Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Evolving the discussion

OK, just about every post I've seen on the UU side about evolution has been to some degree sneering. And that's fine. We're blogs. Snark is what we do.

But at Tapped, Matthew Yglesias gives the actual survey numbers.

People believe we should be:

Teaching evolution only 12
Teaching creation only 23
Teaching intelligent design only 4
Teaching all three 55
None of these 3
Unsure 3

Umm... Wow.

So, as Yglesias notes, those of us who believe in evolution only are seriously in the minority. Perhaps it's time to stop sneering and start actually discussing these issues?

How do we get these ideas across?

The sneering doesn't seem to be working.


1 comment:

Steve Caldwell said...

I'm OK with "teaching the controversy" but the "controversy" isn't a biological science controversy.

Intelligent Design isn't science because it hasn't been rigiously tested through peer-reviewed empirical research. And some have suggested that Intelligent Design isn't falsifiable.

Those who have criticised Intelligent Design have used examples like vestigial wings on Kiwi birds, vestigial eyes on cave animals, etc. Those who have supported Intelligent Design have countered these examples of apparently "Unintelligent Design" through evolutionary modification and descent by suggesting that they simply reflect "unguessable" reasons that the Creator has for creating these vestigial features. Sorry ... "unguessable" is pretty much the same as "unfalsifiable" when it comes to biological science.

One can find scientists who promote Intelligent Design, but the majority of the scientific community considers evolutionary biology to be a useful framework for organizing observations and explaining how the world works.

Classrooms where the controversy could be taught might include the following (this list isn't an exhaustive one):

- US History
- Comparitive Religion
- Political Science
- Sociology
- Philosophy of Science
- History of Science

The controversy surrounding Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution should be taught.

It just shouldn't be taught as biology because it isn't biology.