Sunday, September 10, 2006

Intelligent Design Workshop Notes

Intelligent Design Workshop

Intelligent design is a movement whose aim is to oppose the teaching of evolution, and replace it with the idea that life has to have been the product of an intelligent creator.

Viewing of some of the DVD Unlocking the mystery of Life

Science in Schools

The normal path of a scientific idea entering the school curriculum is as follows:
Stage 1: A piece of original work comes out of research and appears in a peer reviewed journal.

Stage 2: Further research is completed with peer reviewed articles, the idea, theory gains wider acceptance.

Stage3: PhD students use the theory in research

Stage 4: Graduate students come to terms with the idea and its implications

Stage 5: Undergraduate students are taught the concepts and the idea/theory gains wide spread acceptance.

Stage 6: The idea/theory is considered of sufficient importance to be taught at a school level and is placed in the curriculum.

Intelligent design begins at stage 6. There are no peer reviewed articles (except those in their own journals, and negative peer reviewed articles), no Intelligent Design scientist uses the concept in their scientific work, no research is currently being conducted and no accredited University teaches Intelligent Design.

What does the Science say?

Sources for Information on Intelligent design

What has been happening?
Reputable scientists like Richard Dawkins have repeatedly stated that there exists no scientific controversy and so there is no reason to debate

So what is going on with the coverage in the press and all those court cases in the US? Essentially it seems the I.D movement is using a wedge strategy. Get a foot in the door and then use that to stir up publicity. So each court case, each debate raises the profile of the movement and lends it legitimacy. Please note how different this approach is to the conventional approach of research scholarly discussion and academic rigour.

What’s happening?
In the U.S church and state are legally separated and that means no religion in schools. I.D is a way that many Christians have tried to get religion back into public schools. To stop this move many scientists and parents have taken legal action. To date I.D has lost every case.

In Australia, where we have a long history of Creationism I.D is only starting. When the then federal minister of education favourably comments on the movement (
and every school gets free copies of the DVD, we have the same problem here.

I have included a PDF document that addresses some of the scientific issues for those interested.


Is this science?
Does it belong in schools?
What effect does it have on the level of science education?
Why does the media give so much attention to these people?


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