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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lileks on Intelligent Design

As is often the case, Lileks, has a pretty common sense approach to the issue:

Oh: I mentioned yesterday that I wrote a column on Intelligent Design. Basic point: I don't think schools should be required to teach it. No. But science classes might profit from the occasional discussion hour where students get to speculate about these things. I've never thought evolution was in conflict with the idea of a Maker, but that's just me; everyone tries to square the Mysteries of the Universe with the intellectual emotions that give them a sense of satisfaction and completeness, so if you come up with a cosmological model that feels satisfying, you should worry. That said, I can easily understand how some see God everywhere in creation, and somewhat baffled by those who see God nowhere. I admit it's hard to square the idea of an intervening diety with human suffering - why didn't He stop the tsunamis? But that's like saying that the existence of an intact anthill in Rio disproves the existence of my left foot, when it might mean I just haven't had the chance to get on a plane to Brazil and kick the thing over. I don't trouble myself with the micro aspect of theology, since God would seem to be a Macro kind of guy. My only point is that leaving speculative discussions out of science - if only one class, once a year - is like teaching kids about the Constitution without having an hour to discuss whether rights are granted by man or inherently endowed by a creator. Can we talk? As a great bony deep thinker once brayed.
Some good ideas and good points.


Blogger tsykoduk said...

"Can we talk? As a great bony deep thinker once brayed."

This is the most important point. We should inform about all sides of issues such as this, and allow people to make up their own minds.

True freedom comes from making your own informed choices. Any time a group (be it the goverment, society or what have you) feels that they must take away that freedom, and only present one side of an issue simply shows their fear.

Fear that they cannot actually defend their point of view, fear that 'their truth' will be disproven.

It is only through a spirited, indepth, and objective search that we can come to a truth that works for each of us. We should foster that ability in our classes and and children. We should not be raising automations that repeat what they have been taught, but cannot defend it with out resorting to circular logic (God created the earth, I know this because the bible says, so, and God wrote the Bible, and I know this because the Bible says so). We should be rasing the best thinkers in the world - after all that is where we are strong in America - thinking and creating ideas.

2/16/2005 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I think it is equally important to ensure that science does not become dogmatic. While it is true that most wild theories that the scientific community initially thought were nuts, were in fact nuts, there are the exceptions. Those times when defying conventional wisdom produces the most dramatic gains. The margins is where cutting edge science happens, and if (and I think it can) an intelligent design debate in classrooms can help give students a little bit of a view of what the margins of science are like I cannot see how that could be anything but a good thing.

2/16/2005 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger tsykoduk said...

I agree - discussing things is mind-expanding. We learn more about how to think when we are forced to think then we do when we are forced to memorize things. I would be in favor of more critical thinking and philosphy classes being offered at lower levels then are currently. We should be challenged in school - challenged to think about and possibly defend our belief structures. Only then will we become well rounded thinkers.


2/16/2005 02:03:00 PM  

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