New Class

A course being offered next semester by the university religious studies department is titled ‘Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies.”

This is how ID should be taught. Leave religion in the religion class and science in the science class.

(HT: DotClue)

11 thoughts on “New Class”

  1. <blockquote>ID proponants at least CLAIM to have mathematical evidence (admittedly, I find it unconvincing, but I don’t claim to be competant to fully evaluate it.)</blockquote>

    I have not seen this evidence. I have only seen the ‘ID in the gaps’ arguement, which fails every test.

    <blockquote>If a college setting isn’t an appropriate one in which to study or investigate something that isn’t considered to be proven yet, where is the proper venue?</blockquote>

    College is the proper venue. High school probally is not.

    I do not think that laws should be make to not teach or to teach anything. If a group of people wants their kids to be taught that the FSM will touch them with his mightly noodly appendage, more power to them!

    However, I will try to sway opinion towards what I feel is correct. That’s the political process. The Blogosphere has replaced the water cooler and before that the Salon in greece. It is the place to hash out ideas – to think, be thunk at and develop opinions.

    And I really enjoy it as well :)

  2. ID proponants at least CLAIM to have mathematical evidence (admittedly, I find it unconvincing, but I don’t claim to be competant to fully evaluate it.)

    If a college setting isn’t an appropriate one in which to study or investigate something that isn’t considered to be proven yet, where is the proper venue? How could evidence ever be developed? How could any new idea that isn’t yet accepted become accepted scientific theory with this standard?

  3. I want to add that I am totally for exposing kids to new ideas – just in the proper settings. Any metaphysical theories should be presented in a religion, metaphysics or philosophy class. Scientific theories should be presented in a science class.

    I guess that’s where we differ. You feel that ID is science, while I do not see that.

    I would be all for ID being taught as a scientific theory <em>if there were any evidence for it</em>. However there is not. The ID’ers have not been their burden of proof.

    Special and General Relativity was not so much a break from the established scientific though as ID is. It was also built on mathematical evidence. In the 50’s it was tested, and found to be an accurate model. It is science. ID simply points to holes in our understanding and says ‘Someone must have done that!’. That’s not science – that’s guesswork. Major difference.

  4. I guess that my point is a science class is not the place to debate an inherently religous theory.

    When people talk about an Intellegent Designer, they <em>mean</em> God. How many of them actually think that some Aliens seeded us?

    They have taken creationism, given it a make over, and are pressing on.

    If they had evidence, I think that they would be taken a lot more seriously.

  5. To teach ID in science, you need to get teach the background about ID – who created, why etc. You have to know what ID says – that has to be taught in a religion class.


  6. You can certainly teach about creationism, intelligent design or just about anything in a Religion class to a very limited extent. For the most part, the relevent details are already covered in Philosophy courses.

    You cannot teach the debate between Evolution and ID in such a class however. As I have mentioned before, to understand the debate and explore it requires a deep knowledge of Evolution. That has to be taught in Science.

    You have to know what Evolution says, what we can quite confidently say we KNOW about evolution, and what we do not know and how ID attempts to answer what we don’t know. I would find such a course fascinating, especially if taught be someone who consciously tried to present the best case for each side. I doubt it would convince me that ID had taken place, but I would love to see it.

    Teaching ID in a religious course seems to me to be a waste of everyone’s time. All you will do is avoid the debate, not embrace it.

  7. I would think that the class’s curriculum should be examined, and another teacher appointed to teach it.

    It really saddens me when stuff like this happens. It’s not about slapping people’s beliefs – it should be about teaching ideas and critical thinking.

    I have never said that ID should not be taught – but rather it should be in religion class unless some empirical evidence can be found to support it’s claims. No matter what your belief is, there is no empirical evidence supporting their claims yet. There is a lot of empirical evidence supporting gradual evolution however. It’s science – ID is faith. By all means, teach ID. However, make sure that you teach it as it really is – not a scientific theory.

  8. I would not necessarily agree that the class should have been cancelled, but under the circumstances I can see why it was.

    Although I enjoy a good discussion on religion and its various affects on the human race, there’s no reason to get nasty.

    When a position seems to have a hidden agenda then it seems to lose credability.

  9. It would appear that the class won’t be taught, after all…from the AP:

    TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) — A University of Kansas course devoted to debunking creationism and intelligent design has been canceled after the professor who planned to teach it caused a furor by sending an e-mail mocking Christian fundamentalists.

    Twenty-five students had enrolled in the course, originally called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and Other Religious Mythologies," which had been scheduled for the spring.

    Critics of intelligent design say it is merely creationism — a literal reading of the Bible’s story of creation — camouflaged in scientific language.

    Professor Paul Mirecki, chairman of religious studies, canceled the class Wednesday, the university said.

    Mirecki recently sent an e-mail to members of a student organization in which he referred to religious conservatives as "fundies" and said a course depicting intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face."

    He later apologized, and did so again Thursday in a statement issued by the university.

    "I made a mistake in not leading by example, in this student organization e-mail forum, the importance of discussing differing viewpoints in a civil and respectful manner," he said.

    Chancellor Robert Hemenway said Mirecki’s comments were "repugnant and vile."

    "It misrepresents everything the university is to stand for," Hemenway said.

    The class was added to the curriculum after the Kansas Board of Education decided recently to include more criticism of evolution in science standards for public school students.

    State Sen. Kay O’Connor, a Mirecki critic, said the university did the right thing.

    "I’m glad they decided to listen to the public. The public response was so negative because of what seemed to be so hateful coming from the KU professor," said O’Connor, a Republican. "I am critical of his hatefulness toward Christians."

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