Friday, October 14, 2005

Open thread and intelligent design.

OK, I'm all typed out, it's your turn. And while we're all watching the ID proceedings south of the border, what's the deal on that same stupidity up here? Any Canadian activity? I should probably pay attention closer to home, but things seem awfully quiet for the moment.


Luke said...

Here in the US... ID is either loved or hated. The revivalistic Evangelicals swear by it, with religious fervor. Those of use in the sciences (I am a chemist) laugh at it.

My fear is that ID will gain enough support from the religious right that it will appear in our public school system, thereby causing a major disadvantage to our children, who need to be taught evolution and other sciences (like geology) to do well on the standardized testing required by good colleges and universities.

Intelligent Design equals Immaculate Deception!

Deanna said...

ID isn't making any headway into Canadian schools, but it is definitely affecting individual Christians.

In the small town in northern BC where I grew up, it was generally accepted that evolution was real, and the earth was millions of years old. Those who were Christians believed that God had a guiding hand in all that, but they didn't insist that the guidance of God be taught in schools. I guess that was Intelligent Design in it's own way, but the involvement of God was pretty removed from the evolutionary proceedings. I guess you could say that is similar to the current 'intelligent design' theory, but having been there, I feel they thought much like Darwin did - he didn't feel that God and evolution were mutually exclusive.

But now, all this religious debate in the US is spilling north, and the same people who had reasonable beliefs about God and evolution 25 years ago have now been convinced by 'Young Earth Creationism'. They now reject the theory of evolution, and claim that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. And they've yanked their kids out of school so they can homeschool them with Young Earth 'Science'.

I had a conversation with one of them a year or two ago, about where she thought all the different breeds of dogs came from. I pointed out that we have historical records of how various breeds of dogs were bred to have certain characteristics. "Oh," she says, "I believe that creatures change to suit their environment and purpose." "But that's what evolution IS!" I cried. I was informed that I was sadly mistaken...

The Eternal Gaijin said...

The Globe and Mail has been covering the Dover trial, if somewhat sporadically. Their coverage has been mostly sympathetic to the scientific (real) side.
Where it takes an interesting turn is the Editorial Page. I've followed a large number of letters to the G&M and there's a pretty good split between the "It's not science, in the Religious studies classroom if you must" crowd and the "Our children deserve full exposure to all points of view" crowd. There's a small sprinkling of American-style fundamentalists, but they're fairly well outnumbered.
I don't get the sense that there's any real ground swell in favour of
teaching ID creationism in Canada, especially given the reluctance of Canadians to take much religion in public life.

CC said...

... and the "Our children deserve full exposure to all points of view" crowd.

Um ... yeah. These would be the same folks who go ballistic about the notion of teaching actual sex education instead of abstinence-only and who are working hard to get any and all books that even mention homosexuality removed from school libraries, if not getting gays removed outright from their teaching positions.

"All points of view" indeed. Somehow, "hypocrisy" isn't a strong enough word for how I'm feeling at the moment.

CC said...

Actually, I'd like to see someone start a petition to introduce a public school course on "The Joy of the Gay Lifestyle," and defend it with exactly that logic.

It would be worth it for the entertainment value alone. Anyone down there want to give this a shot? Anyone? Anyone? Weasel Boy?

catherine said...

Thanks, Canada.

But I would still close my borders if I were you. Catherine from Cleveland, Ohio

Miss Cellania said...

Science is science and religion is religion. If the public school teach religion, they will have to include Islam, Hinduism, and Scientology (yeah, right). Intelligent Design is just the latest fundamentalist scheme to promote Christianity as a state religion. Its a follow-up of the Ten Commandments debate (an old Jewish document). Which came on the heels of Faith-Based Initiatives (think The Taliban Women's Center).

Yes, I'm a Christian, but I believe in the separation of church and state. Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, which would include Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and agnostics/atheists (among others). Nothing wrong with prosteletizing, but its NOT the government's place to do so.

My kids go to parochial school, where evolution is taught in science class, and faith is taught in religion class. Thats where they belong.