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Australian Schools To Teach Intelligent Design

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the ragnarok-101 dept.

Australia 714

An anonymous reader writes "It appears that schools within the Australian state of Queensland are going to be required to teach Intelligent Design as part of their Ancient History studies. While it is gratifying to note that it isn't being taught in science classes (since it most certainly isn't a science), one wonders what role a modern controversy can possibly serve within a subject dedicated to a period of history which occurred hundreds of years before Darwin proposed his groundbreaking theory?"

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"Faith Science Basis?" (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420090)

"We talk to students from a faith science basis, but we're not biased in the delivery of curriculum," Mrs Doneley said. "We say, 'This is where we're coming from' but allow students to make up their own minds."

I really wish they had gone into detail on what exactly a 'faith science basis' is. I'm not saying they're completely walled off from each other but attempting to give your children solid foundational logic should not be approached from an angle that contains any sort of faith.

If they are indeed teaching intelligent design in much the same way as Niels Bohr's atomic model or -- perhaps more apt -- motivation for slavery then I have little problem with this. But if they spend anymore than a few hours discussing how it was flawed then I would consider this a waste of time instead of 'critical thinking.' It's great to see all the sides of a historical issue but that's all intelligent design is to me and, much more importantly, the peer reviewed journals and scientific community at large.

If you want to teach it as a disproved theory, I got no problem. If you want to teach it to my kids as an outstanding theory or hypothesis, I'm going to sit down and have a lengthy discussion with them. If you do you teach it in the United States, I'm going to be there arguing that you spend just as much time on Native American origin stories or even better the original Hindu creation story followed by Swami Vivekananda's logic of compatibility with Darwinism and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness's decision to largely reject it.

Intelligent Design is an attempt to absolve the scriptures of ever being wrong in their creation story and salvage what is possible when presented with fossil evidence and short-term evolution evidence in smaller celled organisms. Other religions have similar damage control, why do the Christians only get theirs mentioned in state schools?

They are arguing that this helps critical thinking and allows the child to make their own conclusions ... but curiously this "critical thinking" that presents an opposing view is curiously the view that the localized religion adheres to. If you want to teach critical thinking, expose the child to more views than what the adults are already largely marketing to them in the home and at religious services.

This article bounces between acceptable and a BS facade to market Intelligent Design. Australia's a sovereign nation but I will speak up if this comes anywhere near my public schools.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420166)

Don't forget Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. May his noodly appendages bless all! That section could be taught by a bonafied pirate, since they're running out of places to practice piracy and all.

Being vs Becoming (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420220)

People like being right far more than they like becoming right.

Becoming right means you have to keep an open mind to the possible rejection of beliefs that bring you comfort or justification. It also means you must perpetually expend effort in the acquiring of new knowledge.

That is WAY too much trouble for most people. So, instead, they insist that they were lucky enough to have learned all the important truths when they were children, and that these things are still true today, and should be treated as such.

I really don't fit in well with my species.

Re:Being vs Becoming (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420632)

I really don't fit in well with my species.

you're right, you don't. most of us aren't such arrogant, condescending assholes.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420280)

If you want to teach it as a disproved theory, I got no problem.

It's not even a disproved theory. At its core, ID is simply "somehow something somewhere is wrong with evolution". Other than a rather vague claim that some structures are too complex to have evolved naturally, ID makes virtually no positive claims at all, and I don't even that vague claim can possibly be considered positive.

It's a smoke show, just Creationism stripped of any direct references to God, designed to fool idiotic Fundy-populated school boards, but in its only test in a Federal court, it got laughed out the door. One of its most important formulators, Michael Behe, made a fool of himself, and, unforgivable for a molecular biologist, showed an extraordinary ignorance of the literature on the evolution of complex systems like bacterial flagella and the vertebrate immune system. It's other major formulator is William Dembski, who, being considerably smarter than Behe, keeps away from ever having to defend his own notions of Irreducible Complexity and the outright nonsensical Information Filter (which, if it actually worked, would represent a quantum leap in the statistical study of information and would make Dembski one of the most lauded mathematicians in history, but is, in fact, just a load of pseudo-statistical mumbo jumbo).

Who exactly ever believed in Intelligent Design? So far as I can tell, the two chief camps that promote it our Creationists and a small group of Theistic Evolutionists (mainly of Behe's mindset). The latter may even be sincere in so far as they believe that God's hand is in the mix somehow, but the former are only using ID cynically as a way around the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and don't actually buy into any of it. In fact, as witnessed by the rubes in Dover, they don't even really care about ID, they just want to get Creationism in the classroom. They aren't even Theistic Evolutionists, they're out and out Creationists.

The whole thing is a scam, and one that has lost considerable force since Dover. The Discovery Institute, which is pretty much the leader in the ID charge, had already started moving to the bait-and-switch Teach the Controversy scam even before ID collapsed in court. The real problem here is that there are a lot of really stupid Creationists who themselves don't even know what ID is, and just assume that the scam artists who created it actually produced a scientific theory of Creationism.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (2, Interesting)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420584)

In an academic setting, the correct place for ID is as a case study during a course on critical thinking.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (4, Interesting)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420588)

It's not even a disproved theory.

That much is right. By its nature, it would be basically impossible to prove or disprove.

The whole thing is a scam, and one that has lost considerable force since Dover.

I'm sorry to break up your rant here, but it isn't a scam. Many people sincerely believe in ID (or a variation thereof). Many of those people would acknowledge that it isn't science in any meaningful form, and nearly all of those people would willingly keep ID out of the science curriculum in public schools.

However, it seems to me ancient history is a perfectly fine place to present the fact that people have believed in ID historically. While ID in its current form is a fairly modern interpretation, the notion of an intelligent designer has been around for quite a while, and has had a profound influence on our world (for better or for worse).

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420636)

I don't really think anyone seriously believes in Intelligent Design. There are lots of Creationists who will wave it around, but generally to them ID==Creationism. As was pretty clear from Dover and other attempts to teach it, the school boards in question were populated with Creationists who had been scammed by DI into believing that Creationism was going to be taught in the classroom.

As to the ID formulators, considering the amount of work they put into formulating ID as a neutered replacement of out-and-out Creationism, I think it's hard to accept any claim of sincerity. ID is a legal creation, a fabrication with but one purpose, to get Creationism past the Establishment Clause.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420688)

It's not even a disproved theory. ...

--
The world's burning. Moped Jesus spotted on I50. Details at 11

How surreal that ended up with the signature line in a discussion about intelligent design.

I'm awaiting a painting worthy of Salvador Dalí.

It *is* ancient history. (1)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420706)

It's a smoke show, just Creationism stripped of any direct references to God

So therefore, since it's at it's core an ancient belief, it fits in perfectly in Ancient History. Alongside Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Babylonian, Chinese, African, etc creation myths.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (4, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420770)

I'm curious about these Theistic Evolutionists. One of the major holes I've always seen in using "Intelligent Design" as a counter to Evolutionary Theory by the Religious Right is that it's not inherently incompatible with Evolution. If the basic theory behind "Intelligent Design" is that life is to complex to have evolved randomly and therefore must have a designer, who's to say that the designer doesn't simply use Evolution as a tool to accomplish Its goals. From inside the system it would appear to us that such small tweaks and experiments were random mutation.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that this is the case, just pondering how the two concepts are theoretically compatible.

I.D. is not a theory, it is dogma (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420304)

First, intelligent design is NOT a scientific theory.

On the other hand, Niels Bohr's aromic model IS a scientic theory.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohr_model

Here is why this is the case,
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory#Essential_criteria

Therefore it is incorrect to teach I.D. as a "disproved theory". It never was one in the first place. Where it can be mentioned is as a difference between theory and dogma, where I.D. is clearly an example of the latter,
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogma

PS: Freaking slashdot reads my mind everything. CATPCHA: instruct

Re:I.D. is not a theory, it is dogma (-1, Offtopic)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420646)

I.D. is a valid scientific theory.
Case and point:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/328/5981/958 [sciencemag.org]

I.D. by "GOD" may be dogma, but synthetic life forms created by human beings are by all accounts intelligent design.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420314)

I really wish they had gone into detail on what exactly a 'faith science basis' is.

They don't need to, just reading the phrase tells you all you need to know: it's a bunch of religious hokum clothed in pseudo-scientific garbage to try and sneak it into schools as if it were legitimate information.

If you want to teach it as a disproved theory, I got no problem.

I do, because it is not provable, disprovable, nor was it ever a theory. It should be held up as an example of anti-scientific thinking and religious quackery, ripped at and torn to pieces until nothing is left.

Other religions have similar damage control, why do the Christians only get theirs mentioned in state schools?

Because for some reason the US and Australia have strangely aggressive Christian Fundamentalist elements.

ID, if it has a role in schools, should be used for critical thinking. But it should be done properly, in the context that ID is shown for what it is: a red herring designed to mask faith as science. But that's not what they're after when they say "critical thinking."

rename it to UN-intelligent design (-1, Flamebait)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420332)

sorry religious nut bars and fr right zealots , too much proof to say YOUR JUST WRONG

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420340)

If you want to teach it as a disproved theory, I got no problem.

I do, because intelligent design being taught in schools is little more than an attempt to allow prosthelytizing in the public school system. The goal there is to replace education with saving the children's souls from us evil secular scientists.

They don't care about science, this is all about "I have it in my little head that God wants me to spam everyone with advertising, and I'm willing to destroy education to do so."

Frankly, I'd prefer students be exposed to advertising for coca-cola or McDonalds. Even though that's generally less healthy than being a christian fundamentalist, it's far less annoying.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (0)

purplebear (229854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420498)

Actually if you would take time to look into it, you would find the extraordinary efforts those in control go to in order to remove any scientist that presents a solid basis for creationism or intelligent design. Our higher education system is being destroyed by keeping dissenting viewpoints out when science has the intent of examining everything.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (0, Offtopic)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420660)

I'd like to see School Choice legislation so we can let the Christian Taliban keep their bullshit in their own madrassas.
Any way we can let these fools fail in making their spawn competitive is fine with me. We need superior people to rise in business, science, government, etc. Let the white trash self-segregate.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (2, Interesting)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420676)

Keeping people uninformed is generally bad. If you teach EXACTLY how silly ID is and how to think critically by trying to support/disprove ID in class it could be quite the inoculation for a generation of kids.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420708)

"I have it in my little head that God wants me to spam everyone with advertising

For the life of me, I can't understand why people like you are posting this crap, and I'm even more confused why you keep getting modded up. Has anybody even read TFA?

In Queensland schools, creationism will be offered for discussion in the subject of ancient history, under the topic of "controversies".

ID (in some form or another) has been a very large part of our history, and it is most certainly controversial. Thus, this seems like the perfect place for it. If you want to pretend that people never believed anything other than evolution throughout history, you are more full of shit than the people you so flippantly criticize.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (1)

TheStatsMan (1763322) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420386)

I believe, therefor I am or not; it doesn't matter anyway.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (2, Interesting)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420412)

If you want to teach it as a disproved theory, I got no problem.

Bad grammar aside, that isn't a good idea either. It isn't a disproved theory - it can neither be proved nor disproved in any scientifically valid sense. That's why it isn't science in the first place.

If they are indeed teaching intelligent design in much the same way as ... motivation for slavery then I have little problem with this.

This should earn you a flamebait mod. Once again, it isn't proper to say that it is wrong or right, to condemn it or glorify it. It is apart of history - it merely needs to be acknowledged so the students can form their own judgments.

They are arguing that this helps critical thinking and allows the child to make their own conclusions ... but curiously this "critical thinking" that presents an opposing view is curiously the view that the localized religion adheres to

Of course it is. Starting with viewpoints that students are at least familiar with is the best way to get a good dialog started. College professors use this same tactic all the time. You need to engage students, and talking about ancient historical viewpoints that they have no familiarity with will not get them talking.

This article bounces between acceptable and a BS facade to market Intelligent Design. Australia's a sovereign nation but I will speak up if this comes anywhere near my public schools.

Perhaps you dislike the particular implementation of this subject matter into their curriculum. However, you have to admit that any ancient history curriculum that fails to discuss religion is profoundly flawed. They are an extremely important part of our history and even of our current world sociopolitical makeup.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420626)

it can neither be proved nor disproved in any scientifically valid sense.

It contradicts all existing evidence. To the extent any scientific theory can be disproved, it is.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420418)

Don't worry. It might not look as absurd as things taught to kids in schools(madarasas) of Pakistan.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (5, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420486)

They are arguing that this helps critical thinking and allows the child to make their own conclusions ... but curiously this "critical thinking" that presents an opposing view is curiously the view that the localized religion adheres to. If you want to teach critical thinking, expose the child to more views than what the adults are already largely marketing to them in the home and at religious services.

Yes. Oh God Yes (pun intended).

I went to a Catholic School growing, though here in Canada that doesn't mean a whole lot. Since there is such an unbelievable mix of culture, you get kids who are Half-Christian Half-Buddhist, or Catholic Jews, or just about any combo you can think of. Even people who weren't exactly Catholic could get in, there were kids who didn't have catholic parents, but said they weren't sure what they believed in, and were able to go.

In my High school year, one of the big projects was to research a religion you had little to no knowledge about, in small groups, and then present it to the class.

I think it was one of the most educational lessons I've ever recieved from High school. Not only do you see the differences between Eastern and Western Religions, but also why certain ones spark conflict, and the histories of how they've interacted.

I think most of all, it was interesting to hear a Jewish peer's view on Catholicism and Christianity as a whole, as well as a Buddhist and Hindu. Likewise, they found our explanations of their religions also valuable. I mean its easy to look at a hasidic jew and criticize their way of life, only to have someone point out how your holidays have evolved into some corporate spend-a-thon, since Santa Claus has nothing to do with Christ.

I dunno, it was kind of like taking a step back and seeing the big picture for once, and I wish more schools did this (and I hope mine still does)

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420718)

If you want to teach it as a disproved theory, I got no problem.

No, it should be taught - in Ancient History class, as they're doing - alongside Egyptian, Greek, Norse, and other mythologies, as some silly stuff that people made up in an attempt to make sense of the world before the development of reason and the scientific method.

Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (1)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420780)

I think it's wonderful that creationists are interested in teaching the controversy. Organized religion has made great strides. It's wonderful that they've put their ideas on a level playing field with the competition. There was a time when they would have suppressed any idea that conflicted with their dogma. So. They can teach the controversy in school, and evolutionary scientists can teach the controversy at church. Is that how this will work?

Teach it? (5, Insightful)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420144)

What, exactly, is there to teach about intelligent deign?

Re:Teach it? (-1, Troll)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420188)

Oh, the irony!

Re:Teach it? (2, Funny)

captain_dope_pants (842414) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420198)

Just show them this video - sums it up really Robin Ince on ID [youtube.com]

Re:Teach it? (2, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420202)

What, exactly, is there to teach about intelligent deign?

Well, I suppose you could use it as an example of what happens when you fail at science.

Re:Teach it? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420210)

The duckbilled platypus.

There ought to be very little doubt about the integrity of Intelligent Design after that.

Re:Teach it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420422)

honestly the duckbilled platypus doesn't reflect so highly on natural selection either.

Lots of textbooks! (2, Informative)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420236)

There are many textbooks available on Intelligent Design, and it is really easy to make more.

First, you get one of the wishy-washy creationist textbooks written in the 1980s, before the Discovery Institute decided that actually calling creationism creationism wasn't going to fly.

Then you do a search and replace, substituting "intelligent design" for "creationism."

Then you add a chapter at the end with the nuggets of sophistry that ID supporters came up with, and add some references to other ID textbooks and tracts in the bibiliography.

Voila! ID textbook!

Re:Lots of textbooks! (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420402)

You're talking about Of Pandas and People [wikipedia.org] , the infamous Creationist textbook which was rewritten via search and replace after Edwards v Aguillard [wikipedia.org] banned the teaching of Creationism in public schools. The phrase was cdesign proponentsists, from an imperfect search and replace of "Creationists" to "design proponents" in one of the post-Ewards v Aguillard drafts.

It was that, coupled with the fact that the Dover Schoolboard were a bunch of incredibly inept liars (one even claiming an Oxycontin addiction to explain his clearly deceptive behavior) who perjured themselves multiple times during the Dover trial, that pretty much tossed it out of the water. The best bits were Michael Behe's time on the stand (William Dembski was too smart a fox to get involved), where his claims of irreducible complexity of bacterial flagellum were wiped out by article after article in the literature showing precisely how such a system could in fact evolve without intervention.

Actually, that's kind of the whole problem (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420618)

Well, yes, there are a lot of books but basically they all boil down to going at length into some (logically invalid and/or based on strawmen) way in which Darwinism is all wrong.

Just ask anyone to explain ID to you without mentioning Darwin and evolution. No seriously. All that is left is basically "god did it!" No more, no less, no falsifiable claim of its own.

It's not even a theory or even hypothesis in its own right. It can't even tell you if God made the Platypus on day 5 of Genesis 1 together with the the birds and the fish, or on day 6 together with the animals and the humans. Or was it what happens when god wakes up at midnight between the two days with a bright new idea and just has to try it? Was it made later by the devil to test you faith? Or what? You won't find that kind of stuff on ID because it doesn't actually have any theory that would go into those details, or for that matter into anything else than "Darwin was wrong!!!!111eleventeen"

Heck, for that matter you won't even find in ID if it was the abrahamic God, or the Chinese goddess Nuwa, or what?

The whole thing is pretty much based on the implied stupidly false dichotomy that if Darwin was wrong, then specifically _their_ fairy tale is right. Which is like saying that if I found a coin in my bed in high school and I'm fairly sure it my parents probably didn't come into my room at night, then it _must_ be a late payment from the Tooth Fairy. In reality, there are a lot of other possibilities, such as that it fell out of my pocket. But they're not even at that point in ID.

But at any rate, there is nothing to teach in ID if you try to actually teach ID and not "but Darwin was wrong!!!!" All that's left is "umm, so God must have done it." You don't even need more than 1 minute in class for that: "Some people believe Darwin was wrong and God made them, because it makes them feel more special. The name for those people is 'stupid.'" Done.

Re:Teach it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420372)

Oh, the same sorts of things as teaching about phologiston [wikipedia.org] , except that it's an example you can't prove wrong. It's a good example of a scientifically untestable idea, because it's always possible to envision a "designer" that could be used to account for any evidence for any reason a designer wishes.

Know your enemies? (1)

t0rb3n (1820822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420146)

So if there's like an hour of discussion about it, nobody would get hurt. Anyone knows how much effort they'll put into this kind of lecture?

What they should teach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420172)

is that due to mans intelligent design, australia started out as a prison colony several hundred years ago.. :p

this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420488)

This is why the US and Australia share a common esteem for one another above even that of the mother country. Not so much rugged individualists tackling a new frontier, rather broken-headed rejects overrunning a continent when left unsupervised by adults. In one case, convicts and whores, and the other, religious zealots that couldn't get along with their countrymen.

Re:this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420704)

wait... quite a bit of our "religious zealot" "forefathers" in the US weren't religious at all. In fact, some of them only supported the revolution, because they saw an opportunity to monopolize on a market. And several of them were people who ran to the New World in order to escape being convicted of crimes. Don't give the dumbass Christians fuel to burn their lies (and I am a Christian by definition of my beliefs, but some people take shit too far and try to rewrite history to align with their beliefs--and those people are worse than anyone wanting to take a damn cross off a hill or words off of our money).

Flying spaghetti monsters (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420228)

Could Australian schools teach about flying spaghetti monsters too?

Faith (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420234)

The fact that people who think we should teach ID in schools is what made me realize there's no god.

Re:Faith (2, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420296)

And that poor grammar is what made me realize there's a preview button.

This comment (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420240)

This comment was written by no one and evolved from a series of random pixels. Those pixels spontaneously came to being from a void of nothingness. It just makes sense.

Re:This comment (1)

purplebear (229854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420444)

Wish I had mod points so I could mod this up, even though anonymous, as informative. Must be the most well thought out response I have ever seen on Slashdot.

NOOOOOO! (2, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420252)

WTF! Seriously. I'm glad I don't live in Queensland. I hope intelligent people are working to put a stop to this absolute fucking garbage! Christian "values" are taking Australia straight to a Authoritarian Theocracy. Americans we have uranium I promise to let you have some if you bring us democracy.

Totally blown away by this article!

Re:NOOOOOO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420606)

Americans we have uranium I promise to let you have some if you bring us democracy.

You are aware that the Americans are the ones who started this whole creationism/ID bullshit in the first place, are you?

Double-you tee eff, mate (3, Insightful)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420258)

Australia's legislature seems to be riding some kind of runaway jesus train lately, with all the anti-porn initiatives and net-filtering. I can't imagine the majority of Aussies are behind this stuff. How is this happening? What is the election cycle like there?

Re:Double-you tee eff, mate (3, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420382)

What is the election cycle like there?

It's a unicycle: ridden by clowns.

Re:Double-you tee eff, mate (3, Funny)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420452)

Q: What is the election cycle like there? A: It's a unicycle: ridden by clowns.

Hey! Stop copying the American system!!

Re:Double-you tee eff, mate (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420668)

Three years between elections. I hold out hope as both major parties (liberal and labor) who are run by religious whackjobs and control freaks are losing ground to the greens. Hopefully we will get a Hung parliment like they had recently in the UK.

They must have unlimited funds for education (1)

Creedo (548980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420260)

I mean, "educators" can not possibly be so stupid as to waste tax dollars on such ignorance, can they? The sad part is, even with this, they still aren't as bad as some parts of the USA.

In good company (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420274)

Intelligent Design fits well between all the other failed theories: Earth-centric universe; immovable stars; bleeding patients; Froot Loops over Frosted Flakes....all famous in their time, all horribly misguided. In 2000 years, people will look back at our history, now ancient to them, and be amused just like we are.

Re:In good company (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420348)

Intelligent Design fits well between all the other failed theories: Earth-centric universe; immovable stars; bleeding patients;

And my favorite: Phlogiston [wikipedia.org]

Re:In good company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420450)

Froot Loops over Frosted Flakes....all famous in their time, all horribly misguided.

Something about this phrase makes it seem like a somewhat fitting description of the governments involved in this discussion. Crazy people leading a group of coldly belligerent and unreliable people, maybe?

speak up (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420286)

This is why science people should to take a more active role in speaking their mind. Even fools know that children are the easiest to dupe. Don't let them get their way.

Re:speak up (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420520)

The tricky part that, as a earlier Slashdot article covered, many in the scientific community are in the God closet (e.g. they are religious, but keep it a secret).

Re:speak up (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420644)

I am not sure about this closet thing. I do know some religious people will do anything to make it look like there are more religious people than you might think. Instead of being in the closet, I think most scientists avoid the topic to not offend others, or even pay lip service to religious people.

"controversy" (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420288)

The use of the word "controversy" here is taken directly from the creationist playbook. There is "controversy" about whether a big earthquake could cause California to fall off into the Pacific Ocean, but it's only a controversy between two guys sitting in a bar, it's not a controversy among geologists. When creationists say "teach the controversy," they're really asking teachers to present something that's not scientifically controversial as if it were.

Re:"controversy" (2, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420528)

Well, if taught as part of history, I don't have any objections about it if ID is not presented as being the state of current science but as religion. As part of history, there have been many controversies over religion: the Crusades, the Protestant Reformation, the Inquisition, etc and those are just ones involving Christianity. I would expect students to learn about other religions as part of history especially how some ancient cultures were polytheistic like the Greeks and Romans.

The funny parts... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420302)

...are to be found in the comments at the end of the article, where the morons tell us what scientific theories are, why you can "prove they are true", and that the universe exists because it just must have been created by [$sphagetti_monster_of_your choice].

The sad part is that this rubbish is taken seriously at all in Australia (though if anywhere, it would have to be Queensland).

The reason it's going to be in Ancient History... (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420328)

Studies is that that field is less likely to be taught by people with a scientific background. If I wanted to peddle pro-religion non-science, I'd rather take my chances with history teachers than biology or physics teachers.

Not being familiar with Australian education, I don't know what sort of qualifications high school teachers have with regard to the field they teach, but even if in-field qualifications are much better than in the US, a lot more people study history seriously as a result of their religious indoctrination than study biology or physics, either of which would be much more relevant to debunking the anti-science that intelligent design peddles.

The battle is over in the sciences. They're just trying to push it through the back door they perceive to be available to them in the humanities. None of this is a slight against the humanities, which I consider very important.

Re:The reason it's going to be in Ancient History. (1, Insightful)

purplebear (229854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420592)

The battle is over in science not because there is no founding for it. The battle is over because the leaders in the scientific go out of their way to seek out those with any dissenting opinion to popular theory and throw them out. Do a bit of research yourself and you will find many valid, well-informed professors thrown out of universities for presenting or even researching on the side aspects that did not agree with the status quo.
People, particularly on this forum, put Christians down as ignorant. I believe it is much more ignorant to just flat out silence opposing views rather than actually investigate them for real merit.

Which VERSION? (4, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420344)

There are at LEAST 6 different versions of this:
1. Biblical Creationism- the world is 6000 years old (maybe 7000 now) and was created in 7 days.
2. Darwinian evolution- life was created in stages by natural selection.
3. Intelligent Design Engineer/Scientist- Life was created in stages by an engineer-diety using natural selection as an engineering process to an intended end.
4. Intelligent Design Parenthood- God gave birth to the first DNA as an offspring and only interferes as a kindly parent guiding, but not influencing, the end result. God doesn't know the future in this version.
5. Quantum Mechanical Atheistic Evolution- Natural selection is entirely unguided and random- the only thing limiting evolution is death of bad mutations.
6. Intelligent Design Creationism- a bad quasi-scientific cover for Biblical Creationism.

And that's not even going into NON-CHRISTIAN myths, I'd expect in Australia they should at least be teaching the myths of the natives in an ancient history class!

history is a good place for it IMNSHO (0)

revlayle (964221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420346)

As far as we all know, ALL of the beliefs on how our species came to be as they are today is simply theory or speculation. Evolution seems like a good logical choice for all of us. Some people really do think the universe was created just 6000 years ago (does that take into account time-dilation relative to God?) and some are trying out this theory of ID. Just because we don;t buy it doesn't mean it's wrong. Hell, we may be all wrong, it might be that the world was breathed into life by drunken colossal space monkeys (not related to humans) who had some sort of dare that one gave to another a hojillion years ago.

I think the evolution theory is the best we have right now, and the big band sounds plausible considering the expansion rate of the universe. Is that how it happened ultimately? No freaking clue and I think we fight and evangelize about it too much (myself included at times).

Maybe teach creationism, ID AND evolution in school... teach them as the three most widely-accepted ideas on how the world started and push them forward as all *theories* and there is no scientific proof (there is evidence for some, but that is not conclusive proof) for any of it yet?

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420458)

Maybe teach creationism, ID AND evolution in school... teach them as the three most widely-accepted ideas on how the world started and push them forward as all *theories* and there is no scientific proof (there is evidence for some, but that is not conclusive proof) for any of it yet?

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution [talkorigins.org]

The number of scientists, and more importantly biologists, who think there is any question about the factuality of evolution is so exceedingly remote as to pretty much be considered universal consensus.

As to how the world started, um, that's cosmology, stellar formation, planet formation and geology. Evolution is the study of genetic change in populations, not in how the world came about.

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (-1, Troll)

revlayle (964221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420490)

Yet, we still call it a "Theory" for some reason. And yes, I know about most of the evidence, and yes I buy that (more than anything else right now). I also understand that we might possibly be all wrong at any moment. As for the cosmology comment, I knew that was a veering off track a bit... but creationism and ID is a bit more broad reaching than evolution as they both tend to go over the concept on how "everything began" while evolution is more "the origin of species" - so I threw that in there.

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420572)

Yet, we still call it a "Theory" for some reason.

Yes, it's a scientific theory, which is something considerably different than the colloquial definition. Why you guys keep trotting out this faulty and fallacious argument is quite beyond me. In formal definition, what you've committed is the etymological fallacy. Because a word or phrase may have multiple meanings doesn't mean that every application of the word invokes the same meaning. In science, a theory is a considerably more rigorously formulated claim or set of claims than just "wild ass guess", which is where you appear to be going. But it's a standard Creationist and ID stunt to try to diminish the rigorous nature of scientific theories to give a sort of rhetorical bump to claims that aren't even remotely scientific (and ID/Creationism is not science by any useful definition of the word).

And yes, I know about most of the evidence,

I'm doubting that very highly.

and yes I buy that (more than anything else right now). I also understand that we might possibly be all wrong at any moment. As for the cosmology comment, I knew that was a veering off track a bit... but creationism and ID is a bit more broad reaching than evolution as they both tend to go over the concept on how "everything began" while evolution is more "the origin of species" - so I threw that in there.

And now you're inventing definitions for ID and Creationism to bolster your argument. Creationism may certainly be more expansive, but ID, as formulated by Behe and Dembski, is not about how planets form, but as a direct challenge to features of biological evolution.

I have a pretty good suspicion that you are not at all familiar with biological evolution and Intelligent Design. You certainly know nothing about science judging by the statement Yet, we still call it a "Theory" for some reason.

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (4, Informative)

Rantastic (583764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420574)

Yet, we still call it a "Theory" for some reason. And yes, I know about most of the evidence, and yes I buy that (more than anything else right now). I also understand that we might possibly be all wrong at any moment.

We still call gravity a "Theory" as well. You are making the common mistake about the scientific use of the word.

According to the United States National Academy of Sciences: Some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. In science, the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature supported by facts gathered over time.

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (0)

revlayle (964221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420522)

Also I did misspoke here: "Maybe teach creationism, ID AND evolution in school... teach them as the three most widely-accepted ideas on how the world started..." - using "on how the *world* started" was a very poor choice of words, in that instance I should have put "on how our species became what they are today" or something like that.

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420604)

I think we should teach science in science classes, and leave religious education to churches. ID and Creationism are not scientific theories. At the very most they belong in religious studies or philosophy classes.

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420538)

I think the evolution theory is the best we have right now, and the big band sounds plausible considering the expansion rate of the universe. Is that how it happened ultimately? No freaking clue and I think we fight and evangelize about it too much (myself included at times).

The problem with letting them believe that is that it validates all the other crazy crap they believe and that they try to get turned into law that the rest of us have to abide by.

Maybe teach creationism, ID AND evolution in school... teach them as the three most widely-accepted ideas on how the world started and push them forward as all *theories* and there is no scientific proof (there is evidence for some, but that is not conclusive proof) for any of it yet?

No. Evolution is a scientific theory based on the evidence. No scientific theory is ever proven absolutely true, but evolution is one of the strongest scientific theories out there. ID and creationism are not scientific theories. They aren't based on evidence, they don't make falsifiable claims, and they don't have any predictive power. They are simply myths that some religions have adopted as an explanation for that which they don't understand. To teach them as anything but that would be a lie.

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (0, Troll)

purplebear (229854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420654)

I would ask for the addition to define evolution. Evolution is tossed about to mean both micro- and macro-evolution as if they are one thing. Evolutionists would do themselves a tremendous favor to make a distinction between the two. Micro-evolution to a degree can be seen. Macro-evolution has no evidence of existence at all.

Re:history is a good place for it IMNSHO (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420724)

I would ask for the addition to define evolution. Evolution is tossed about to mean both micro- and macro-evolution as if they are one thing. Evolutionists would do themselves a tremendous favor to make a distinction between the two. Micro-evolution to a degree can be seen. Macro-evolution has no evidence of existence at all.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ [talkorigins.org]

Care to retract, or will you just keep repeating a 25 year old Creationist lie. It's one thing to be a fool, it's something far worse to be a fool who repeats another fool's lies.

God helps those who help themselves.... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420374)

So feel free to ignore the paleontological, cosmological, geological, and archeological record, 'cuz God wants you to be ignorant all by yourself.

Re:God helps those who help themselves.... (1)

cjonslashdot (904508) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420446)

Well said!

And if aliens started life on earth? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420376)

How are we going to determine that? Why can't we apply archeological principles to biology? Thats exactly what ID is.

Make up their own minds? (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420380)

From TFA:

"We talk to students from a faith science basis, but we're not biased in the delivery of curriculum," Mrs Doneley said. "We say, 'This is where we're coming from' but allow students to make up their own minds."

Without a solid foundation in scientific methodology and critical thinking, students aren't equipped to determine what is evidently correct and what is not. I can't tell from the article what grade they're including this topic for, but unless their schools are a lot better than US schools, I doubt that any high school student is equipped well enough to determine the validity of an assertion such as Intelligent Design.

Well, it pretty much is copied (1)

Jabrwock (985861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420396)

word for word from creationism. So while it is "updated" with more modern ideas, the core concept is still pretty old. So no different than studying Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.

What "Intelligent Design" is... (1)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420426)

"Intelligent Design" in the U.S. was nothing more than Creationism repackaged in an attempt to circumvent the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment. In other words, it is unconstitutional to teach Creationism or "Intelligent Design" in U.S. public schools. To all the bible-thumpering conservatives in the U.S. who don't like that, now I can say "Send your kids to a parochial school or go live in Australia".

Re:What "Intelligent Design" is... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420712)

Technically the Supreme Court has never said that teaching creationism is illegal. In Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), the Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism as science was illegal as it promoted religion and thus a violation of the Establishment Clause. In Kitzmiller v Dover [wikipedia.org] , ID was conclusively banned from being taught as science. The Kitzmiller decision went further than Edwards in that Judge Jones ruled:
  • ID was religious in nature.
  • ID was the progeny of creationism and was creationism merely re-labeled.
  • ID was not science and failed to meet basic criteria of scientific principles.
  • ID was introduced for secular purposes not academic ones.

The totality of the decision means that it would be very difficult for ID to ever be accepted as it would have to overcome all the points that Judge Jones noted.

Re:What "Intelligent Design" is... (1)

purplebear (229854) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420742)

Odd that the bible, including creation, was taught in public education until approx 1948.

Design filed in Ancient History, not Engineering? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420428)

I find it odd they'd file (intelligent) design of things under Ancient History, rather than Engineering. It's true that people designed things long ago, but they still do, at least at some companies. Anyway, it's good they're specifically teaching an important skill like intelligent design, as this is often neglected in engineering.

Just as bad in history as it is in science class (2, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420470)

I don't know about you, but ancient history classes for me included discussions of the paleolithic. You know, things that happened more than 6000 years ago?

Intelligent design is creationism in a cloak of pseudoscience bullshit. Intelligent design attempts to pass itself off as a scientific theory when you can't prove it, therefore it's not a theory, it's a random hypothesis with no supporting evidence. And yet because proponents of ID keep trying to do this annoying tap dance around scientific principles when it's not science.

I refuse to allow ID in any school in any way because it's a lie. Creationism as a philosophy isn't a lie, it shows itself exactly for what it is, it's a philosophy of how people think the universe was created, but there's no science behind it. Fine, so it belongs in a philosophy class that discusses multiple philosophies and ideas and critical thinking and that's it. ID is an attempt to get creationism outside of philosophy and into any other class, and that's because when you allow people to think about and question an idea, critical thinking will expose the truths and flaws. By getting it into another class, it suddenly becomes something that gets more legitimacy. The average person in a history/science/math class simply accepts what they are taught as so. People who are vested in teaching creationism don't want you to think about this or have a real critical thinking discussion, they are just hoping for more sheep.

Design Theories (1, Troll)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420480)

Design theories go all the way back to ancient Greece. There is plenty to teach about.

Darwin's argument is many ways theological/philosophical and is trying to falsify design theories. So I guess if design arguments of any type isn't worth teaching and isn't science, Darwin shouldn't be taught either. How can a negative answer to design be considered science but a positive answer (even if you think it is false) is science? It just doesn't work unless you simply want to say any argument we find wrong or fault "isn't science", which opens its own can of worms.

Re:Design Theories (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420620)

Design theories go all the way back to ancient Greece. There is plenty to teach about.

Darwin's argument is many ways theological/philosophical and is trying to falsify design theories. So I guess if design arguments of any type isn't worth teaching and isn't science, Darwin shouldn't be taught either. How can a negative answer to design be considered science but a positive answer (even if you think it is false) is science? It just doesn't work unless you simply want to say any argument we find wrong or fault "isn't science", which opens its own can of worms.

You apparently have no idea what the theory of evolution actually is, or of the evidence for it. Please educate yourself [talkorigins.org] on it before making further ridiculous statements.

They taught ID in my school.... (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420514)

They taught intelligent design in my school. A lot. In social studies class, or current affairs. Along with evolution. In fact they did it much more in those classes than they did in an actual science class. The actual science class discussion, when it came around, was like one day. It is amazing to me the amount of political effort that goes in to a single day of class. Especially when the kids all have their mind made up about the topic by that point anyway.

Seriously, why is this still an issue 150 years later? Why do people feel that evolution needs to conflict with religion, and not say, geology?

Re:They taught ID in my school.... (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420698)

Seriously, why is this still an issue 150 years later? Why do people feel that evolution needs to conflict with religion, and not say, geology?

Religion is resistant to change by its very nature. A lot of the change happens by groups breaking away and forming new sects with somewhat different beliefs because its very difficult to change beliefs from within the group. When the changes do occur within the group, then you still often get a part of the group that wants to stick to the old beliefs, so they break off anyway.

Wrong wording. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420518)

“teach” is for actual information about reality.
The word for bullshit and brainwashing is “indoctrination”.
You know, like people in North Korea are brainwashed into thinking touching something with the US flag on it, would make their hands rot of. (According to a guy who helps people get out of there.)
Same thing here. Exactly the same thing.
Only that the churches are the power-hungry dictators.

Re:Wrong wording. (1)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420750)

The definition of "overreaction" now includes the above post as an example.

The Big Problem With ID.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420534)

Is that it *isn't* a sience in any way. ID uses what can be called the reverse scientific method, you start out with an assumption that you believe to be true, then you ignore or slander any information or ideas contrary to what you believe, then you declare it as fact.

The sad thing is that most people don't have a problem with ID, people are free to believe whatever they want. But it is not science.

Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420596)

Does it need to make the /. front page every time a school mentions God?

load your headlines much? (0, Troll)

Surt (22457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420640)

ID is certainly a science:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science [merriam-webster.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design [wikipedia.org]

I'm afraid it would be hard to define something that better fit the dictionary definition of 'science'.

Re:load your headlines much? (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420682)

Ah yes, argumentum ad dictionarum. Dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive, and are meant only for cursory definitions.

ID is not science. It makes virtually no testable claims at all, beyond overly expansive ones, and the two cases where it has been attempted to use it; bacterial flagellum and the vertebrate immune system, there were decades worth the literature already in place demonstrating how those systems evolved.

Not history class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420692)

It should be taught in a class based around religion.

Back when i was in school, it was brought up in that class with respect to the related religions in the Religious, Moral and Philosophical studies class. (or whatever other names other educational boards have labelled the course)

Putting it in history isn't correct due to it still being active at the current time. ID is still a contemporary movement, gaining even more support with people now.
Sure, you can mention some stuff about ID, such as it possibly causing conflict, or causing certain laws to be paused, or whatever else, nothing wrong with those parts.
But it is best left to the religious studies class since that is the main topic it falls under.

Evolution no longer a "theory" (2, Informative)

Minion of Eris (1574569) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420714)

as per: http://scienceblogs.com/loom/2008/06/02/a_new_step_in_evolution.php [scienceblogs.com] - evolution has been seen to occur, and we even have every-500th-generation snapshots. This made a wava about a year ago, then went kinda quiet. In brief, a bateria was exposed to a mild poison (a citrate), and over 44,000 generations, mutated into a form able to metabolize it. Evolution in action.

give a man a fish (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32420722)

I see this as teaching a man to fish, rather than giving the man a fish. If we teach intelligent design, then we have an adult that preach on the street for change, or manipulate facts so they can otherwise con people out of money. Generally speaking, an unproductive member of society that will forever be asking for the handout a fish.

However if we teach science, that fact patterns do not have to fit what is already known, that new things can be created, then we have a person who can create real product, not only catch the fix, but add value, so that we may all benefit with new big flat screen TVs and fancy cars.

Of course I know religious folks have no need for fancy cars or big TVs, as their lord given them all the comfort they need, so they have no need for science.

ID is "modern"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32420738)

Just for everyone's consideration, Intelligent Design is hardly a "modern controversy" or even a modern idea. People kind of believed in it before Darwin was ever born, and just because an idea is old doesn't automatically mean it is wrong. I mean Thomas Jefferson was alive before Darwin, and a lot of people kind of think he had a few things right. ;)

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