Intelligent Design?

The opposition to teaching biology in high school in a manner that pleases the community of biologists continues. We will be celebrating the centenial of the argument (Scope’s Trial) soon.

Regarding the secularization of our society, Dean has a pretty good point. Forcing via the courts or ballot box that people drop their religious practices, views, or beliefs is obviously going to produce a backlash. However, at the same time this does not mean that we should ignore attempts to bring religious dogma into the science classroom. This is Dean’s strongest argument, and I mostly agree with him in general terms, but not when it concerns science.
The entire ID movement is very much like a propaganda campaign. Keep repeating claims over and over until people start to believe them. … insistence that we keep treating ID as being scientific, when it has produced nothing (and indeed one could argue that ID is actually anti-science), when it looks very much like a propaganda campaign, and wants to circumvent the scientific process altogether is beyond me. We don’t put non-science (and especially anti-science) into science classrooms. One would think that this is obvious, but I guess not. [Steve Dean Responds. Deinonychus antirrhopus. 8Ja05]

An example, as a complaint about propaganda going in just the opposite direction, is from David Limbaugh.

But for our culture’s indoctrination on these issues, Louis’s reaction would puzzle me. Is he upset with the statement that evolution is a theory or at its mandatory placement in the science textbooks? I’ve been reading quite a bit about the problems with Darwinism lately, as well as the increasing credibility of Intelligent Design theory. It amazes me how much disinformation has been taught in our public schools, universities, and our culture in general on evolution. [ David Limbaugh. Slamming Intelligent Design. 31Dc04]

What Limbaugh misses is that the debate about ID is not inside the biologist community but rather in the religious community. He has a problem seeing why a NY Times columnist is so anti ID and then condemns science teaching in our schools and universities. This is an expression of dissonance. ‘There is a conspiracy against me and I am so confused.’

Rather than spending so much effort in “reading quite a bit about the problems with Darwinism,” the effort should be put into examining some other leaves on the tree, some other trees in the forest, and gaining a perspective on the forest itself. As we see with much of the political debate, finding fault is an easy task. Finding constructive synthesis is much more difficult.

The fact is that the schools attempt to follow the desires of the universities and colleges and those attempt to follow the desires of researchers in their specialist fields and those researchers desire to get paid by producing research results that withstand scrutiny. There is a market system here with many independant actors and components. It should be carefully considered in the implications of arguments related to academia and subject matter.

That problem of “disinformation” is a non trivial allegation and as such demands non trivial support. There is a significant accountability in the worldwide education system that the allegation must show is fundamentally flawed. This sort of mismatch is a key indicator that the allegation is misplaced or misdirected.

Consider this marketing issue in regards to public school curricula. Do you want your school to teach biology in a way that will increase the chance that the student can gain acceptance to a prestigious university? Or do you want your school biology teaching to impare such opportunity and to satisfy some other criterion? For some, this choice presents a difficult dilemma – and that presents society with a problem of how much they should cater to that dissonance.

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