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BY ALFRED WEST

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    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Bush Wants Intelligent Design Taught Along Side Evolution in Schools

    Story

    "President Bush said Monday that he thinks schools should discuss "intelligent design" alongside evolution when teaching students about creation . . . The theory of intelligent design says life on Earth is too complex to have developed through evolution, implying that a higher power must have had a hand in creation."

    In case you didn't know, the theory of evolution claims that all life on the earth evolved from organic mineral compounds.

    All of the criticism of Bush's support of intelligent design seems to be in the form of 'evolution is a scientific theory and intelligent design isn't'.

    Evolution might be scientific theory, as they say, but it is an incredibly weak one considering that there is no example out there (that I know of) of one species actually becoming another species. Mutated fruit flies are still fruit flies. Natural selection is a scientific fact. Evolution is something else altogether. The term science means "the state of knowing," or, "knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific (logical) method." The term scientific, in turn, means "of a syllogism, a proof; producing knowledge, demonstrative." In other words, to be science, something has to have predictive value. Evolution does not have predictive value like, for example, the theory of gravity. I would argue that evolution is a hypothesis at best because it has yet to be adequately tested. I don't really understand how it can count as an actual theory -- unless outside the fields of logic and physics, the standards of what can be considered "scientific" are much lower.

    I would welcome an actual biologist to comment on how evolution qualifies as a theory rather than a hypothesis. And, if you don't mind, we are not scientist here, so please keep your explanation under 250 words. And, in case you are not familiar with principles of basic logic, your explanation should take the form of: "All theories that do x (generally) are scientific theories. Evolution does x (specific example). Therefore evolution is a scientific theory.

    Here is the logical proof I am working from. Unless I am mistaken, all scientific theories offer valid predictions that can be tested. If I remember my high school biology correctly, the theory of evolution does not offer any valid predictions that can be tested (at least, none that aren't examples of natural selection within a species). Therefore, evolution is not a theory. Since evolution (the theory that one kind of creature might eventually become another kind of creature) has not had the opportunity to be tested, it is a hypothesis by definition (a hypothesis being "a statement which has not been tested yet").

    I am no expert, however, and I welcome a trained scientist to explain why I'm wrong, if that's the case.

    The reason I'm harping on this is that I only think science should be taught in public school science classes; not speculation. In other words, for students just beginning to learn science, only observable, testable phenomena ought to be taught. Natural selection is such an observable, testable phenomenon; evolution is not. Neither is intelligent design. The more hypothetical stuff like evolution, string theory, quantum mechanics, etc. ought to be reserved for science projects, and advanced college classes.

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    1 Comments:
    Blogger GeoBandy said...

    When I went to school, science texts referred to the THEORY of evolution. Somewhere along the line, that "theory" part got dropped, and "science" adopted evolution as an article of faith...literally.

    8/04/2005 8:26 PM  
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