“Will “Intelligent Design” result in the teaching of a “religious heresy” in the Kansas (and American) science class under the (dis)guise of a “scientific finding” which is neither scientific nor an original idea ?”
FreeThought.com has a fascinating discussion on Intelligent Design and “heresy” in the schools. Background stuff at The Intelligent Design Network and definition on Wikipedia.
So if we put Ockham’s Razor in a box with Schrödinger’s cat and it emerged an hour later with clean-shaven legs, would that prove or disprove intelligent design?
I personally wouldn’t have so much trouble with the theory of evolution being taught if teachers were required to present it to our children as one theory among many rather than as fact. Because the fact of the matter is, it takes at least as much faith to believe in the absence of an Intelligent Designer as it does to believe in the existence thereof.
I say we teach both on an equal footing, preface each by saying “some people believe…”, and leave it at that. The truth — be it absolute creationism, natural selection, or somewhere in between — will always eventually be found by those who seek it in earnest.
With respect, I think you misunderstand the nature of science. It is all theory. If someone comes along with a better theory that is testable and fits the evidence, then we go with that.
The problem is that there are zealots on both sides pushing their own agendas. And schooling should at the final analysis be mostly about teaching children to think, sift evidence and weigh what they see and hear.
On the whole, evolutionary theory belongs in the realms of science and creationism (in its various forms) in the realms of religion. That is not to say there are not many criticisms to be made of evolutionary theory, but these need to be intelligent ones.
I also dispute your last sentance. I don’t think the truth will be found by all who earnestly seek it (in this context) because I know plenty of academics who have spend earnest lives studying nature in different ways – and come up with completely different answers.
As a footnote, I am amazed that evolutionism is causing such tension in schools – largely I am afraid to say due to vocal conservative christians. We would make much better scientists if we taught them to think and observe nature rather than constantly feeding them with theory. I guess the thing is that evolution is [reasonably] tangible and examinable.