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Classroom Controversy: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design (page 2)

Classroom Controversy: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

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February 8, 2010
Updated on Dec 13, 2012

Here's the opposite side of the argument from Daniel Mach, director of litigation for the American Civil Liberties Union Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

  1. Intelligent design is not science. There is no credible scientific body that supports intelligent design because it is not a scientific theory, Mach said. "These are the latest steps in a long series of religiously motivated attacks on the teaching of evolution in public schools. Science class can and should be grounded by the rules of science. These are attempts to manufacture scientific controversy."
  2. The Constitution forbids promoting religion in school. "The Constitution bars public school teachers from advancing theology by presenting scientific disagreements where none legitimately exists," Mach said. The Establishment Clause "sensibly forbids the government and especially public schools from taking sides in theological debates. Those are properly left to individual and families, not bureaucrats and public school officials," Mach said.
  3. Science is alive and well in school. Mach said he does agree with Luskin on one point: True scientific criticism should be taught in school. But he disagreed that intelligent design deserves even a mention in school because it is religion and not science. "Look, public schools already encourage critical thinking by students and scientifically sound theories are already allowed in school."
  4. The real argument is religious freedom, not teaching freedom. While intelligent design proponents claim teachers are being muzzled in classes, Mach said that's just an attempt to emotionalize the issue. The reason intelligent design isn't taught in classrooms is that students should not be bullied into believing an agenda presented by the teacher, principal or school district. "The government itself must steer clear of any religious endorsements."
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