Why Intelligent Design Should Be Left Out of the Classroom

Its been a longtime since I've been controversial, and often I am merely controversial for the sheer challenge of being a devil's advocate on an issue which is so apparent for what side I would naturally lean towards. Once again I want to take a page out of my former roommate and good friend Matt Gambill's blog and discuss why intelligent design should not be taught in school. Or at least the science classroom.

Intelligent design, the latest dressing of creationism, has become a hot topic amongst evangelical Christians and the scientific community. The long and short is that proponents of I.D. believe that the universe is so complex that it could not happen by random occurrence and evolution. Thus we are led to believe, although God is not inherently always mentioned, that there is a designer. Naturally I subscribe to this theory.

What I don't subscribe to is that this theory should necessarily be taught in science class. Science, at its core, is a deductive model of looking at the universe around us. Basically science eventually hinges on full exploitation of the scientific method where we observe, formulate hypothesis, and test our predictions to see if we can create a repeatable phenomenon.

The problem is that belief in an intelligent designer eventually leads to a leap of faith and will never be provable inconclusively. Faith defined is usually stated as belief in things not seen (or for our discussion, observed). Since this cannot be done, the institution of science will never be able to say without a doubt that there is a creator (although it does give us a lot of evidence to believe so).

The point I'm getting at is that perhaps intelligent design, creationism and other like theories are better left taught in a philosophy, English, or history class. However, I would also assert that evolution should not be stated as fact and always remain as a theory until it can be proven inconclusively as well. And to that extent all data that conflicts with evolution should be brought to the table and discussed.

I'd like to end my little diatribe here with one last thought. If our goal is ultimately to teach people about God, losing the battle in the classroom should not be our biggest concern. Rather we need to fight the battle of the heart and help people overcome the hurt, struggles and pain of this world by showing them the love of God and the grace given to them.

Side note: I know I said I would discuss the answers behind my quiz, but I think I've talked to the majority of interested people about my quiz. If you are still curious email me or leave a comment and I will go ahead and post it next time. Just thought it might be seen as a bit vain.


Melissa said...

I like your site! After I post my comment I am going to look through all your links.

I think your post was well thought out and I agree with it (though based on your introduction, I don't know if you agree with it or not). I think if we try to prove Christianity to people we will fail. As you said, what we believe does require faith. I also agree that science makes predictions and tests hypotheses, while religion is a personal relationship with God based largely on faith. We should study religious texts to improve the foundation of what we believe, but our faith cannot be proven. Slightly tangential, but I think Christians spend too much time trying to win policy and too little time trying to build influential relationships with people.

My favorite part of your post was the use of the word diatribe. It is a good word and it made me smile!

Mgam said...

I agree with Melissa. Diatribe is a good word although it will take more than that to make me smile!!