Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Intelligent Design Ruled "Not Science"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the take-a-religion-course-if-you-want-it dept.

Education 1497

blane.bramble writes "The Register is reporting that the UK government has stated there is no place in the science curriculum for Intelligent Design and that it can not be taught as science. 'The Government is aware that a number of concerns have been raised in the media and elsewhere as to whether creationism and intelligent design have a place in science lessons. The Government is clear that creationism and intelligent design are not part of the science National Curriculum programs of study and should not be taught as science.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered


Hah. (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640883)

It's not really religion either.

God demands faith. God does not provide proof, because proof kills faith. If you see something that you think is proof of God's existence, you're wrong. He's ineffable. That means you can't effing figure him out.

The arrogance of the goddamn literal read types is just astounding....Anyone else would look at evolution and go, "Damn! That God guy is hella fricking smart! Look at this crap! It's a system for self-improvement built into self-replicating creatures! It's awesome!" but a literal-read weenie will look at it and say, "Don't say nuthin about that in da bible. You must be wrong."

The worst thing that can be said about the literal read types, is that they have nothing to look up to. They know all there is to know about god and everything. So very very sad.

Re:Hah. (2, Funny)

mashade (912744) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640931)

Pretty insightful, it's a shame I don't have mod points. ..Though I think the worst that can be said about the literal read types involves a clue stick, rather than knowing all there is to know.

Re:Hah. (5, Interesting)

Dann25 (210278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640985)

Paraphrasing another article.... its amazing how people that want to take everything on faith become experts on the scientific method when they want you to prove evolution

Re:Hah. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641159)

Exactly! How many times has some creationist offered criticism of some experiment I show them. The criticism is sometimes very well founded, and I agree with it. Then in the next breath, they say they believe the Bible is the only truth. Where did the useful skepticism go??

Steve Carrell (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641065)

The Ministry further clarified that teachers planning to cover climate change were not permitted to substitute "An Inconvenient Truth" with "Evan Almighty".

Re:Hah. (1, Flamebait)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641091)

IMO those types often have "troll" written all over. It's not possible to fail the literal interpretation of "Love thy enemy" or believing that whatever other part of the scriptures/tradition says otherwise can override it. Sorry for all the potentially good people that get caught into this and either get pushed to accept a sin or refuse religion altogether.

(Before i get flamed for nothing: no prob if one refuses/accepts any religion but it must be a decision, not a reaction)

Re:Hah. (1, Troll)

xeus4200 (918440) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641153)

excellent mention of the incompatibility of faith and proof- i was raised in the church and now that ive moved on, i find myself explaining this over and over to many christians who don't see the problem with looking for "proof" (eating from the tree of knowledge, anyone?)

Re:Hah. (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641167)

By that definition, anyone who believes that concepts such as irreducable complexity prove intelligent design and thus the bible logically believes in the non-existence of God, as per the very similar argument espoused by Douglas Adams in The Hitchikers Guide...

Might be interesting to try this argument with a creationist.

Re:Hah. (4, Interesting)

adisakp (705706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641279)

God demands faith. God does not provide proof, because proof kills faith. If you see something that you think is proof of God's existence, you're wrong. He's ineffable. That means you can't effing figure him out.

That postulate leaves the existence of God vulnerable to a Babel Fish Argument [ucsd.edu] -- i.e. were someone to experience a true miracle, it would disprove the existance of such a God.

Re:Hah. (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641361)

Anyone else would look at evolution and go, "Damn! That God guy is hella fricking smart! Look at this crap! It's a system for self-improvement built into self-replicating creatures! It's awesome!"
Actually, that begs the question of how the system originally came to be. I had to point that out since you have logic in your sig.

Sure, some people would look at evolution and assume a clever god must of created it. Unfortunately for them, there is no evidence to support that idea, so your use of the phrase "anyone else [other than biblical literalists]" is out of line.

Re:Hah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641383)

Methinks the term 'GOD' needs to be redefined.

Also, belief in GOD, does not necessitate any particular religion to accompany it.

Granted the only thing I believe in is Time, as I and everyone else, are proof that it exists and is passing.

No such thing as 'invisible being' in the sky. Sorry folks.

How about in the US? (5, Insightful)

oskay (932940) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640891)

Will someone in the US government please do the same?

Re:How about in the US? (2, Interesting)

IcyNeko (891749) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640925)

No, because our country is governed by zealots and money-hungry folk, whom are guided by the fundamentalists.

Seriously, this is why the UK will always have an upper hand.

Re:How about in the US? (1)

mashade (912744) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640971)

Don't be so sure. As they say, when things change on the other side of the pond, it tends to carry over here.

Re:How about in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641347)

Unfortunately that statement holds true on both sides of the pond.

Re:How about in the US? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19640933)

Lets hope not. We need free thinking still here.

Re:How about in the US? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641001)

Nothing more perverts the issue than those that try to make the battle against pseudoscience into a "rights" issue. I don't hear too many people complaining because high school history classes don't teach the "controversy" of whether the Holocaust happened or not, and yet all the Creationists and IDers bemoan the supposed censorship of their pseudoscientific claptrap not being taught in science classrooms, despite the fact that neither Creationism or ID (and ID is, after all, nothing more then Creationism with the word "God" removed in an attempt to fool Supreme Court justices) are recognized as science by the overwhelming majority of scientists inside and outside the US.

People are perfectly free to talk about ID, publish letters in the newspaper, buy spots on TV, stand on the proverbial soapbox and preach it. There is no infringement of freedom, save that all those Evangelicals and the like would like special dispensation so that they could teach their own religious beliefs openly or in a pathetically thinly-veiled form like ID.

Re:How about in the US? (4, Informative)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640997)

The idiots in Kansas who got intelligent design into schools were voted out. (Although I think it took a few years.) So the system works, just slowly.

Re:How about in the US? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641227)

Then they got voted back in, then they were voted out again.

We'll see if they get voted in again.

Re:How about in the US? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641415)

"The idiots in Kansas who got intelligent design into schools were voted out. (Although I think it took a few years.) So the system works, just slowly."

Now if we can just get the rest of the world to realize that a few noisy people doesn't necessarily mean a few hundred million followers....

Re:How about in the US? (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641053)

IIRC it's a matter for individual states in the US. California already teaches evolution pretty well. So do states like Washington and NY and (for all those who think the South==hicks) the Carolinas. Only a handful of states remain recalcitrant [wordpress.com].

Re:How about in the US? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641199)

Creationism is routinely defeated in the courts. What more do you want?


Re:How about in the US? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641299)

They pretty much already have. Its been struck down by the courts, and the high profile case in Kansas resulted in the education board being replaced. Reports overseas about our creationism problem have been greatly overstated. I still hear people over on the other side of the pond claiming that ID is taught in most US schools.

Re:How about in the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641375)

I have friends in paris and they think that US schools mandate ID. Also they were under the impression that abortions are illegal in many US states. They where shocked when I pointed out that US abortion laws are much more open then french laws. On demand in france is only in the first trimester. I think our news media sucks, but its astonishing what their's portray sometimes.

Took 'em long enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19640901)

About damn time.

I really can't wait (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19640909)

I really can't wait for the end of the world, mankind doesn't deserve to live

Yeah, but ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19640943)

Isn't evolution *also* pretty much just a theory at this point, like Intelligent Design?

Re:Yeah, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641029)

Well, that is the problem. ID is not a properly supported theory, but an anti movement, based on carefully presented paradoxes in the evolution theory. Presented in a way that proper scientific debate can be endlessly stalled and the mess is labeled a theory to get it accepted in US schools by gullable senators playing the Christian violin.

Re:Yeah, but ... (5, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641055)

Isn't evolution *also* pretty much just a theory at this point, like Intelligent Design?
When one conflates two different usages of the word "theory", one can come up with idiotic statements like this one. The common vernacular meaning of theory is pretty much "any ol' idea I can think up". The scientific formulation is significantly more rigorous, so that ID and evolution, while in the common vernacular, are both theories, when it comes to the scientific notion of a theory, no, they are not equivalent.

Well, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19640945)

it's a European contry, isn't it?

(In Soviet Russia, the theory establishes you!)

When they can explain... (-1, Flamebait)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640949)

I don't see much difference between the Big Bang and what I perceive Intelligent Design to be.

I mean, the explanation for the 'Big Bang' in that "ok...there was nothing, and then suddenly everything exploded into being.".

To me that ranks right up there explanation-wise with "ok...there was nothing, and then God spoke the world/universe into existance and set the laws of nature into motion".

I mean, when both the explanations can't tell me really what where there before everything existed...I can't say one of them is more believable than the other one.

With no explanation and both starting with a hypothesis, which one is more 'scientific'?

Re:When they can explain... (2, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641035)

I don't see much difference between the Big Bang and what I perceive Intelligent Design to be.

Except for the "Intelligent" and "Design" parts, you mean?

If you open for the far fetched possibility of the universe being created, there's not only intelligent design to consider, but by logic you must also open for stupid design, intelligent accident and stupid accident. Because there's nothing that points to either intelligence or design being the only possible factors of a creation, unless you beg the question.


Re:When they can explain... (2, Insightful)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641073)

The Big Bang theory doesn't say what happened before. The Big Bang says things only about the progression of the universe after its beginning. The difference between the Big Bang and a literal reading of Genesis is that the Big Bang is based on natural laws that have been discovered.

Re:When they can explain... (1)

mrpeebles (853978) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641083)

Of course, the interesting part of the big bang theory is not what came "before" the big bang (which many not even be a meaningful statement.) What came after the big bang is the "answer"; it helps to provide a nexus between, for example, our understanding of galaxies and of protons. It is true, though, that the big bang doesn't provide an answer to the metaphysical question of first cause (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_cause), although it can probably motivate answers. However, science is not directly concerned with metaphysics.

Re:When they can explain... (1)

yoyoq (1056216) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641085)

Well, one is based on observation and the other is based on a book with unknown authors,
so i'll choose the one based on observation.

Re:When they can explain... (4, Informative)

Skreems (598317) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641089)

The difference is, Intelligent Design teaches specifically that certain structures found in biological systems are too complex to have come about through macro evolution. They point to things as varied as the eye, flagella on bacterium, and a number of other things which they call "irreducibly complex", meaning that they would have no function if broken apart, and so supposedly cannot have an evolutionary pathway leading to their creation. ID has nothing to do with explaining the origins of the universe. It's an attempt to prove the involvement of a deity in the development of life on Earth.

Re:When they can explain... (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641101)

Could you list the sources where you got your definition of Big Bang cosmology? I'd love to know what hoakey craphouse you got it from. Big Bang cosmology neatly explains:

1. the red-shift of distant galaxies.
2. nucleosynthesis
3. the black body radiation that can be found every in the universe

ID, on the other hand, explains nothing. It's an empty statement that is designed to

a. fool judges
b. make such vague statements on the origins of the universe and life that everyone from a Young Earth Creationist to a Theistic Evolutionist are supposed to be friendly and consequently overthrow the evil secular forces of public education in America.

My recommendation to you is to

a. go read something on the Big Bang by actual cosmologists
b. go look up the Wedge Document to find out what ID *really* is.

Re:When they can explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641107)

Evolution != Big bang theory. One is theory in biology and the other is a physics theory. You are right that they both are peer reviewed evidence supported theories.

Re:When they can explain... (2, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641121)

Account 1: "Nothing existed. Then something inconceivably complex existed. That something willfully created us, specifically."

Account 2: "Nothing existed. Then through sheer logical necessity, everything else existed. Everything. Those parts of everything which were capable of contemplating existence posted on message boards. The rest were not aware that they should be doing so."

Why do you feel there should be an explanation for what caused causality?

Re:When they can explain... (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641193)

Even worse, you enter a logic trap when you insist that things require a Prime Mover. If the universe requires a Prime Mover, then the logical extension to that is that the Prime Mover also does, and you enter an infinite regression of Prime Movers. The standard answer by those who insist on causality all the way down is that their Prime Mover is exempt. At that point, an application of Occam's Razor states that unnecessary entities should be removed, and so if the alleged Prime Mover requires no lower-level Prime Mover, then why can't the universe exist without the need of a Prime Mover.

Re:When they can explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641135)

Massive difference.

Have a go at reading Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion" for a nice description of why this is so.

Re:When they can explain... (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641139)

The Big Bang is supported by evidence. What was there before the Big Bang is unknown. Saying "we don't know what was there before the Big Bang" is a lot different than saying "God was there."

For all we know, maybe God created the Big Bang. Maybe the Big Bang spontaneously appeared out of nothing. Maybe the Big Bang happened after a Big Crunch, and maybe the Universe has been creating and recreating itself forever. Maybe the Big Bang started when Great Green Arkleseizure sneezed. As soon as we have some solid supporting evidence for any of these possibilities, they will become Scientific Theories. Before then, they are just hypotheses. However, with no real way to test them, they are not particularly interesting hypotheses.

No Before the Big Bang (2, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641409)

What was there before the Big Bang is unknown

The statement doesn't really make sense. There was no length before the big bang, there was no width, or depth (dimensions 1-3), and there was no time (dimension #4). To ask the question requires time to exist when it didn't.

Fortunately we don't need to invoke God for every scenario where quantum reality is non-intuitive to beings whose ancestors were being chased around by dinosaurs for snackage just a cosmic handful of years ago.

Re:When they can explain... (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641171)

The reason you see no difference between the big bang and religious creation myths is that you are misrepresenting (or misunderstanding) the big bang (and cosmology in general). You ask:

I mean, when both the explanations can't tell me really what where there before everything existed...I can't say one of them is more believable than the other one.
Answering the question "what was there before the universe?" is actually not the intent of the big bang theory (if indeed such questions have answers). The big bang is a model that was proposed to explain the measured expansion of the universe, and it turns out that it correctly predicted many of the features seen in the cosmos. The theory has been repeatedly modified to take into account new experimental results. The new modifications to the theory (e.g. inflation, dark energy) are providing us with unprecedented agreement with observations, and testable predictions.

The words in bold, by the way, apply to scientific reasoning but not to religion. So the big bang and religious creation myths are "the same" only if you completely throw out all the successful predictions and agreements of cosmology, and focus on one particular question that the big bang theory was never intended to answer.

In a more general sense, science never claims to give your life meaning, or to answer the "why?" questions. It merely provides predictive models, or in other words answers the "how?" questions. Science and religion are very different, and pretending they are the same is rather disingenuous.

Re:When they can explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641203)

Big Bang Theory makes predictions that have been experimentally verified. The same can't be said for Intelligent Design.

Re:When they can explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641211)

I mean, the explanation for the 'Big Bang' in that "ok...there was nothing, and then suddenly everything exploded into being."

You appear to be ignorant about the big bang theory. I haven't read anything in big bang theory which describes about what existed before the big bang. It's extremely presumptuous to say that there was "nothing".

The big bang theory is our best fit model to explain the expansion of the universe. Yes, it is not comprehensive. It doesn't explain everything about everything. Nothing in science does. But, to date, it does hold up to all cosmological evidence that we have.

Please stop trying to make the big bang theory something that it's not. It's not a theory for the creation of the universe.

Re:When they can explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641221)

I've been saying a very similar thing for years. We all believe in some greater order/power/whatever to the universe, we just don't all agree in how to classify it.

Re:When they can explain... (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641231)

That's nice but what does the Big Bang theory have to do with evolution?
The Big Bang is about how the universe started and evolution is about how life in earth started about 10 billion years later.

Re:When they can explain... (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641239)

I don't think I've ever heard someone say that there was nothing before the Big Bang, except you creationist nutcases. Clearly there was something there before it, and clearly there is probably no way for us ever to see what that was. That doesn't mean there was any sort of design by any sort of intelligence.

That you can go out of the house expressing views like that without being horribly embarrassed is amazing. Or maybe you just never leave your mom's basement.

Just in case you were wondering, all the matter that there is or ever will be has always existed. It floated around in space and through literally countless collisions due to the inherent physics of everything (that have also always existed) they eventually came together into stars and planets and on some of them, such as Earth, life evolved and here we are. Whether or not this explanation is true (it likely is similar to the truth) it sure as hell seems easier to believe than some desert sky daddy or whatever nonsense you believe.

Re:When they can explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641253)

I have already moderated, so posting AC...

With no explanation and both starting with a hypothesis, which one is more 'scientific'?

Here is a hint: it's the one whose proponents are willing to entertain evidence to the contrary, and, should evidence not fit, adjust their theory accordingly. You know, the one that follows the SCIENTIFIC METHOD!

The Big Bang is a theory, and not a particularly satisfying one. The people who back it are quite aware of where it falls short, and are constantly looking for ways to test it, refine, or even refute it if independently reproducible tests can determine something better. That is the fundamental criterion of what qualifies as science, and therefore why evolution is science, and creationism/intelligent design is not.

If you put forth a hypothesis, and are unwilling to consider any evidence or produce any tests to challenge your hypothesis, you do not have a theory. You have dogma. God bless the UK for understanding the difference.

Re:When they can explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641257)

Science can't explain everything. That's not the point. Intelligent design is not science and tries to explain things in a way which contradicts science where the scientific method has led to verifiable theories. You can believe in intelligent design if you want, but don't pretend that it is anything but veiled religious belief. "Science" is a defined term, not just a fancy vocabulary and a labcoat.

Re:When they can explain... (1)

DavidKlemke (1048264) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641273)

I for one, see a bloody huge difference between Intelligent Design and the Big Bang theory. Mostly in part due to the evidence that the Big Bang theory presents in relation to what Intelligent Design tries to explain.

Just to start off with, there's some reading you should do http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_bang and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_Design

Now once you've read both of these and understood the points on both sides you can see that while Intelligent Design is one of the more intellectual ways of arguing your faith it's pretty much inherently flawed. Because even though you can argue for days that a creator designed everything we know it still poses the greatest question of all: Who created the creator?

Answer me that!

Re:When they can explain... (1)

ALimoges (870872) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641283)

To me that ranks right up there explanation-wise with "ok...there was nothing, and then God spoke the world/universe into existance and set the laws of nature into motion.

There you go. How can a person, or a "God", be responsible for the creation of something as complex as the Universe? It is a total non-sense! I mean, the Big Bang is the beginning of a series of events that created the Universe and its laws. It's physics. You just cannot have someone who decided all this. And why explaining human beings and all living creatures with creationism? It is not a creation, it is an evolution. As far as you can go back, there always was an ancestor before you. Up to a point where life (organic compounds) spawed off inorganic precursors (Miller-Urey Experiment [wikipedia.org].

Anyways, there are so many obivous flaws in the creationism that it simply loses all its credibility as a possible avenue to understanding our complex world.

Ok, I'll step through this. (2, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641305)

First, you assume that there was ever a time when there was a nothing. The big bang is the point at which time comes into being, so there is nothing preceding it, so there is no time of nothing into which the something arrived. Thus, your whole thing of what was there before there was a time for there to be anything there doesn't mean anything. There has to be a time before there can be a something (or a nothing) to exist in it. Phew. Having got the trivial bit out the way, I'll get into the more complicated part.

Part, the second: Physics doesn't permit a nothing to exist. There is no such thing in science as "nothing". There are no "perfect vaccuum"s, except in adverts. There is a quantum foam, which consists of pairs of virtual particles whose sum total of mass and energy is zero. This is not a cheat, it is an inevitable consequence of the inescapable laws of thermodynamics which underly ALL other laws of the Universe. Besides, there's a possibility it has been observed in experiments on the Casmir Effect.

Now we get to the third part. Relativity requires that space/time curve under gravity. If you backtrack time towards the Big Bang, time bends inwards. The closer you get, the slower time subjectively is. You can never reach time zero. It's flat. The gradient is zero. There is no point from which the Big Bang erupted. Time is parabolic that early on. If there is no origin, then there is no need to explain what happened then. (This was why Professor Hawking was nervous about talking to the late Pope John Paul II - the Pope said it was ok to explore the universe, just not talk about how it originated. Hawking's talk earlier that day had shown that there was no origin to talk about.)

Next, we get to part four. Testability. The Big Bang is a verifiable hypothesis - we can create the conditions needed to create a virtual energy density necessary to inflate a bubble universe, and that has been known for many decades now. I'm not saying anything new here. Creationism and Intelligent Design is unverifiable, short of God appearing on Larry King Live, and strangely I don't see the Creationists begging Him/Her to do so. Odd, that.

(I have nothing against faith, but many who claim to have faith have nothing of the sort and I do have a great many problems with abuse of faith.)

Re:When they can explain... (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641315)

Alright, I'll bite. The "Big Bang" theory makes no assertions about what came before, because it can't. There is no (currently understood) mechanism for information from "before" (even saying that doesn't really make any sense) the Big Bang to be conveyed into our Universe, therefore no testable predictions can be made about what it could have been like. If it can't make testable predictions, it ain't science, therefore, scientists leave that one alone, leaving it to speculation and philosophy.

The Big Bang theory is scientific because it makes falsifiable predictions about what the universe ought to look like. It is the explanation most consistent with our observations of the universe. It accurately explains the red shift of distant objects, and the observed structure of the universe, and the cosmic background radiation, among other things. Creation isn't scientific because it isn't testable. The explanation for everything is always "Wizard did it." There is no way to falsify "Wizard did it."

Although really unrelated to this argument, One can show that Creationism is actually the more complex explanation, and therefore, according to Occam's Razor, more likely to be false. Creationism presupposes god, or some equivalent entity. God is, by definitions used in philosophy and theology, greater than the whole of the universe. Therefore, Creationism, by presupposing the existence of god, an entity more complex and powerful than the universe, who then creates the less complex universe, is a more complex argument than the Scientific explanation, which merely presupposes that the universe can come into existence. In order to be intellectually honest, you have to explain god, and how god comes into existence.

Re:When they can explain... (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641341)

The big bang as other have said only says that at some point the universe exploded forth from a single small immensely dense and hot thing. Thats all it claims to say essentially but it does so in excruciating methametical detail with evidence from observations and models supporting it. It is irrelevant who that small dense thing came into being, it could have been god or a drunk frat student sneezing in another universe (really weird universe where sneezing pops new universes into existence). Since we by many account cannot know how that initial point came into being it is irrelevant.

As for your second explanation? How did god create the universe? When did he do it? What state did he do it in? Had he further influenced it? If so are these influences predictable or verifiable? Well? I'm waiting.

Re:When they can explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641403)

The Big Bang and "[that] God spoke the world/universe into existance" are very different. One predicts (post-dicts?) the past behavior of matter travelling through the Universe. The other assumes that something (a God) used speech to generate the Universe in unknown ways.

By Physics 101, I could follow the trajectory of a football through the air. I knew where the football was at time t=31 seconds. I determined where it was a time t=3 seconds, using Calculus.

Replace "football" with "planet" and "trajectory" with "really hard Astrophysics" to see how the Big Bang is scientific. The Big Bang never states that "there was nothing, and then suddenly everything exploded into being.". We just look back until we reach a very small dot of matter.

It IS scientific to define a God, speech, and Universe. Then, show how this God uses speech to create a Universe. This God will fall far short of the ideal of Allah.

Excelent (2, Insightful)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 6 years ago | (#19640967)

Very pleased to hear the government come out and and state what by far the majority of the country would assume anyway, nice to have it made official.

May as well teach crystal healing in heart surgery if your going to allow RE into Science classes.

Re:Excelent (1)

UpInTheClouds (134855) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641019)

- May as well teach crystal healing in heart surgery if your going to allow RE into Science classes. -

I give it 5 years before someone in America tries this. 10 at the outside.

Creationist God versus Evolution God (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641007)

The God of creationism fantasy had to basically build everything. The GHod of evolution came up with a few simple rules. A few fundamental forces, and was able to ensure that humans would be on earth 13 billion years later.

Now imagine which is astronomically harder to acheive?

A God can cause humans to evolve by creating a few basic fundamental forces is far smarter.

Oblig. Bill Hicks quote (1)

RichardDeVries (961583) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641013)

There's these Christian fundamentalists, the ones who are trying to get creationism taught in school as a science. I think it would be great because it would definitely be the shortest class of the day. "Welcome to creationist science. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. On the seventh day he rested. See ya at the final!"

That's good. (5, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641023)

I can't believe it is such an issue in the USA. People don't seem to even understand the definition of science. While I won't diminish the importance of religion or spirituality in life, science is based on reason and logic and is therefore a very practical and useful way to understand the natural world.

Personally, I don't see any conflict between the world being created by some God, even in 7 days, and its being formed over billions of years by natural processes. One is a faith based way of experiencing the world, the other is a sensory based, practical, and logical way. They are both useful.

What isn't useful is to deny children understanding of what, very practically and falsifiably, is the way our reality works.

Re:That's good. (2, Insightful)

adisakp (705706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641353)

Personally, I don't see any conflict between the world being created by some God, even in 7 days, and its being formed over billions of years by natural processes.

True, just like there is no conflict between a child believing a magical fairy has given them a coin to replace the tooth they placed under their pillow and their parent believing that tricking that child by trading a coin for a bunch of tears is an easy way to pacify their child over a lost tooth.

It's just two alternate ways to experience the same reality. For some people it's nice to get the "coin" and for others, it's more important to try to know what is really happening.

Re:That's good. (1)

bloodredsun (826017) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641355)

Do you see a difference between the world being created by pixies and elves or flying spaghetti monsters?

I'm joking of course, but your comment equates to saying that all world views - even the patently ridiculous and wrong - are just as valid as the real one.

How you choose to experience the world is up to you but just because you choose to believe something doesn't make you right and you are right in that this is what we need to teach our children.

Origins Aren't Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641039)

I maintain that origins aren't terribly important, neither to creation, nor evolution. Certainly they aren't important to young children. Even to adults that aren't specifically engaged in the study of the origins of all things they aren't much more than a temporary fancy; jibber jabber to be made over dinner.

Serious theologians and serious scientists have cause to study the matter further. These people are well beyond their primary education. Let's have our youngsters study something more material. There are plenty of topics to choose.

Jason C. Wells

Forgive the english, they don't know what they do. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641047)

Oh Lord. Don't look at those sinners in the United Kingdom.

Enjoy looking at us in the US, please?

We love you so much we do everything in your name.

Come to church friends and lets pray for less WMD and more enforcement of DMCA.

So God will get so much love from us that he can ignore that hate from the UK.

George W Bush will tell us how much God loves our prayers and how desperate we try to look better in churches than the rest of the world with all our singing and praying.

Sorry, there is no god. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641059)

Simply put...god doesn't exist. He's an imaginative figure branded into people's minds to try and keep them in line. For those of you who are ignorant enough to believe in him, he only exists in your mind, I apologize for the awakening.

Just Science (5, Informative)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641109)

While this is indeed a win, the watering down of the sciences in the UK is horrifying. I've written an article about the physics exams [wellingtongrey.net] to try and bring some attention to this topic. On the biology side, I was shocked by the most recent GCSE paper on which the last question described an experiment on lab animals and the effect exposure of a hormone had on them. The students where then asked: ''How does this experiment contradict the theory of evolution.'' Also they are asked questions like ''Who would oppose contraception'' and they get a mark for writing ''Certain religious groups.'' It's really sad.

As a Christian... (1, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641123)

...I don't see any place for Intelligent Design in public schools, either.

Then again, I don't see any place for public schools when it comes to my (eventual) kids or the kids of the families I financially support. Personally, I'm a fan of Intelligent Design combined with evolutionary and old Earth science, but I would in no way force my opinion on others -- as the public school system does. Evolution? Creationism? Who cares -- if you as a parent don't work to teach your children, don't expect the public school to do a better job, regardless of what they're teaching.

government defined science (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641127)

What I find disturbing about the whole issue is not the disagreement as to whether ID is science, but the rigidity with which governments and opponents of ID are trying to define science. Many of the advancements to science can be considered outside of what is considered "science" at the time. An attempt to limit scholarly inquiry by excluding it from scientific discussion will only discourage diversity in the scientific community. ID is unique (I'm not talking about young earth crap) because it really is not straight philosophy as it has too many ties to empirical data, it shouldn't be religion because (at least the reasonable arguments) don't actually argue for a "God," and yet it doesn't fit very nicely into the current definitions of "science." I don't think it is fair to any argument to preclude it being reasonable based on the fact that it doesn't really fit into current frameworks that have been set up.

Re:government defined science (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641261)

This is delightful. Now we're taking Michael Behe's disasterous testimony in the Dover Trial where he admitted that for ID to be science, so would astrology, and now declaring that that is the appropriate way to treat science. I can't imagine any other culture so willing to debase a powerful tool like science just so some stripped-down legalize version of Creationism can gain the kind of credibility that almost every scientist on the planet doesn't think it deserves.

What a shame... (1)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641151)

Us intelligent design theorists were so close to getting tenure providing untestable theories for the last 8 years.

Everyone knows that everything in the real world is already figured out anyway, it is time for my kind to provide people who can't (or chose not to) understand all those quarks and photonamajiggers something to believe in.

Besides, who doesn't like envisioning their enemies burning for all eternity in a lake of fire? Eh? Eh? Come on you know you want some of that.

If there is no intelligent designer... (5, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641179)

... how do you explain the fact that your finger is exactly the right diameter for sticking up your nose?

Scientific Consensus (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641201)

Sir Fred Hoyle had problems with the British scientific establishment also.

Re:Scientific Consensus (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641337)

Hoyle was a pretty brilliant guy who also, on occasion, and in particular later in his career, uttered some absolute rubbish. His refusal to abandon the steady state theory, despite being one of the key figures in the development of inflationary cosmology, is probably the biggest black eye against him. As well, his panspermia writings were little more than arguments from incredulity. Still, he was well-respected, and like a lot of scientists beyond their prime, was probably given more leeway than younger researchers who start spouting claptrap.

Just goes to show.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641213)

how open minded "science" has become

Well, it's a start... (0, Offtopic)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641235)

Now, can we add some physics to the physics lessons, and chemistry to chemistry lessons and make the science lessons about understanding the nature of the universe rather than waffling about why we "must" replace coal power stations with windfarms, and teach kids how to make chemicals that are fun to make?

Dilemma... (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641303)

Would the conclusion that a particular teacher shouldn't present it in their own class, based on this ruling, be a plausible inference, or an empirically-verifiable fact for that classroom?

How do I get the scientific answer here? Replicable, quantifiable suggestions only, please... and preferably a little more solidly quantifiable than reliance on nebulous constructs like "government", "declarations", and "politicians".

Help me out here.

And in other news....... (2, Informative)

axia777 (1060818) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641307)

The Sky is Blue and Pie tastes good. Thank you Government of the UK even though I live in backwards America. Thank you for point out the obviousness of sections of OUR Governments stupidity. I hope all the Intelligent Design people back off here in America now. Yah right and next pigs will fly out of my ass....

Come on people! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641317)

Like heliocentrism, the theory of gravity, the theory of relativity, and set theory, Evolution is just a theory!

As we all know, the conjunction of two sets is determined by God and depends on how God feels at the time.

Both are theories (3, Funny)

PHPNerd (1039992) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641331)

Both ID and evolution are theories, or they wouldn't have the words "The theory of" before them. I think it's important to remember that the best either camp (scientists and theologians) can offer are just theories, both with their own supporting evidences. It's sad, though, that kids can't be taught both (that is, taught an ID where the goal is to show the probability of some greater power, not necessarily any religion's god) and then be left alone to make up their own minds about which they will choose to believe. Because, when it all boils down to it, you have to have faith in something, be it science or religion. The fact is that some of those who vehemently flame ID have just as much (or more) faith in the current scientific paradigm (see: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions [wikipedia.org] by Thomas Kuhn) compared to their religious counterparts.

In other news (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19641349)

Church leaders around the world have called for the shee^h^h^h^h Christians to shun all science. Their exact words are "Shun all science, it is of the Devil Satan. He is controlling the minds of the evil Atheists. We must fight this evel now! Kill all those who oppose us!" All people believing in such superstitions are now agreeing with their religious leaders in the call to eliminate all that believe in the so-called "evil science" They were immediately confronted by Freethinkers and the worldwide killing spree was brought to a halt before it ever began.

"Since you believe all science is evil, get rid of your weapons since they are made through science. By the way; all the food you enjoy, the beverages you drink, the water you need, the clothes you wear today, the transportation you use, and the computers you use were all created through science. Are all you religious sheep going to kill yourselves through dehydration and go without clothing as eveything is created through science?" was a phrase created by a collaberation of two Freethinkers, Bill Gates and Linus Tovalds. This phrase was repeated by all freethinkers around the world.

This caused all people from all religions to looke into it and agreed and found out their respective bibles were really created with science. Word have it quite a few people of all religions became Freethinkers that day and the rest decided to commmit suicide from all of the madness.

From the mysterious future.

This just in, the worldwide crime rate, subtance abuse, and poverty is at an all time low. It is now near zero. With no religion in the world today the world is now enjoying peace and prosperity until all life comes to an end on the Earth. A major breakthrough in the cure for cancer has revealed all diseases can and will be cured since there is nothing blocking the research. Microsoft has finally agreed to open their source code and all of their file formats since their is no need for money. Alternative energy sources such as solar and wind will be in full implementation by the end of the week.

The cardinal sin of "I don't know." (4, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#19641399)

What ID really was was an attempt to slip creation in under the door. This is because Creationists can't stand the following phrase. "I don't know."

Here are some things that do need to be understood.

1. Evolution does not disprove the existence of "God" but it may undermine the myth of Jehovah. That is to say, the creationists are afraid that if we get so much evidence to show that the religions of Abraham are false, or the world doesn't work the way they say it does, that God becomes impersonal and Alien to us. Which is a sane argument really. The creator of the Universe caring about what happens to us is like us caring about what happens to some Ant hill somewhere.

If that happens, then all our wars, and churches, and institutions we built up to serve religion will be for a "God" who is disconnected and we will have built these social institutions for the sake of ourselves. Alot of powerful people don't want that.

2. Our understanding of Evolution is incomplete. That is to say, we can see the trees, but not the entire forest. We aren't that far ahead. There are going to be errors we make in our determination in how evolution works. The creationists are going to come back and say "see! see! you screwed up! but God makes everything perfect!"

3. If you want to know the truth of whats out there, I'd imagine religious forces in this world would seek to prevent it, or cover it up. A lot of these religions created by Abraham revolve around the idea that Man is at the center of everything. If we discovered Alien life elsewhere in the Universe, at first everyone religious would panic. Gradually, Religion would change to accommodate the Aliens. But you damn well bet there would be people saying "Jebus died on the Cross for Humans/Terrans/Earthlings" whatever.

So, as an Agnostic, who isn't sure whats out there, I'd like to know, but I can't be sure until the technology exists for me to explore this universe in much greater depth. I'm very curious. But I feel comfortable saying "I don't know right now." The hard core religious people can't afford to be wrong. If their $Holy_Text is wrong, then they are going to realize the magnitude of some of the inexcusable things done in History.

I think some day it will happen. We will come out with concrete evidence that exposes the whole mythology, something so observable that religion can't adjust to it. Who knows if we will accept it and become better people, or deny it and kill each other. Again, I just don't know.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account