According to Matthew Taylor in today’s Guardian:
State schools could teach the theory of intelligent design in science lessons, the Church of England’s new head of education has suggested.
Well, where do you start on this?
In my limited understanding of Intelligent Design, it is not “science”. It cannot be considered a science using any definition that I can recognise. “That’s really complex, so someone must have planned it” doesn’t seem wildly scientific to me.
There was brilliant post on Pharyngula that pointed out that astrology is much more scientific than ID. At least you can falsify astrological predictions. (It always gladdens my heart when “real” scientists show knowledge of epistemology.)
Pharyngula has this so spot on that there is basically nothing else to say. You can’t falsify the hypothesis that a big magic man did everything. Hence, it’s not a scientific hypothesis.
But where else could you teach ID? It claims it’s not religion, so RE lessons don’t cut it. At best, it is religion with the interesting bloodthirsty myths taken out and with no discussion of moral values – surely the only two reasons for allowing RE teaching to continue at all. In fact, RE teachers would have good cause for complaint if they found they also had to teach half-understood biology.
So that’s why proponents of ID have to go for the science class if they want their “ideas” to get spread to children.
But wait, is there some reason that I just can’t grasp why the science content of the National Curriculum is a suitable subject for debate in the Church of England? Does the C of E have views on the correct typeface to use in printing motor-bike manuals or the right way to bake a souffle? I guess not. That would be straying into territory that has nothing to do with their area of interest, right?
I imagine that the Flat Earth Society would like some input into geography lessons. Why should the “debate” between evidence-based science and the magic-man hypothesis just take place in biology?
What about maths? How can you teach about prime numbers in Maths without asking who made this miraculous property of numbers not to be divisible? Fractals, for Apollo’s sake? They’re pretty transcendently beautiful. So some giant man with a really good sense of beauty must have made them, right?
We are human beings. Ergo – We don’t really understand anything. As soon as you decide you need to start inferring a Creator every time you come across something you don’t understand, there is nowhere to stop.
Why not take the ID argument to its logical end and say “There’s no need to bother your inferior human heads with all this rational knowledge crap. Just realise that God did everything. You don’t need to understand how anything works. Just grovel before his mightiness and don’t bother trying to learn anything.”
[tags]biology, British-intelligent-design, church-of-England, education, guardian, id, intelligent-design, Bad Science, Science, Philosophy, rants, intelligent-design-in-the-uk, uk[/tags]