Getting ID confused with Science. Still happening…Posted: May 21, 2008
Woah. Where to begin with this one?
Turns out that, according to a study of science teachers in the USA, 1 in 6 believe that humans have been on Earth fewer than 10,000 years. 1 in 8 present Creationism to their students as “a scientifically valid alternative to evolution”. During a school year, biology teachers might be lucky to spend 5 hours on the topic of human evolution. Nearly a half of these teachers believe that a supernatural being has a hand in evolution.
This boggles the mind.
Firstly, if this is correct then there is a significant number of American science teachers who are completely unaware of the meaning of the term ‘theory’ as it applies to their area of (alleged) expertise. Here is what Wikipedia has to say on it:
In science a theory is a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise verified through empirical observation.
I could have picked any one of a variety of similarly phrased definitions from ’round the web (go look for some yourself), but the point that it can be tested is critical; no faith-derived explanation can be, and future predictions from a faith perspective are notoriously imprecise or just plain wrong.
Secondly, it is probably against the law. Several recent court judgements in the US have underlined the need to keep ID out of the science classroom. Unfortunately, without any kind of standardised curriculum, the materials taught in Science classes are still vulnerable to being hijacked by the superstitious.
For a concise analysis of the highlights, I can recommend this blog entry, at LayScience.net
I imagine this happens in Australia too, although I’m proud to say that I know of no-one in my school or in my extended professional circle who would do this. Still, it could happen…
(cartoon from http://www.fsteiger.com/theory.html – a precis of the argument against ID)