Saturday, December 22, 2007

Evolution vs Intelligent Design - the real issue

A letter to the editor published in today's DMN is a bit of deep blue genius, and I have to comment on it.

The letter, from one James Wilson of Dallas, has to do with the debate regarding the teaching of Intelligent Design in classrooms, and it completely crystallizes the issue for me. Here is the letter:

Re: "Protect, don't prohibit," by Roger Adams, Tuesday Letters.

The objection to the teaching of Intelligent Design in public school biology classes isn't about religion, or the constitutional separation of church and state. It's about what "science" means.

Intelligent design holds that life is too complex to have arisen on its own, and that an unnamed intelligence must be partly responsible. This flies in the face of the nature of scientific inquiry. Any explanation of natural processes that includes a higher power is not scientific, because it cannot be tested and supported or disproved.

English literature courses don't include War and Peace or other Russian works, regardless of their merit – they're simply not part of the subject matter.

What the religious anti-evolution forces see as an attempt to push God out of the classroom is, in reality, an attempt to limit science curriculum to science subjects.

Bravo, Mr. Wilson! Let's get away from the "Does religion belong in the classroom" bit, because it will never be resolved satisfactorily. Let's, instead, focus on what's really at issue here!

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