because it looks overwhelming in how much time it's going to take. Do you think the 12 OJ jurors "believed science"? That's an interesting choice of terminology, more suited for a philosophical inquiry rather than a scientific one.
you do not understand science,
***There's some truth to that, and some falsehood. I have a BSEE, so I think that's enough to know some scientific method, but not enough to engage in the crevo threads. GWB changed all that when he came out with his position, so I feel I can engage on the level of social policy and leave the science egghead stuff to the folks who are already doing it.
and if you did it wouldn't matter anyway.
***Probably wrong, but it appears to be conjecture anyways.
Every time someone brings up science you turn it to a question of public or social policy. You consistently duck the science questions.
***That's because I consider this to be a social policy issue. A school board member doesn't need to be a PhD mathemetician to be able to decide on the math curriculum for the local school, and the same should hold true for this scientific endeavor/philosophy. Send your science questions to the other eggheads on this forum who appear to be doing a good job answering that stuff. If there are some real zingers, I'll take notice, assuming I have the time.
ok, bye bye again
Posted by Kevin OMalley to ml1954
On News/Activism 09/12/2005 10:02:36 AM PDT · 206 of 213
When there is a basic unreconcilable difference, no answer is adequate and any attempt is a waste of effort.
***That's interesting to know. Now that this has become a public policy discussion, when one side disengages, there are more consequences than before. You lose that chance to educate the public.
The only purpose is to inform/convince the lurkers.
***That may have been true before, but the definition of lurkers has just changed and expanded to include that 2/3 of the general public that agrees the two philosophies should be taught side by side.
There are no more on this thread. It is a dead thread. Bye
***Good enough. I may be new to crevo threads, but I'm no newbie to FR. In my experience, people disengage when they have no more to say, and can't come up with strong enough rebuttals.
This is just for the lurkers.
You offer no rebuttal. Just a repeat of your last word in a past discussion on another thread where you refused to concede there is not a controversy in the scientific community when 99+% of scientists support the TOE.
Your logic does no disrespect to me, only to yourself; when you use an example of a proven theory vs. a debunked one to elevate an unproven one over an unproven one. There is no proof of evolution - there is alot of inference - but no proof.
At it's peak nearly 100% of scientist acknowledged the earth was flat, that did not make it so.
Since a preponderance of academia voted for John Kerry, I guess I should have too.