Monday, December 24, 2007

Coexistence IV - Religion

I just saw an interesting program about Religion and Washington DC. It was hosted by Newt Gingrich, and normally that would make me change the channel but the subject matter was interesting, in particular to many of my own posts here in this blog.

I have said that I think the ACLU and groups who are trying to remove every aspect of religion from public life are making a mistake, but I never expounded on that, so I guess I should here and now. First of all I want to reiterate my primary objection to Intelligent Design, since that is and has been the focus of this blog for the past 43 posts. I have a number of objections, but my primary one is simply that Intelligent Design is not science and as such does not deserve to be taught in a class where the subject is science.

This would do two immediate things, in my mind. First it would take valuable class time away from subjects that are science. I think with the limited amount of time a teacher has with their students, something I deal with every semester, it should be spent on the subject of the class. Second I think it would offer a level of scientific validate for subjects that have not earned it. I would be making many of the same arguments if a school board planned to introduce Astrology to an Astronomy class.

I am also concerned about long term impacts to our students and scientific investigation in the future. How can we seriously expand the edges of medicine, astronomy, or any science when the basics of the scientific method can not be taught. How seriously would students take the scientific method if we short cut it in biology class? What type of doctors will we turn out. "Yes, Mr. Smith, I understand you have a pain there, but God did it and it would be unethical of me to interfere." How soon would that type of 'explanations' move beyond science to other classes? Engineering, chemistry, even social studies and mathematics! I believe it is wrong, no matter what the source of Intelligent Design!

Now as for it's source I will admit to being anti-Intelligent Design because of how the Discovery Institute treats it. Do they believe I am an idiot! The Dover Trial and Professor Barbara Forrest showed its relationship to Creationism. I hate being lied to, and the Discovery Institute is doing just that. The former members of the Dover School Board lied about their motivations. A School Gym teacher in Tejon California lied when trying to pass off a class on Intelligent Design as a Philosophy class. The Texas School Board, the South Carolina School Board, and even the Ohio and Kansas School Board members who subscribe to the tactics and strategies of deceit in order to push their religious agenda. This offends me on a personal, professional, and theological level and I refuse to be silent about it.

I do believe groups like the ACLU have gone overboard in removing religion from the public eye, but I do not agree that Intelligent Design in the classroom is one of those times. The religious underpinnings of Intelligent Design are obvious and using the current law to prevent it from entering into the science classroom and exposing the lies and deceit being used as tactics is fine with me. If Intelligent Design was science I would support it wholeheartedly, I would even be more generous in my comments if they [proponents] were honest in their religious roots and refused to stoop to gutter tactics. But since neither of those seem to be on the horizon, I am pretty comfortable in my position.

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