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Intelligent Design is Amateur Hour

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The following is a reply I wrote in a comment thread on Newsvine.

Intelligent design?, for this one you just simply stated two words, and what's being taught in school again, that's right, the THEORY of evolution, they do not allow you to teach any other "theories" along side with evolution, now do they?

There are no other theories on the evolution of species that stand up to scrutiny, and there wouldn't be any point in teaching more than one anyway. The point is to teach them what is and what is not, not confuse them by asking them to flip coins.

The proper course of action if there were two real competing theories is to teach neither until one of them has been established as correct. Darwin's theory has done so, no others have.

This really has little to do with ID vs. Darwin, and more to do with correct pedagogy.

I note how you hall out Evolution as being a "theory" as if it's just an impeachable idea, and all ideas are equal. This is not the case, and often results from ignorance. A theory in science has a rigid set of requirements that when laid out, make utterly clear that Intelligent Design doesn't qualify, and Darwin's theory on the evolution of species is more than just an idea.

A theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from and/or is supported by experimental evidence (see scientific method). In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations that is predictive, logical and testable. In principle, scientific theories are always tentative, and subject to corrections or inclusion in a yet wider theory

A theory must propose a conclusion, be supported by evidence gathered, capable of predicting the outcome of independent experiments, and be falsifiable. Evolution fits the model, ID does not. The principle argument here is that ID is not science as science is currently defined.

If ID proponents don't like it, then there are only two options open to them: continue gathering evidence that supports their postulation and study it until they have an actual theory that can stand on its own; or redefine science, as has been attempted a number of times in the state of Kansas.

I personally laugh at the notion of changing the rules to fit an idea when an idea doesn't hold water, but others do not, and that bothers me.

This isn't now and never will be -- despite what the Discovery Institute says -- a question of religious of scientific discrimination. The rules of scientific method and empirical study apply to anything submitted for discussion, not just those things that are unfavored.

There may come a time when ID proponents have more data and can present something that better represents a theory than what they have does today. If and when that happens, science will be more than happy to take a good solid look at it. For now, it's like comparing the validity of our understanding of electromagnetism to a woodwork claim that the universe at the lowest levels is made up entirely of strawberries.

ID has a very long way to go.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.