Evolution: Science or Atheism in Disguise?

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For years, biology students in public school have been taught that man evolved from apes. But some states are considering whether to teach an alternative view in addition to evolution, and that has re-ignited a fierce national debate.

Right now, that debate is raging in Kansas, and some feel it is an effort to discredit science.

The rural town of Dover, Pennsylvania was the first to require that teachers present Intelligent Design along with evolution. That decision angered some.

And a lawsuit opposing it is expected to go to trial this fall. Intelligent design challenges evolution.

ID says that life and the universe are too complex to have evolved by chance, they must have been created by a supernatural power.

But Pennsylvania is not alone. Many states are engaged in the battle over biological origins. The Kansas board of education just completed four days of hearings on whether evolution should be the exclusive theory taught in public school.

Supporters of ID want the board to reject a definition that limits science to natural or observable explanations. And while the jury's not in yet in the Kansas case, many observers are predicting that the conservative Kansas board will vote to include ID.

Kansas School Board member Kathy Martin said, "I would like to make sure that students are allowed to have a critical analysis of evolution as well as look at other authentic theories that are challenging evolution."

All this worries critics, who say intelligent design has no place in the classroom.

Florida State University Professor Michael Ruse said, "As far as the scientific community's concerned, intelligent design is religion tarted up to look like science to get around the U.S. Constitution."

In 1987, the Supreme Court banned the teaching of Biblical Creationism in public school because it was said to, "advance a religious belief."

But supporters claim that Intelligent Design deserves consideration. William Harris, a scientist who supports ID, remarked, "Teaching the arguments against evolution is not a code word for Creationism. It's simply good science education."

And if it comes down to religion, some scientists see Darwinism as being religious itself.

Some intelligent design advocates say those who want to exclude from the classroom any science that has religious implications would have to exclude Darwinian evolution as well. Many leading evolutionists claim there is no purpose and no intelligence behind biology – which are actually religious statements about the nature of reality.

 

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