Teaching Evolution

A blog devoted to teaching evolution, both in our schools and in our communities.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Grow Some Testables

William Saletan writes about the trial in Dover, Pennsylvania, over the school board's requirement that intelligent design be taught. Money quote:

Under the policy, "Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin's Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, Intelligent Design." Notice the "of" before "other theories." The policy doesn't tell teachers to discuss gaps and problems in ID. It tells them to discuss gaps and problems in Darwinism—and then to discuss ID as an alternative "theory." The board's brief makes clear that the policy's aim is "informing students about the existing scientific controversy surrounding Darwin's Theory of Evolution, including the fact that there are alternative scientific theories."

The professor best known for championing intelligent design is Michael Behe, and Saletan discusses Behe's claim that intelligent design is, in fact, a falsifiable theory. Behe describes a hypothetical experiment that could disprove intelligent design, but you know what? I don't buy for a second that Behe would accept any experimental findings like the ones he describes. Once a "scientist" uses the old "because God made it that way" answer, why wouldn't he keep using it to explain anything that occurs in the lab?

Thanks to Paul Noonan for the tip.


At 8:20 AM, Blogger dhodge said...

As far as I know, all ID proponents are talking about the God of the Bible when they say "intelligent designer". According to Christian theology, God is omnipotent and omnipresent. According to ID, God has guided the evolution of all living organisms on earth. Therefore, how can anyone who seriously believes in ID believe that God takes a hands-off approach to laboratory experiments? Even if the experiement mentioned in the article was performed and the Darwinian hypothesis was validated, couldn't an ID proponent state that the result was obtained not through natural selection but through divine intervention? To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson, ID ain't in the same ballpark as evolution, ain't in the same league, it ain't even the same sport.


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