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Entry 211, on 2005-08-23 at 20:42:47 (Rating 4, News)

Apparently there have been 500 Intelligent Design kits sent out to state schools recently, here in New Zealand. So the battle, which has been going on for so long in the US, is now starting here. If you don't know, Intelligent Design is a belief some religious people have that life was designed by an intelligence of some sort, and is not the product of evolution. In most cases this is just a subtle way of supporting Christianity.

ID can't be presented as a religious belief because, in the US, government and its institutions (including state schools) must be non-religious. So the supporters present it as a scientific theory instead. Of course, its not a scientific theory at all. Scientific theories have to make specific testable predictions, and tend to be presented and debated in the scientific mainstream, especially in the journals. ID doesn't fulfill any of these criteria, and its definitely not science.

Because schools, both here and in the US, are controlled by elected boards - and these people tend to be both ignorant of science, and careful not to insult religion - its relatively easy to fool them into accepting this sort of fake science. ID has mainly been kept out in the US through a series of legal cases, and another major one is happening now. But with the current leadership in the US, its a matter of time before it is being taught.

Does it matter? Well yes, it does matter to an extent. Science is important. its only through science, and its resulting technology, that we make progress. Confusing students who might be looking at a career in science with ID nonsense isn't doing anyone a favour. Maybe this partly explains why the US is losing its lead in science - its just not valued any more.

So if you are exposed to ID, please don't take it at face value. Do a little bit of research and you will see that its full of lies (most of these people know they are lying); misleading, out of date, and carefully selected information; and unscientific emotional arguments. If Christians want to believe in god, that's fine, but they shouldn't try to pretend those beliefs are scientific in any way at all - and they shouldn't try to force those beliefs onto others.

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Comment 1 (85) by SBFL on 2005-09-04 at 21:34:35:

Since you don't think people should force their beliefs on others I can only assume you disagree with Labours methods of social engineering?

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Comment 2 (90) by OJB on 2005-09-05 at 10:32:51:

All governments indulge in social engineering to some extent. I'm not sure what you are referring to specifically. I've generally found that its an argument people use in a rather emotional way, instead of looking at the real issues.

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Comment 3 (99) by SBFL on 2005-09-05 at 19:26:14:

So does that make it right? If there are real issues affecting society on such emotive topics, wouldn't a referendum be a fair way to make changes? That way the government aren't forcing their beliefs on other people.

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Comment 4 (103) by OJB on 2005-09-05 at 22:31:20:

Maybe its right, maybe it isn't. You didn't give me an example, so its hard to judge. As an example of justifiable social engineering I would suggest the campaign against drink driving. Making it a socially unacceptable action was clear social engineering, but maybe it was justified because it made our roads safer (at least that's the theory).

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