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There are indeed several alternative scientific theories that attempt to explain how evolution proceeds. And these are taught in science courses. However, none of them invokes supernatural beings or events. "Intelligent Design" is a religion based theory; it is not scientific and has no place in science education.

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So because ID is a religious based scientific theory it can't be included in public schools? How is that fair?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

A blessed Christmas to all

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ahhh - this is more like it! ;) (let me tell you Ed, those several weeks when you and I kept agreeing with each other were pretty erie!)

 

"So because ID is a religious based scientific theory it can't be included in public schools?"

 

ID is NOT a scientific theory. It is a religious theory. It shouldn't be taught in a science course because it isn't science. It could be presented in a sociology course, in a history course, in a comparative religion course, even in a course on philosophy. Just not science.

 

Now as to why it's "fair" for public schools to do this, I'll let Merlyn or NJCubScouter, or one of the legal eagles address that point.

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Supernatural: Belonging or relating to or being phenomena that cannot be explained by the laws of nature or physics.

 

Just because one cannot explain the existence of something using their limited knowledge that does not mean a valid explanation does not existence. Until all truth is revealed, no one is qualified to say what is consistent with the true laws of nature or physics and what is not - especially given Fishsqueezer's list of rules pertaining to legitimate scientific theories, most notably rule #6. The bottom line is, while science deserves credit for seeking truth, all of science is still just a house of cards. Every time someone pulls the wrong card (i.e. dispels an assumption), many of the cards fall and need to be reconstructed. We have no way of knowing confidently whether or not a foundational card is truly stable and can be trusted. We assume it to be true because it has stood the test of time. However, time is infinite and given that we've only been playing this game for a few thousand years, I think the so-called test of time is shaky at best. And alas, if this is not reason enough, one cannot ignore the incredible bias that individuals may possess. So, even if the explanation for "supernatural" events turns the current laws of nature or physics upside down, a good scientist is open to truth. The truth does not have to validate previous assumptions, it only must be.

 

Ironically, many of the same folks who attack people of faith for not being more open minded, defend the conclusions made by secular scientists as if the possibly of misinterpretation of the data is inconceivable.

 

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ED

You are so wrong, ID is not a scientific teaching it is a religious one. You people need to read the actual ruling, the judge was correct in stating that a RELIGIOUS theory has no place being taught along side a scientific one. A scientific teaching is one that has been tested through empirical evidence over time to be correct to the best of our current knowledge.

 

ID is nothing more than a way to package the Genesis story of creation as science, which it is not. Personally I feel that there was a supreme creator, but I and my church will teach that to my children so it is taught in proper context not by a science teacher who may have different religious views than mine. Every true Christian should feel the same way, religion belongs in the churches not the schools. I don't want my kids exposed to the religious prejudices of people like Rooster7 whose intolerance of those who believe differently from himself is disturbing at best and outright hatred at least, which goes contrary to the message of Jesus.

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None the less, both are theory. And should be taught as such. Evolution is taught as fact!

 

The ruling was ID can't be required teaching. Key word required. It can and should be taught.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

A blessed Christmas to all

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Much of what Rooster says is correct. There are many "ways of knowing" in this world. Science is just one of these ways. Science is unique in that, if rigorously applied, it will yield replicable conclusions between different seekers. Science is also self-correcting in that it tends to continuously refine the limits of what is known to be true.

 

Religious faith is a perfectly valid way of knowing the universe. In most day-to-day circumstances, and for most persons, it will fare just fine as an explanatory framework. However religion is not science and religious based explanations should not be presented as science education.

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Backpacker,

 

As someone who purports to know Jesus, I guess I should turn the other cheek and ignore your comment. But I must say, I think the hatred of which you speak is within yourself, not I. If you want to change the nature of this debate to who I am and what my motivation might be, I suggest you start another thread. And if you are going to spew the same nonsense, at least provide some facts that support such a nasty conclusion.

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Rooster7

 

You seem to think that #6 is a weakness of science. Have you had a science class since high school? #6 is the very strength of science. Science is seeking a provable explanation of some question. To question itself is proof that the field is dynamic. Remember your history - the world was flat, the planets revolved around the earth, all things were made up of the 4 elements (earth, fire, water, and air). Any scientist would tell you that mere fact that we can question and that it is dynamic is its strength.

 

What can you question with ID? To question the conclusion is to question God - therefore it is not allowed. What hypotheses and theories have ID proponents presented? Show me an experiment to test how God created something - anything!

 

Science is approaching things with an open mind. You allude that I am in a fish tank and need to come out - I at least have a view of the world. You, on the other hand, appear to be in a brick box of your own design and can see nothing but what is in your mind.

 

 

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Your own quote Rooster7

 

"Just because one cannot explain the existence of something using their limited knowledge that does not mean a valid explanation does not existence. Until all truth is revealed, no one is qualified to say what is consistent with the true laws of nature or physics and what is not - especially given Fishsqueezer's list of rules pertaining to legitimate scientific theories, most notably rule #6. The bottom line is, while science deserves credit for seeking truth, all of science is still just a house of cards. "

 

Yet ID says that God created it if we can't explain it. Let me guess where you get your "real truth" that is "revealed." Science says how do we prove something did, can or will happen. ID says this happened so what can we find to prove it.

 

Science says a valid explanation exists - then it presents its explanation - then it challenges others to disprove the explanation. If it can be disproved the explanation is scrapped. If it cannot be disproved (at this time) then it is accepted as a valid explanation until further information can challenge it. That is science in action.

 

 

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I am not sure how something universally known as the "Theory of Evolution" could be taught as fact, but then I havent been everywhere so I guess it could happen

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From Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Theory: The analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another; the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art; a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena.

 

Other theories that are taught as fact

Wave Theory

Gravitational Theory

Quantum Theory

Electromagnetic Theory

Theory of Relativity

Acoustic Theory

Antenna Theory

Cell Theory

Continental Drift is a theory as is plate tectonics

 

In science something is only considered a theory AFTER is has developed a firm empirical basis.

 

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OGE writes:

I am not sure how something universally known as the "Theory of Evolution" could be taught as fact, but then I havent been everywhere so I guess it could happen

 

"Evolution" is used to describe both theories and facts ("gravitation" is another term that gets used in this way). Facts are observations, while theories seek to explain the observations.

 

Here are some facts:

allele frequencies in a population are observed to change over time

planets are observed to orbit the sun over time

new species are observed to arise out of populations

a rock will fall when dropped

 

Here are some theories explaining the above facts:

allele frequencies change due to many factors, including reproductive fitness and mutations

between any two masses, there is an attractive force [nearly] proportional to the product of their masses divided by the square of the distance between them

if one population is divided into two separate populations, mating pairs between the two populations may be unable to produce fertile offspring (or even any offspring) over time due to genetic drift

falling rock explanation is same as orbital explanation

 

All of the above could be categorized under evolution or gravitation, even though some items are observed facts, and some are (very abbreviated) theories explaining the facts.

 

It's also a good example of some of the strengths of science - notice how the theory that explains the planets orbiting also explains why rocks fall, even though the two observations are very different. Seeing planets as lights in the sky, moving and not falling, does not at all resemble a rock falling.

 

Also notice that Newton's laws, while still useful, are known to be inaccurate. It was replaced by a theory that closely resembled Newton's laws when dealing with small masses and velocities well below the speed of light, but differed when calculating Mercury's orbit (which never quite matched Newtonian predictions) and predicting whether the sun's gravity would bend light rays (Newton says no, Einstein says yes).

 

Believe me, when a well-established theory starts to have genuine, scientific holes in it, scientists TRY to break the old theory - because that's when breakthroughs occur. Einstein proposed his general theory of relativity in 1915, and in 1919, a long solar eclipse would occur in South America, which would enable scientists to observe if the sun's gravity would bend starlight and cause stars near it to appear shifted. Two British expeditions were sent, and their observations agreed with Einstein and not Newton.

 

If evolution had any real problems, thousands of scientists (with all kinds of different religious views) would be trying to break it.

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If I may, perhaps, share some views and information with the board.

 

I'll admit I'm only a high school student, but I have a good background in science and have debated/listened to these debates before.

 

As such:

 

First off, I believe in the general concept of Intelligent Design. It fits much of what I personally have seen.

 

However, I should note that, according to that brilliant definition given above about religion/philosophial type views of the world being equal but for but one person, it is only in me that these observations will make sense. A Buddhist, an atheist, a Muslim, a Hindu, etc. will all see the same things I've seen and interpret them differently. As such, it is, according to that deffinition, not science.

 

Rather, due to the fact that it is impossible to disprove ID, it is simply a thought, a philosophy, or a religion.

 

And that's absolutely fine. Teach it in private school, at home, in church, or teach about it in philosophy/history/religious studies/sociology etc. classes.

 

But make no mistake, it is not science. It's no more science than Christianity is. Nor more so than secular humanism.

 

Evolution, however, is science. Sure there are differing opinions on the exacts, but evolution through natural selection is indeed a theory. And that is perhaps the most respectable of all positions in science.

 

A fact in science is really not something you'd hear to often. However, the generic ones we would refer to are such equations as basic as F=MA, E=mc^2 and so on. Now, although these equations may not be true if we do further studies, all evidence points to their usefulness. And so, there are those who might consider our observations to be the facts, and as the equations are simply expressions of observations, thus these are by some considered facts. (Of course, these equations can change with new data and thus are not truly undenyable facts, but that's the closest in science that I know of that can be considered a "fact" that so many ID proponents exclaim about.

 

But evolution, is a theory. This is all the more respectable. An equation, while perhaps useful in the short term, is generally hard to apply without knowing why it acts that way and thus gaining more information. Equations are, without the theories to explain them, ends. They have no purpose, they show us nothing, they teach us little, and have basic uses only in a few areas. But apply a theory, and so much more becomes available. How do you test for a gravitational constant without a theory of gravity? How can you come up with a fission reactor without the theory of an atom?

 

Do not for a minute doubt the power of theories in science. They guide chemestry in atoms, periodic tables, etc. Physics depends on theories such as Quantam, Superstring, and Relatvity. And in turn, Biology is reduced severely without evolution.

 

And the facts, if you will, observations, definately show patterns that evolution occurs- peppered moths, etc.

 

Then we have other records(i.e. embryo's, fossles(yikes, I can't spell...), etc.)

 

And while this is relevent to showing evolution does occur, it also suggests a common ancestry for organisms, as well as explaining how many parts of animals and so on work.

 

So what then, does this disprove God?

 

Of course not! The entire reason that ID isn't science is because God cannot be disproven(and by extension, actually, proven.) Isn't the fact that the universe, in some strange chance(which it is, although evolution doesn't depend on chance, if you follow Big Bang type theories, there were hundreds of ways the universe could have turned out. And yet ours turned out to have evolution which allowed us to enjoy the world as intelligent beings capable of recognizing such a thing as God.

 

But I digress.

 

As for abiogenesis, that's a fairly supported idea, but others such as seed propagation are partially suggested by some scientists...

 

But what I want to say is simple: There is no league of secular scientists out to disprove faith. Liberal teachers don't want to make kids atheists. Most atheists aren't prosthylatizing. No respectable scientist is out there just to disprove God. No reasonable person wants to make sure that your religion is wiped away.

 

It's just the theories they are presenting, and nothing more. If one should take it as a challenge to a faith, perhaps one should re examine the faith? If you believe it to be a test, that is your interpretation. If you believe in ID, your interpretation. If you believe that this conclusively disproves God, that's a touch illogical since it would make ID science(although, I suppose faulty science, but I'm going on a tangent again) but it's simply an interpretation.

 

That's all this is.

 

The government isn't out to destroy your religion, the judge isn't here to dismantle a philosophy, the scientists aren't there to eliminate the religious. The ACLU doesn't care what you believe. Few groups concern what you tell your children. It's simply that your elected representitives(and I say that entirely on the fact of representation chosen by your communities. I have little liking for the current education system because of many things, least of all these so called "debates.") have decided that you want them to take your kids to teach them math, history, English, and science. And science includes evolution, and that, I'll say, is a fact.

 

 

 

 

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Rooster

 

All you have to do is look at any previous thread in here on religion and politics where you have openly attacked my views and others in here as being not truly Christian, according to your interpretation of the Bible. All I will reply to you is that this is the kind of intolerance I do not want to see in our public schools. You are welcome to believe any way you want to, that is guaranteed by the Constitution, but forcing your interpretation of scriptures on to others as the ONLY truth is just wrong as it is to force a non Christian to accept ID as fact.

 

You are a man of strong faith Rooster and I commend you for that not condemn you, but your interpretation of the truth is not exactly the same as mine or many other Christians which you seem to have difficulty accepting.

 

A side note: Most so called "primitive", indigenous, tribal cultures embrace the idea of a supreme Creator in the design of the universe. So you see the whole idea of ID pre existed Christianity by thousands of years, it is not a new idea or the province of just one religion.

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