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Saturday, October 01, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

'Intelligent Design' is not science


"Intelligent design" is not science and never will be. We don't know how we can make it any plainer than that.

But once again, this tired old subject is making national news.

The Christian model of the creation of the world does not belong in the science classroom, no matter how many Christian legislators or fundamentalist school board members think it does.

Science is science. Religion is religion. By its very nature religion requires faith. Faith is an unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence. But science requires proof. Real proof. Repeatable proof. Testable proof.

The two should not be mixed up in the same classroom, period.

If the subject of "intelligent design" being debated around the nation today were a tenant of Islam or Buddhism, then we would not even be having this national discussion. It is only because this is a Christian doctrine - a fundamentalist doctrine at that- that the nation is even entertaining this argument.

Right now in Pennsylvania, the Scopes Monkey Trial is being replayed, 80 years later. The Dover Area School District is believed to be the first school system in the nation to require students be exposed to the intelligent design concept, under a policy adopted by a 6-3 vote in October 2004. It requires teachers to read a statement that says intelligent design differs from Darwin's view and refers students to an intelligent-design textbook, "Of Pandas and People," for more information. The doctrine says, basically, that life is way too complicated for it to be random, so a higher, smarter power must be behind life, the universe and everything.

Of course, somebody sued - eight families who see it as a farce.

It might as well have been card-carrying liberals from the American Civil Liberties Union, we don't care. Had the board's decision gone the other way, we're sure someone such as the American Association to Preserve God, Apple Pie and the Flag, or the Bush Administration, would have sued as well.

The reality of this controversy is that the scientific community does not debate the theory of evolution. The scientific community is not hotly contesting the intelligent design vs. evolution question at all. The scientific community does not debate whether the world is flat, either.

Any argument on this issue is taking place from the pulpit, both bully and theological. That is because this is a religious matter - religion heavily politicized at that. There is absolutely no science involved. This type of education belongs in a world religions class, not in the science lab.

So let's just call it what it is: Christians pushing a Christian political agenda - Christians who'd be screaming bloody murder if this were some other world religion's concept of the origins of mankind being foisted upon their children.

Let's stop pretending there is anything else involved here. Stop insisting "intelligent design" is anything other that Christian biblical creationism. We're all more intelligent than that.