The problem with intelligent design teaching — who’s the designer?A friend suggested that with my 41 years in education and many years thereafter as well, I should have opinions about intelligent design that might be worth an article. You may decide, if you haven’t already, after reading the following.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
A friend suggested that with my 41 years in education and many years thereafter as well, I should have opinions about intelligent design that might be worth an article. You may decide, if you haven’t already, after reading the following.
I am aware that think tanks such as Intelligent Design Network, Access Research Network, Discovery Institute, World Association of Christian Fundamentalists, and possibly others, believe that intelligent design should be taught in public schools in addition to — or in place of Darwinism (evolution), which is taught in science class.
The problem is that around the world, in other times, there have been many intelligent designer deities such as Mangala for the Ghanaians, Obatala for the Yoruba (Nigeria), Tawa for the Hopi, Marduk in ancient Baghdad and the list of different intelligent design theories continues on around the world today.
Are there more than one? The thinking of good people, intelligent people and seriously thinking people of those times and places truly believed, as do many people in different parts of the world today. Which one, of the many past and present, should be the intelligent design taught to your children in your school and paid for with your taxes?
I remain of the belief that science and religion should be kept separate as has been most of my life’s experiences with parochial schools and Sunday school church classes for youth. Charles Darwin spent 23 years compiling evidence to support of his evolution theory. He was published in 1859, The Origin of Species. Darwin never claimed that man descended from monkeys, but that apes and man have descended from a common, but presently unknown ancestor. Science has since discovered DNA evidence that the chimpanzee is our closest living relative.
Another Darwin belief that has recurred many times to me when evaluating human achievement is: “People differ less in capacity than in zeal and determination to utilize the power they have.”
Darwinism is often associated with “survival of the fittest,” which may be the source of the American conservative, such as Ayn Rand, disappointment with our expenditures on our weak; with our help, many of the weak survive. They believe we are helping those, too often, who aren’t sufficiently helping themselves.
Historically, traditional religion has lost the conflict with science. Hardly anyone believes in the Greek gods anymore or the Roman pantheon. Across the world, populations have abandoned witchcraft, rain dances, exorcisms in the case of mental illness or sacrifices of animals to ensure the harvest.
Assuming Intelligent Design were taught, in the field of medicine, where a drug is yet to be found for a particular form of cancer, it wouldn’t justify an incantation or exorcism before becoming a viable option even if that particular patient believes it with all their heart.
Let’s keep religion and science separate.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at email@example.com.