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May 26, 2005

Annoy fundies: give them what they want

by Feòrag

United States: Religious organisation have made many attempts to undermine science education in some states, by insisting that intelligent design (re-badged creationism) be taught as an alternative explanation to evolution by natural selection. They even had limited success in some states, but David Morris at AlterNet has an idea: let them have their way -- Science teachers can teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution -- and teach meddling school board members a lesson at the same time.

So, how to go about it? It seems that Christian creationism isn't actually specified in any legislation or proposed legislation, because that would be unconstitional. Instead, the requirement is that teachers offer a critique of evolution and suggest alternative theories about the origins of life. So, he suggests teachers start by talking about sex. That should, at least, get the pupils' attention.

I recommend that biology teachers begin by discussing Elisabeth A. Lloyd's decidedly scientific book, The Case of the Female Orgasm. No school board member should complain. The book's subtitle, Bias in the Science of Evolution, clearly fits with the new requirement that teachers critique evolutionary theory...

...When it comes to the human female orgasm, however, evolutionists are stumped. No other female of the animal kingdom experiences an orgasm. Professor Lloyd examines 21 evolution-based explanations for the female orgasm, and demolishes every one of them.

Here the biology teacher might offer the class the alternative explanation of intelligent design. Is the intelligent power simply leveling the playing field between the sexes? Or is Professor Lloyd right that the female orgasm is just for fun, and the intelligent power is female?

And then there's the pooves, always tricky to explain in evolutionary terms. After discussing various evolutionary theories that tackle homosexuality, the teacher should discuss an alternative possibility based on intelligent design:

Could there be an intelligent power that has created and nurtured male homosexuality? Does that mean God is gay?

As well as the development of life, there is the tricky issue of how life itself began. Morris proposes offering the creation story in Genesis as an alternative, and then examining it critically in the light of scientific evidence - fair's fair after all. And once the Christian God has been shown not to be the intelligent designer, it is important to examine just who it might be.

In his 1983 book The Intelligent Universe, respected physicist Fred Hoyle asks whether life could have evolved at random. Impossible, he answers. That conclusion should hearten the intelligent design folks. But Hoyle does not dismiss the theory of evolution. His criticism of Darwinism is that it is an earthbound theory. Life derived from outer space. Genes from outside the earth are needed to drive the evolutionary process, Hoyle concludes.

An even more intriguing and far better documented theory about the origins of life than Hoyle's is that of Swiss writer Erich von Daniken. Daniken's book, Chariots of the Gods, was translated into 28 languages, and has sold over 60 million copies worldwide. It was the basis of the much-watched 1970s television show In Search of Ancient Astronauts.

Having Fun With Intelligent Design - AlterNet, 23rd May 2005 (via Larry ).

Posted in Church and State at 23:49. Last modified on September 28 2006 at 23:43.
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1: Posted by: aeduna | May 27, 2005 1:33 AM

*argh* Y'know, if they wanted to teach intelligent design in philosophy, that'd be fine. But its not science.

Even giving a tiny bit of leeway to them makes me uncomfortable, even if it is for the purpose of making fun of them...

And another thing - you call this intelligent??? I can think of at least four quick changes to my own body that would make it better. I give the Intelligent Designer a D- .. some good ideas, but poorly implemented.

2: Posted by: lightning | June 6, 2005 3:40 AM

I agree with aeduna here. While it's fun to think about whapping Fundies with their own bad logic and and bad theology, in practice, it never works that way.

Never compromise with a fanatic. If you think he's actually changing his position, you're wrong. A fanatic's goals *never* change.

3: Posted by: A Voice of Sanity | September 8, 2008 7:47 AM

For some excellent material on evolution vs ID see Dr Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation - book available from Amazon. She did a great three part series on TV which was shown world wide - but not in the USA. At the end of it my thought was intelligent? Not bloody likely.

Wax lyrical

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