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Author Topic:   What's the problem with teaching ID?
Percy
Member
Posts: 21264
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 27 of 337 (402847)
05-30-2007 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by pwnagepanda
05-29-2007 11:57 PM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
pwnagenpanda writes:
The best reason that Intelligent design should not be taught is that A. it has been proven false and B. it is unfalsifiable, and therefore not science.
The inherent contradiction has already been noted, so I'll just explain the real reason why ID shouldn't be taught in science class. Science is a consensus activity. Accepted scientific theories form out of the scientific consensus. High school science curriculums are responsible for teaching the current consensus. Because ID is not part of that consensus, it shouldn't be taught in science class.
But one might ask, is it therefore as unacceptable to teach string theory as it is to teach ID, since string theory is not at this point in time a part of the scientific consensus, even though it is an area of intense scientific study. Why is it okay for a science teacher, in response to expressed interest from the students, to devote a class or two to string theory, but not to ID?
This is the kind of question where I find myself floundering. How long do I have to talk, how much do I have to write, in order to make clear why string theory is legitimate scientific investigation and ID is not? It's not that I can't explain it, because I think I can. It's just that way before I finish my explanation I will have lost my intended audience, for reasons ranging from short attention span to lack of serious interest to simple inability to grasp the concepts. This last is the most difficult to deal with, since how does one remedy a lifetime of ignoring science with a few posts on a message board?
We need to somehow come up with as pithy and easy to understand (and accurate) answers to questions about creation and ID as the creationist's response to evolution, "You never get a cat from a dog."
One could argue that you could just say about ID, "Scientists don't accept it, so we don't teach it." But the response will be something like, "Dembski's a PhD scientist," and now you're stuck explaining why Dembski isn't a scientist, but though his degrees are in math and theology this might be a tough argument to make, so you'd instead have to explain that Dembski doesn't really participate in the scientific endeavor, that what he's is doing is having no impact on the scientific consensus, and so forth, and you'd probably be largely unsuccessful at persuading anyone. I think we just have to admit that the creationist strategy of donning the trappings of science while not actually doing science is proving eminently successful at confusing the issue. The only place where we really win big is in court.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by pwnagepanda, posted 05-29-2007 11:57 PM pwnagepanda has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by crashfrog, posted 05-30-2007 10:51 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 31 by DivineBeginning, posted 09-26-2007 9:06 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21264
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 32 of 337 (424218)
09-26-2007 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by DivineBeginning
09-26-2007 9:06 AM


Re: I have no problem with teaching ID in a school but...
DivineBeginning writes:
What do you think about his comment about ID being proven false? Has it really? Where is the proof?
Just for reference, here's what Pwnagenpanda said:
pwnagenpanda writes:
The best reason that Intelligent design should not be taught is that A. it has been proven false and B. it is unfalsifiable, and therefore not science.
What the other replies were noting was the inherent contradiction in his claim. He claims both that ID is unfalsifiable, and that it has been falsified. These two claims cannot both be true.
The accurate claim is that ID is unfalsifiable. No matter what one might learn about the real world, it will always be consistent with ID. Since there is no possible evidence one might imagine that could contradict ID, ID is therefore unfalsifiable.
Some examples make this clear. Let's say we found human fossils back in the pre-Cambrian (before 540 million years ago). Evolutionary theory denies this possibility, therefore evolution would be falsified. ID theory would simply say that the designer designed humans a bit earlier than we originally thought.
Or what if we found fossils of griffins and minotaurs. Evolutionary theory would have an extremely difficult time explaining such fossils, and at a minimum their existence would have to be considered a severe and high priority problem for evolution. ID theory would simply say that the designer designed griffins and minotaurs.
Or say that genetic analysis discovered that humans are most closely genetically related to bananas than to any other life form. This would possibly completely falsify evolution, or at least the modern synthesis portion that unites Darwinian evolution with the science of genetics, while ID theory would say that the designer simply chose to use very similar genes when designing the banana and the human.
Because ID cannot be falsified, it cannot be considered science.
One of the other problems for ID when attempting to qualify as science is that it doesn't make any verifiable predictions. You can find proponents of ID who claim successful predictions for it, but these are predictions of things already known. For example, it is often claimed that ID predicts what we find in the fossil record. But the qualities of the fossil record they're claiming ID predicted were known before the theory was proposed, and so they're not predictions. ID theory would have to make a prediction about the some quality of the fossil record that was not already known, and then if and when that quality was actually identified in the fossil record, it would have to be considered pretty strong evidence for ID.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : falsifiable => unfalsifiable in what should have said, "Id is therefore unfalsifiable."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by DivineBeginning, posted 09-26-2007 9:06 AM DivineBeginning has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by DivineBeginning, posted 09-26-2007 9:49 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 35 by bluegenes, posted 09-26-2007 11:09 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21264
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 37 of 337 (424273)
09-26-2007 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by bluegenes
09-26-2007 11:09 AM


Oops - thanks!
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Only three words, typo, believe it or not!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by bluegenes, posted 09-26-2007 11:09 AM bluegenes has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21264
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 81 of 337 (424407)
09-26-2007 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by pbee
09-26-2007 5:24 PM


Hi Pbee,
All we want to do here is have civil, constructive and informative discussions. If that's also what you want then things should go fine.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by pbee, posted 09-26-2007 5:24 PM pbee has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21264
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 99 of 337 (424502)
09-27-2007 9:46 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by DivineBeginning
09-27-2007 8:52 AM


Back to the Topic of Teaching ID
Hi DB,
While your apparent unawareness that not all Christian sects use the same Bible is surprising and worth noting, I can't really see the tie-in to ID. I think it would be more relevant to focus on your other statements. Schraf said this in Message 85:
Schraf in Message 85 writes:
So, are you saying that we should teach Christianity instead of science in science classrooms?
To which you replied in Message 86:
DivineBeginning in Message 86 writes:
No, both. What's wrong with that. The students deserve to know ALL beliefs about their existence don't they. Besides aren't we supposed to be teaching tolerance and diversity? Shouldn't Christianity fit in there somewhere?
I think the position of most here who are arguing on the side of science would be that science class is not a course about "ALL beliefs about their existence," and that it isn't the proper venue for "teaching tolerance and diversity," nor for teaching about Christianity.
Did you really mean to argue for including these things in science class?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by DivineBeginning, posted 09-27-2007 8:52 AM DivineBeginning has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by DivineBeginning, posted 09-27-2007 9:48 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21264
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 105 of 337 (424516)
09-27-2007 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 101 by DivineBeginning
09-27-2007 9:48 AM


Re: Back to the Topic of Teaching ID
DivineBeginning writes:
I don't know how you could get around teaching ID in science class but ignoring the faith it stems from.
Well, yeah, precisely, the courts feel the same way.
Should I conclude from this that you believe ID should not be taught in science class? Or are you saying that it should, along with Christianity, tolerance, diversity and all beliefs about existence, but that you understand the courts would frown on this?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by DivineBeginning, posted 09-27-2007 9:48 AM DivineBeginning has not replied

  
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