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Australian schools to teach Intelligent Design

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 4 years ago


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 occured hundreds of years before Darwin proposed his groundbreaking theory?"
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It's more than that (1)

cappp (1822388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413834)

If you read the entirety of the article you’ll get a much better overview of the thing. The summary misses what is probably the most important point – Intelligent Design is being taught as part of the Historical Controversies section of the course. The entire point of that part of the syllabus is to encourage the development of investigative skills, critical thinking, and the ability to analyse historical narratives and cultural forces in action.

Just a few lines into the posted article it notes:

Queensland History Teachers' Association head Kay Bishop said the curriculum asked students to develop their historical skills in an "investigation of a controversial issue" such as "human origins (eg, Darwin's theory of evolution and its critics"). "It's opening up opportunities for debate and discussion, not to push a particular view," Ms Bishop said. Classroom debate about issues encouraged critical thinking – an important tool, she said.”

Further, Intelligent Design as a controversy is in great company – it’s being taught alongside the Shroud of Turin and Noah’s Ark under the section on Forgeries, the problem of the ownership of the Elgin Marbles, Nazi archaeology, and evolution.

You can read the entire syllabus on their website: [] The relevant section is on Page 8 and reads:

Students develop their historical skills in an investigation of TWO of the following controversial issues:
a) human origins (e.g. Darwin’s theory of evolution and its critics)
b) dating the past (e.g. radio-carbon dating, tracing human migrations using DNA)
c) fakes and forgeries (e.g. Piltdown Man, the Treasure of Priam, Noah’s Ark, the Turin Shroud)
d) the use and display of human remains (e.g. repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander human remains, The Iceman, Egyptian mummies, Lady Dai)
e) imperialistic attitudes towards archaeological property (e.g. Indigenous cultural artefacts from around the world) f) the ownership of cultural property (e.g. the return of Parthenon sculptures)
g) the impact of war and terrorism on antiquities (e.g. the Buddhas of Bamyan, the looting of Iraqi museums)
h) political and ideological uses of archaeology (e.g. archaeology under the Nazis and Fascists)
i) a school-developed study of a controversial issue.
Students examine the nature and context of the controversy, including:
the historical background
the extent of the controversy (media coverage, nationalistic feeling, government involvement) and significant developments relating to the controversy
different perspectives and their bases
an assessment of the different perspectives.

While there’s certaintly a risk in the style of presentation, isn’t this exactly what we want to be taught to our kids? The ability to examine, consider, and weigh.

Re:It's more than that (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32419602)

That comment is a better (but less controversial) summary than the Courier-Mail managed. Maybe if News Corp has a few $ spare they could offer you a byline!

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