Intelligent Design (ID) in the
2005-AUG until now
About Intelligent Design (ID):
ID is the belief that some structures in animals
and plants are so complex and have components that are so inter-related that they must have
come about as the result of a conscious design by an intelligent agent. In
contrast, the Theory
of Evolution suggests that development of the species was driven by purely
natural forces without interventions by a creator with super-human knowledge.
In excess of 99% of geological and biological scientists favor of the Theory of
Evolution. However, many conservative Protestants are promoting ID because, in
one version, it has a God creating the animal and plant species.
As in the case of evolution, some promoters of ID are expanding the theory
way beyond the origin of the species to include all types of change in the
universe, from the Big Bang to cosmology, astronomy, geology, biology, etc.
Critics of ID suggest that ID is merely creationism dressed up as a
quasi-secular belief. The U.S. Supreme Court banned the teaching of the biblical
stories of creation in Public School science classes. However, creationism --
and presumably ID -- can
be taught in comparative religion classes.
Promoters of ID suggest that it is an alternative scientific theory that says
nothing about the identity of the creator. Extraterrestrial visitors from outer
space with scientific knowledge well beyond ours could have landed on Earth and
created species. ID does not necessarily involve a creator God.
- 2005-AUG-01: USA: President Bush promotes ID: While President G.W. Bush was governor of Texas, he had said that students should be exposed to both evolution and creationism. As president, he said that schools should be exposed to both evolution and intelligent design:
"... so people can understand what the debate is about. ... I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes."
It appears that he didn't explain whether he felt students should be taught evolution and ID as competing scientific theories, or whether they should be taught the two concepts as a scientific theory in conflict with a religious belief. 6
- 2005-SEP-26: PA: PA: First major court case on ID: A federal judge
heard arguments in the first major lawsuit on Intelligent Design. According to
MSNBC, this trial: "...is believed to be the first time a federal court has
been asked to decide the fundamental question: Is intelligent design religion or
- 2005-NOV-10: VA/PA: Pat Robertson predicts
possibility of natural disaster in Dover, PA: The voters in Dover, PA,
voted to reject for re-election all eight school board members who had
favored the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID) in
area public schools. Pat Robertson, host of the Christian Broadcasting
Network's "The 700 Club" said to the voters that: "you just
voted God out of your city" He also said: "I'd like to say to the
good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to
God, you just rejected Him from your city." Later, he said that he was
simply trying to point out that:
"Our spiritual actions have consequences....God is tolerant and
loving, but we can't keep sticking our finger in His eye forever. If
they have future problems in Dover, I recommend they call on Charles
Darwin, maybe he can help them."
Five years later, by late 2010, no disaster had happened.
Associated Press reported that:
"Eight families had sued the [school] district, claiming the policy
violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The federal
trial concluded days before Tuesday's election, but no ruling has been
- 2005-DEC-20: PA: Federal judge rules
against ID: In a 139 page ruling, the federal judge ruled that
Intelligent Design was simply another form of Creationism, and thus cannot
be taught in the Dover high school. He questioned the motives of the deeply
religious supporters of ID, suggesting that they had lied to the court.
Dover, PA will now be stuck paying for about one million dollars in legal
fees. More details.
- 2006-JAN-17: CA: Court case forces local school district to stop teaching ID: A rural California school district about 75 miles North of Los Angeles agreed to stop teaching a "course that promotes or endorses creationism, creation science, or intelligent design.'' Their prime motivation appears to be financial. They were facing a lawsuit in federal court and were short of money. The course had been taught by a minister's wife and suggested that life is so complex that it must have been created by some kind of higher intelligence. Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed the lawsuit on behalf of 11 parents. Their legal director, Ayesha N. Khan, said: "This sends a strong signal to school districts across the country that they cannot promote creationism or intelligent design as an alternative to evolution whether they do so in a science class or a humanities class.'' 9
- 2006-MAR-06: USA: Poll on teaching of ID in public schools: Zogby
International conducted a random telephone survey of 1,000 subjects. The
margin of error is ±3.2 percentage points. Results:
||69% say that biology teachers should teach "Darwin's
theory of evolution" along with evidence against it. 21% say that
they should teach "only evolution and the scientific evidence that
supports it." 10% were unsure.
||77% agree that when Darwin's theory of evolution
is taught in schools, students should also be able to learn about
scientific evidence that points to "an intelligent design of life." 19%
It is difficult to interpret the results to these
questions because of their wording. More details.
- 2007-FEB-13: KS: Kansas State Board of Education removes challenges to evolution from curriculum: By a close vote of 6 to 4, the state board decided to remove language from teaching guidelines that challenged the validity of the theory of evolution. A UK newspaper, the Guardian, wrote:
"The decision is the latest in a string of defeats for proponents of creationism, and its modern variant, intelligent design. It reverses the decision taken by the same authorities two years ago to include language undermining Darwinism - on the insistence of conservative parents and activists in the intelligent design movement."
"In redrafting guidelines for science teaching, the board removed language suggesting that key concepts such as a common origin for all life on Earth and for species change were seen as controversial by the scientific community."
"The board also rewrote the definition of science, limiting it to the search for rational explanations of what occurs in the universe. The move, though limited in its scope, was seen as significant because it rejected a key argument of subscribers to intelligent design: that providing children with arguments for and against evolution merely amounts to fair play."
"But Kansas remains a conservative state and many people harbor misgivings about teaching evolution to school children. The school board received a petition with nearly 4,000 signatures opposing Tuesday's decisions."
"Overcoming such misgivings will be difficult, said Jack Krebs, a former maths teacher who is president of Kansas Citizens for Science."
" 'The bigger issue is the cultural divide. The intelligent design people and the anti-evolution people truly believe that science as it is practiced is atheistic, and excludes God, and this is really the heart of the cultural battle,' Mr Krebs said." 8
- 2007-DEC-05: Showdown over ID in Florida: Back in 2005, the Fordham Institute gave the science curriculum in Florida a "F" grade, partly because it didn't even mention evolution. In 2007-OCT, the state proposed that every student should learn about evolution. The guidelines read:
"Evolution is the fundamental concept underlying all of biology and is supported by multiple forms of scientific evidence. Organisms are classified based on their evolutionary history. Natural selection is the primary mechanism leading to evolutionary change."
During 2007-NOV, most of the Polk County school board members said that they didn't support the new curriculum. Member Donna Callaway told the Florida Baptist Witness that the would vote against the standards, saying that Evolution "... should not be taught to the exclusion of other theories of the origin of life." She hoped that "... there will be times of prayer throughout Christian homes and churches directed toward this issue." She appears to be unaware that the theory of evolution does not involve the origin of life. That is a separate field of science called abiogenesis. Evolution only discusses how the original life form evolved into other life forms. 5
- 2009-JAN-15: Louisiana creates new ID rules for teachers: The state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted a policy that gives teachers permission to use materials outside of the regular curriculum to teach "controversial" scientific theories including evolution, origins of life, and global warming. The Louisiana Family Forum and other supporters of the law say that it will foster critical thinking in students. Opponents suggest that its purpose is to provide a loophole for creationists to attack the teaching of evolution. The main promoters of Intelligent Design -- the Discovery Institute in Seattle WA said that the new policy is a "victory for Louisiana students and teachers." 4
- 2010-MAY-30: Queensland, Australia to teach creationism and ID: Schools in Queensland will teach both creationism and intelligent design under the topic of "controversies" in their history class. Kay Bishop, head of the Queensland History Teachers' Association said that the curriculum would develop students' historical and critical thinking skills in an "investigation of a controversial issue [such as] human origins. It's opening up opportunities for debate and discussion, not to push a particular view."
Lynne Doneley, executive officer of Associated Christian Schools welcomed the curriculum, saying: "We talk to students from a faith science basis, but we're not biased in the delivery of curriculum We say, ' This is where we're coming from' but allow students to make up their own minds'."
Paul Williams, humanities lecturer at Griffith University said: "It's important that education authorities are vigilant that this is not a blank check to push theological barrows. I would be loath to see it taught as theory. It's up there with the world being occupied by aliens since Roswell." 5
- Alex Johnson, " 'Intelligent design' faces first big court test. Parents
sue after alternative to evolution added to science curriculum," MSNBC.
2005-SEP-23, at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com
- "Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson warns rural town of disaster
following vote," Associated Press, 2005-NOV-10, at: http://start.earthlink.net/
- "Results from nationwide poll," 2006-MAR-06, at: http://www.discovery.org/ This is a PDF file. You may require software to read it. Software can be obtained free from:
- Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, "Louisiana Creates: New Pro-Intelligent Design Rules for Teachers," Science/AAAS, 2009-JAN-15, at: http://news.sciencemag.org/
- Carly Hennessy, "Intelligent design to be taught in Queensland schools under national curriculum," The Sunday Mail, Australia, 2010-MAY-30, at: http://www.couriermail.com.au/
- Ron Hutcheson, "Bush endorses 'intelligent design'
Contends theory should be taught with evolution," The Boston Globe, 2005-AUG-02, at: http://www.boston.com/
- Brandon Keim, "Evolution Battling Intelligent Design in Florida Schools," Wired Science, 2007-DEC-05, at: http://www.wired.com/
- Suzanne Goldenberg, "Creationists defeated in Kansas school vote on science teaching," The Guardian, 2007-FEB-15, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk
- Juliana Barbassa, "California school agrees to stop teaching 'Intelligent Design'," Live Science, 2006-JAN-17, at: http://www.livescience.com/
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Copyright © 2005 to 2010by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2005-NOV-11
Latest update: 2010-OCT-09
Author: B.A. Robinson