January 13, 2012 Filed in: Antievolution | Evolution
“Intelligent design” bill in Missouri | NCSE.
Not that anyone needs reminding, but just in case, Intelligent design is not scientific, it is not a scientific theory, and it is religion. In Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District, the US District Court held that:
Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (and Article I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution) because intelligent design is not science and “cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.
It cost the Dover Area School District over $1 million to defend this lawsuit, money that probably could have been spent on textbooks, teachers, and new computers. I believe in the aftermath, all school board members who supported the teaching of Intelligent design were ousted by voters. That’s how democracy I suppose.
The bill states:
If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught.
Just a tiny point, and I can’t expect much out of Missouri’s legislators, but the theory of evolution does not discuss the origin of life. The theory of abiogenesis does, and that’s more chemistry and physics than biologists. Biological evolution, or modern evolutionary synthesis, is based on a mountain of evidence. The theory isn’t used in the sense of a random guess, but a scientific one with a foundation in scientific method and piles of evidence. It is falsifiable (but has not been falsified) and has itself evolved into a power predictor of how populations of organisms change over time.
Intelligent design is not falsifiable (in that it requires an all powerful creator) and is not scientific. It is based on no evidence, just ideology and rhetoric. It fails as science once the bright light of criticism is shone on it.
Well, I don’t know how Missouri’s legislature is organized, but I hope they’re intelligent enough not to do this. But if they do, expect several lawsuits. And they’ll lose them all.