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That Intelligent Design should be taught in school

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Sagar SinghSagar Singh
I was going to suggest that intelligent design be taught in schools, as an explicitly unscientific theory of how the world works. In other words, students would be taught just a bit of the philosophy of science, in simple logic:
1) According to Christians, their God cares whether you live or die.
2) The laws of physics do not care whether you live or die.
3) Scientific theories cannot deviate from the laws of physics.
4) Therefore, scientific theories cannot include or invoke God.
5) Intelligent design invokes God.
6) Therefore, intelligent design, like all forms of creationism, cannot be a scientific theory.

This argument might make some scientists uncomfortable. Should children be forced to choose, at a young and tender age, between a God-infused world and a Godless but rationally-comprehensible one? But, I was going to argue, those who have the courage of their convictions should be willing to present that choice. Although there can be scientists who are Christian, there cannot be scientific theories that are Christian; any attempt to create such hybrids reduces to mere magic, which is both contrary to science and demeaning to Christianity.


Some branches of science, quite properly, study or search for the artifacts of intelligence. Therefore, any branch of science should be able to look for signs of intelligence. Therefore, evolutionary biology should look for such signs. This aspect of intelligent design should be used as an example of bad logic.

If signs of intelligence seem to appear, then this should be used as the basis of a scientific theory that life was generated with the help of intelligence. This is subtly contrary to how science is done. Not every theory is scientific; in fact, there are lots of non-scientific theories. A theory that rests on only positive evidence and that invokes or requires an undefined entity is doubly non-scientific. This aspect of intelligent design could be quite instructive in a theory-of-science module.

The argument concludes: Since intelligent design is a valid scientific theory, only its religious aspects are keeping it out of the classroom; therefore, it is your constitutional duty to be religion-neutral and teach it. This argument would not be correct even if intelligent design were actually a scientific theory. There are plenty of scientific theories that are so questionable that it's not appropriate to teach them in within a limited school setting. This aspect of intelligent design could be used as a jumping-off point for civics, pedagogy, religion, politics, and yet more science.

Why not just ignore it? Because it's better for kids to be exposed and immunized to twisted arguments, than to simply drum their heads full of facts (called "truth";) and leave them easy prey for the first demagogue they hear. In addition to learning what science is and isn't, they should also learn about the errors their own brains will tend to make: overgeneralizing, interpreting complexity as mystical, giving more weight to emotionally loaded arguments, and so on. And that's where the Bible Code comes in. Long before kids are ready to learn statistics, they will be ready to comprehend why the Bible Code results appear so impressive. Predicting assassinations from the Bible—wow! And once they have been suitably impressed, they can be shown the other assassinations predicted in Moby Dick, and they will understand how they have been fooled.

In fact, the Bible Code would make a good introduction to intelligent design. There's a sentence on the Moby Dick page that applies equally well to both codes. "The reason it looks amazing is that the number of possible things to look for, and the number of places to look, is much greater than you imagine. We owe that lesson to all of our children. And that's why the Bible Code and intelligent design should be taught—carefully—in schools.
Posted 2017-11-14 17:22:21
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