Sunday, September 09, 2007

Teaching ID & Creation Science...can we?

Although Darwin supporters will claim that, due to the Kitzmiller case, ID cannot be taught in our science classroom, that ruling does not seem to stop ardent supporters of evolution from actually including both ID and creation science in their class schedules. In fact, it seems that there has been a push to teach both in intro. biology classes. Although, it would be questionable as to whether the students will be getting an accurate picture of the theory.

PZ Myers has adapted his biology class to include ID & creation science. From the syllabus provided at his site, it appears that the topic will be given as much time as other sections of the course. Check out his schedule for yourself. It appears that ID and creation science will be addressed during week 8:

Week 8 / Oct. 16-18

Creationism and Intelligent Design Science and culture in conflict. Social origins of creationist beliefs; common arguments refuted.

This is an interesting approach...teach ID, or rather spin it to your liking, and conflate it with creation science. This, I've been told, is legal because, although Judge Jones ruled that ID isn't science, it evidently doesn't mean that the topic cannot be broached in science classrooms.

It's interesting that it's acceptable for an anti-ID professor to use a week of classes to cover the topic, yet the Dover school district was not allowed to read these 4 paragraphs before the subject of evolution was covered in class:

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. At theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

Intelligent design is an explanation of the Origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.

With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses up on preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.

I still remained shocked that those four paragraphs could lead to a million dollar lawsuit. But, regardless of that ruling, it appears that college professors are allowed to cover the subject.

Now, this is good to know because I'm certain there are teachers in other universities or even high schools who might have a different understanding of what ID actually entails. Surely not all teachers agree with PZ's spin on the facts surrounding ID. I believe it would be equally acceptable for them to include in their schedule an allotted time to cover the issues as well. Oh, and certainly after explaining the theory, they would share Jones ruling in which *he* concluded that "ID is not science". That would keep it all nice and legal. Shoot, they could even share the fact that much of Jones ruling was copied verbatim from the trial lawyer's notes.

I would think that the next teacher or school board that is taken to court due to addressing these topics in class would merely have to point to the evolutionists teaching the subject and the case should be thrown out. Both are teaching what ID entails, and both are sharing JJ's ruling that ID isn't science. For those educators who remain open to academic freedom, I believe after sharing the facts, I'd ask the students whether they agree with Jones' decision after what they've learned about the topic in class.

Yeah, I'm glad PZ has opened the door to this option...what's legal for one guy is surely legal for all.