Entries in evolution (1)

Monday
Jan032011

Teaching Intelligent Design in Public Schools

This is a reprint of my original article on fgd135.com:

By Kyle Gibson

Scientists cringe upon hearing people say they don’t “believe” in evolution.  You should, too.  Not believing in evolution is akin to not believing that germs transmit disease or that the earth is round.  I can say this without a touch of hyperbole because our understandings of all these things were developed using the same scientific method.

Why is it, then, that New Earth Creationism – the idea that God created the earth in six days 6,000 years ago – is presented in classrooms as science when there is absolutely no scientific evidence for it?

It is likely that some of the ideals that make our society great also lead us to tolerate, even encourage, such irrationality.  Americans hold dear the idea that people can choose to believe whatever they want, even if we personally may disagree.  The famous Voltaire quote, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” nicely summarizes this sentiment.

The issue, however, is that science never has been a democracy, nor will it ever be.  Incorrect hypotheses, bad ideas and fraud are exposed and vetted by the very nature of the scientific method.  Let’s imagine that 75% of of the world’s scientists band together to proclaim the earth now rests at the center of the solar system.  If they failed to produce evidence for this, their new “geocentric theory” would fall flat.  If they did produce it, peer-review would expose the truth, one way or another.  Now, in this  example, would the actual arrangement of the sun and earth be influenced by the number of scientists who believed either way?  Of course not.  Science is not “The Secret” and empirical reality is not contingent on belief.

Does the fact that nearly 100% of scientists believe the theory of evolution mean it’s true?  Surprisingly, no.  What makes it true is the massive amount of evidence for it, not the opinion of any individual.  So why do we need scientists?  Because exposing facts takes takes training and skill.  Just as you should hire a general if you need an army or a mechanic if you need a fix, you should hire a PhD if you need a theory.

We need not “teach the controversy” between evolution and creationism in our science classrooms because there is no controversy to be taught.  The same methods that rid the world of smallpox, put men on the moon and made possible the computer on my desk also gave us the key to understanding earth’s amazing biological and cultural diversity.  In the undemocratic, “unfair” world of science, creationism simply has no say.