Intelligent Design And Curriculum Policy

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  • 1. Intelligent Design and Science Curriculum
  • 2. “ This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science…It’s about religion and philosophy”
    • Phillip Johnson
    • Retired UC Berkeley Law Prof
    • Considered ‘Father of the Intelligent Design Movement’
  • 3. Science Curriculum
    • First phase of science curriculum regarding evolution was an outright ban on its teaching
    • After Darwin published his ideas, many laws were passed at the state level which banned the teaching of evolution in public schools
  • 4.
    • It was argued that evolution conflicted with the creationist account of the bible
    • Although they were often challenged, these laws remained in place until the late 1960’s
  • 5.
    • Curriculum debate, with reference to conflicts between science and religion, is generally settled at the judicial level due to the autonomous institutional structure of school boards
    • Policymakers are sometimes unconcerned with validity of science curriculum but pursue certain curricula for ulterior motives
  • 6. Scopes Trial (1925)
    • Well publicized case on the law banning the teaching of evolution
    • High School teacher John Scopes was prosecuted for teaching evolution
    • Decision upheld law banning the teaching of evolution
  • 7. Epperson v. Arkansas 1968
    • Since 1928 Arkansas statute banned teaching of evolution
      • It was unlawful, “ to teach the theory or doctrine that mankind ascended or descended from a lower order of animals,” or, “to adopt or use in any such institution a textbook that teaches,” this idea.
  • 8. Epperson v. Arkansas 1968
    • In the 1960’s a 10 th grade biology teacher challenged the Arkansas statute
    • Case went to Supreme Court
    • Court ruled that the law was based on biblical account of creation’s supposed conflict with evolution and thus violated the free establishment clause of the First Amendment
  • 9.
    • Strategy of those against evolution was rethought
    • Creationism was rebranded as Creation Science
    • Equal-time model was adopted and laws were passed in certain states where if evolution was taught equal time must be given to creation science
  • 10. Edwards v. Aguillard 1987
    • Louisiana state law required public schools to teach creation science if they taught evolution
    • Legislation was justified under the guise of academic freedom
    • The Supreme court stated, “[We] need not be blind in this case to the legislature’s preeminent religious purpose in enacting this statute.”
  • 11. Edwards v. Aguillard 1987
    • The court also found that creation science necessarily entails belief in a supernatural creator
  • 12. Intelligent Design (ID)
    • Creationism was dismissed by the scientific establishment because of its obvious religious origin and lack of any scientific evidence
    • The courts dismissed creation science for the same reason
    • Idea of creationism was strategically shifted by its proponents to “Intelligent Design” after the Edwards v. Aguillard case
  • 13. Intelligent Design
    • The idea that the universe, and life within it, is caused by a directed process
      • Directed process from a supernatural cause
    • Meant to be a scientifically viable theory
    • Proponents distinguish intelligent design from creationism
  • 14. Discovery Institute
    • Think tank founded in 1990
    • One of the Discovery Institute’s primary interests is the promotion of intelligent design through its Center for Science and Culture
    • Characterizes itself as a science and not religiously based organization
    • Outlined strategy for ID promotion in “The Wedge” document
  • 15. The Wedge “ The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built”
  • 16. The Wedge
    • Strategic document from the Discovery Institute
      • Intended as internal document but was leaked to public
    • Seeks, “to see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.”
    • Outlines specific actionable goals and means to achieve the reseatment of God to all aspects of western civilization through design theory
  • 17. Wedge Strategy
    • Phase I: Scientific Research, Writing and Publication
      • “ Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade”
  • 18. Wedge Strategy
    • Phase II: Publicity and Opinion-making
      • “ The primary purpose of Phase II is to prepare the popular reception of our ideas”
      • “ Alongside a focus on influential opinion-makers, we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Christians”
      • “ We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidences that support the faith…”
  • 19. Wedge Strategy
    • Phase III: Cultural Confrontation and Renewal
      • “ Once our research and writing have had time to mature, and the public prepared for the reception of design theory, we will move toward direct confrontation with the advocates of the materialist science through challenge conferences in significant academic settings. We will also pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula.
  • 20. The Wedge
    • Called for a documentary supporting intelligent design
    • Discovery institute has endorsed Ben Stein’s Expelled documentary
  • 21.
    • Ben Stein’s documentary promoting intelligent design
    • Ben Stein portrays himself as a rebel against ‘Big Science’
      • Meant to appeal to younger generations
    • Stein objectively considers the evidence for intelligent design
    • Intelligent design portrayed as having strong scientific proof and many scientists supporting it
    • Frames those who believe in intelligent design as persecuted
    • Portrays science as unwilling to entertain new ideas
  • 22.
    • Movie criticized by many for mischaracterizing science and intelligent design
    • Accounts of those who were ‘persecuted’ were fabricated
    • Characterized not as a science documentary but a propaganda film for intelligent design
  • 23. Dover
    • Thomas More Law Center
      • Lobbying school boards across US to adopt an intelligent design science curriculum
      • Marketing ID book, “Of Pandas and People”
      • In a 6-3 decision the Dover school board voted to adopt a curriculum that included intelligent design and the textbook, “Of Pandas and People”
  • 24. “ This country wasn’t founded on Muslim’s beliefs or evolution, this country was founded on Christianity and our students should be taught as such.” – Bill Buckingham, Dover School Board, Chairman of Curriculum Committee.
  • 25. Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005)
    • Dover School District was sued by parents of students among others for the ID policy
    • ID proponents thought case would be an easy win and historical landmark
    • Case was a landslide against ID
  • 26. Findings of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
    • Ruling stated the case, “…makes it abundantly clear the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist and thus religious antecedents.”
  • 27. Findings of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
    • “… it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school classroom.”
    • The Dover judicial decision facilitated the public school science curriculum policy catching up to accepted science
  • 28. Scientific consensus regarding intelligent design
    • There is no scientific evidence for intelligent design
    • American Academy for the Advancement of Science states, “the ID movement has failed to offer credible scientific evidence to support their claim.”
  • 29. Scientific consensus regarding intelligent design
    • Not a single peer reviewed article has been published advocating intelligent design*
      • *there was an ID article printed in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington but the article was rescinded due to a faulty peer review process
    • Intelligent design is not science
  • 30. Emerging strategies in the ID movement
    • Evolution is only a theory
    • Teach the controversy about evolution
  • 31. Emerging strategies in the ID movement
    • Evolution is only a theory
    • Teach the controversy about evolution
    Will these strategies work?
  • 32. Emerging strategies in the ID movement
    • Evolution is only a theory
    • Teach the controversy about evolution
    Will these strategies work?
  • 33. References
    • Wilson, J.; Drakeman, D. (2003). Church and state in american history. MJF Books. NY
    • Shermer, M. (2006). Why darwin matters. Times Books. NY
    • Exposed; No intelligence allowed.
    • www.expelledexposed.com
    • Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District court records. http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/opinions/jones/04v2688d.pdf
    • Pseshkin, M. (2006). Addressing the public about science and religion. Physics Today . July 2006 pp.46-7
    • Shermer, M. (2008). Expelled- no intelligence allowed- scientific american’s take. Scientific American . April 2008
    • Discovery Institute, Center for Science and Culture
    • Brayton, E. (2008). Dispatches from the culture wars. Blog. http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/
    • Brayton, E. (2007). The dover trial. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7854411378880668082&hl=en