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Old 12-20-2005, 04:09 PM   #1
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Judge bans teaching Intelligent Design

Read the full article in Time Magazine:

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Intelligent design is a religious idea and a Pennsylvania school board may not introduce it into the classroom, a federal judge ruled today. Judge John E. Jones III ruled that the Dover Area School Board improperly introduced religion into the classroom when it required science teachers to read a brief statement during the 9th grade biology class telling students that evolution was “Just a theory” and inviting them to consider alternatives. The only alternative specifically mentioned was “intelligent design,” the notion that life is so complex that it could not possibly have been the work of natural selection alone and must have been the work of an unspecified creative intelligence. “We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom,” Jones wrote.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:22 PM   #2
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Knowing that we've already debated evolution v. ID, set aside your desired outcome in the case and analyze the judge's thought process. At what point is the school establishing religion?

1. Identifying Evolution as "just a theory"?

2. Inviting students to consider alternatives?

3. Mentioning Intelligent Design?

I note that the description of intelligent design does not even mention the word God.

If Intelligent Design = religion, what religion is it??
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:25 PM   #3
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“Everybody understood that intelligent design was a religious proposition, and we are absolutely thrilled that Judge Jones has seen through the smoke and mirrors used by intelligent design proponents,”
Well said.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


2. Inviting students to consider alternatives?

He did expand on this, saying that they invited students to consider alternatives, but that the only alternative to be presented was Intelligent Design. If you happen to believe evolution is either a faulty theory or "just a theory" and you want your students to be presented with alternative points of view, then it certainly seems disingenous to have only a single alternative. For example, why not present the Hindu beliefs re: the creation and destruction cycles of the universe as an alternate theory? Certainly about a billion people worldwide believe in it, so it is not something on the fringes.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:41 PM   #5
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regarding number 2, if there is an alternative scientific theory that has a place in a science classroom I don't think anyone would object to that.

I don't think ID should be absolutely prohibited from any mention or discussion (simply for discussion purposes, ie explaining the difference between a theory and a scientific theory ), but it shouldn't be discussed as a valid alternative.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
I don't think ID should be absolutely prohibited from any mention or discussion (simply for discussion purposes, ie explaining the difference between a theory and a scientific theory ), but it shouldn't be discussed as a valid alternative.


exactly.

what's been so dangerous about this debate is that it has placed superstition on the same level as decades upon decades of careful, methodical scientific work gained through rigorous application of the scientific method.

discussion of the origins of life and the universe from all different perspectives is 100% appropriate for a religion class.
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Knowing that we've already debated evolution v. ID, set aside your desired outcome in the case and analyze the judge's thought process. At what point is the school establishing religion?

1. Identifying Evolution as "just a theory"?

2. Inviting students to consider alternatives?

3. Mentioning Intelligent Design?

I note that the description of intelligent design does not even mention the word God.

If Intelligent Design = religion, what religion is it??
ID is fundamentalist Christian creationism in disguise. No other religion trumpets it. Even Catholic schools teach "Darwinism" in science class.

Secondly, in terms of science, there are no current alternatives to evolution. Evolution will not be tossed out. Period. While the fine details may change in the long run--just as the fine details in astronomy changes to fit with new evidence--these fine details are generally of no concern high school students who only get an overview of it, compared to in-depth collegiate study.

Third, even if there are questions regarding evolution, that does not automatically give weight to ID. That is the greatest logical fallacy that ID proponents have. ID has to survive scientific scrutiny, which it has resoundedly failed on every occasion. As such, even with no specific mention of God or specific theology, it is nothing but a pseudoscience that will hurt American students' scientific credibility worldwide.

End of story.

Just to note, the judge in this case is an appointee of President Bush. So, no, this isn't some hippie liberal "activist judge" here.

Melon
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:26 PM   #8
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"Just to note, the judge in this case is an appointee of President Bush. So, no, this isn't some hippie liberal "activist judge" here."

Very well put, melon.

I have to say that this is one of the MOST COURAGEOUS judicial decisions that I have seen in many years!

Of course, I agree 100% with Judge Jones.

I was raised a Christian and am trying my best to actually live up to that title in my personal life, but I will NEVER agree with trying to put this type of pseudo-creationist "theory" in public schools.

Schools which are paid for by EVERYONE'S tax dollars - Christian or not. If you want to raise your children in a religious learning environment, then do what my parents had to struggle financially to do for twelve years - GO TO A PAROCHIAL SCHOOL.

I benefited from my years in religious instruction and wouldn't have wanted it any other way, but I respect people of other schooling philosophies enough to NOT IMPOSE MY PREFERENCES ON THEM.

Let God judge the secularists if they need judgment, but allow Caesar what is his - public education which is secular and unfetterred by any religious domination.

Happy Holidays.
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


ID is fundamentalist Christian creationism in disguise. No other religion trumpets it. Even Catholic schools teach "Darwinism" in science class.

Secondly, in terms of science, there are no current alternatives to evolution. Evolution will not be tossed out. Period. While the fine details may change in the long run--just as the fine details in astronomy changes to fit with new evidence--these fine details are generally of no concern high school students who only get an overview of it, compared to in-depth collegiate study.

Third, even if there are questions regarding evolution, that does not automatically give weight to ID. That is the greatest logical fallacy that ID proponents have. ID has to survive scientific scrutiny, which it has resoundedly failed on every occasion. As such, even with no specific mention of God or specific theology, it is nothing but a pseudoscience that will hurt American students' scientific credibility worldwide.

End of story.

Just to note, the judge in this case is an appointee of President Bush. So, no, this isn't some hippie liberal "activist judge" here.

Melon

well summarized.

there is no debate between evolutionism and intelligent design. there are no alternatives to evolution, at least not in any meaningful way -- are there alternatives to gravity?

the only debate should be over how much damage the media and "organized political right wing christians" have done to science education in this country.
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:15 PM   #10
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Yes there are alternative theories of gravity. Likewise there are alternative models of evolution.
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:43 AM   #11
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Would it be wrong to require churches to teach evolution or alternative theories to their beliefs?
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Knowing that we've already debated evolution v. ID, set aside your desired outcome in the case and analyze the judge's thought process. At what point is the school establishing religion?

1. Identifying Evolution as "just a theory"?

2. Inviting students to consider alternatives?

3. Mentioning Intelligent Design?

I note that the description of intelligent design does not even mention the word God.

If Intelligent Design = religion, what religion is it??
I'm so tired of people referring to the evolution theory as just a theory. this notion implies that there is something fishy about a theory. "theory" in the scientific community means something entirely different than in casual conversation. Scientific theories require a tremendous load of evidence as opposed to my theory concerning who eat the last oreo in my house.
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Old 12-21-2005, 09:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by mattgerth
Would it be wrong to require churches to teach evolution or alternative theories to their beliefs?


no. churches can do whatever they want. no one has to go to church. it's voluntary association, unlike a public school.

if one goes to a private school, one can have all the superstition-in-place-of-science one wants.
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Old 12-21-2005, 09:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




no. churches can do whatever they want. no one has to go to church. it's voluntary association, unlike a public school.

if one goes to a private school, one can have all the superstition-in-place-of-science one wants.
You aren't required to go to public school. Home school and private schools are options.
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Old 12-21-2005, 09:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by mattgerth


You aren't required to go to public school. Home school and private schools are options.
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