Ignorance and the Teaching of Intelligent Design

Lawrence M. Krauss, professor of physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University, has an essay in The New York Times entitled How to Make Sure Children Are Scientifically Illiterate. He is happy about the recent defeat members of the Kansas School Board who supported teaching creationism/intelligent design in the schools, but realizes the war to defend science and reason is not over:

But perhaps more worrisome than a political movement against science is plain old ignorance. The people determining the curriculum of our children in many states remain scientifically illiterate. And Kansas is a good case in point.

The chairman of the school board, Dr. Steve Abrams, a veterinarian, is not merely a strict creationist. He has openly stated that he believes that God created the universe 6,500 years ago, although he was quoted in The New York Times this month as saying that his personal faith “doesn’t have anything to do with science.”

“I can separate them,” he continued, adding, “My personal views of Scripture have no room in the science classroom.”

A key concern should not be whether Dr. Abrams’s religious views have a place in the classroom, but rather how someone whose religious views require a denial of essentially all modern scientific knowledge can be chairman of a state school board.

I have recently been criticized by some for strenuously objecting in print to what I believe are scientifically inappropriate attempts by some scientists to discredit the religious faith of others. However, the age of the earth, and the universe, is no more a matter of religious faith than is the question of whether or not the earth is flat.

It is a matter of overwhelming scientific evidence. To maintain a belief in a 6,000-year-old earth requires a denial of essentially all the results of modern physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology and geology. It is to imply that airplanes and automobiles work by divine magic, rather than by empirically testable laws.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    janet says:

    I recommend this book for people of faith who believe in science–like my husband and me. Actually, my husband knows the author professionally.

    “The Language of God” by Francis Collins

    Here is an article about it:
    http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/06/07/29/100fea_b3scientist001.cfm

    And a quote from the article:
    “* He tells fellow evangelicals that opposition to evolution -whether the biblical literalism of creationists or “intelligent design” arguments – undermines the credibility of faith. He finds the first “fundamentally flawed” and warns that the second builds upon gaps in evidence that scientists are very likely to fill in the future, among other objections.”

    Dr. Collins led the international Human Genome Project. I think we should listen to him; he knows what he is talking about.

  2. 2
    Marcus says:

    Thanks Janet I’ll check that out..
    Even Pope John Paul who toured around Africa in the 80’s and 90’s preaching AGAINST birth control (condoms) accepted evolution and said it fit into the Catholic faith.

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