Council of Europe: The dangers of creationism in education

| 21 Comments

The Committee on Culture, Science and Education has revised its working document after an earlier submission had been delayed. The Committee has done an excellent job at distinguishing between the scientifically vacuous concepts of creationism and Intelligent Design while still ensuring that freedom of religion is not affected

Not surprisingly the reaction from ID has been predictable. Davescot calls it “A Socialist Manifesto on Evolution.”, ignoring the varied makeup of the committee. Why the ad hominem response? Because the Committee has reached some accurate conclusions about Intelligent Design.

The intelligent design movement would seem to be anti-science for several reasons. Firstly, the nature of the science is distorted. Secondly, the objectives of the science are distorted. The writings of the leaders of this movement show that their motivations and objectives are not scientific but religious.

The intelligent design ideas annihilate any research process. It identifies difficulties and immediately jumps to the conclusion that the only way to resolve them is to resort to an intelligent cause without looking for other explanations. It is thus unacceptable to want to teach it in science courses. It is not enough to present it as an alternative theory in order to have it included in the science syllabus. In order to claim to be scientific, it is only necessary to refer to natural causes in one’s explanations. The intelligent design ideas, however, only refers to supernatural causes.

Does this mean that there is no place for ID? Of course not.

The creationist ideas could, however, be presented in an educational context other than that of a scientific discipline. The Council of Europe has highlighted the importance of teaching culture and religion. In the name of freedom of expression and individual belief, creationist ideas, like any other theological position, could possibly be described in the context of giving more space to cultural and religious education.

As I understand the rapport was accepted on September 17 to be submitted to the full council of Europe for a discussion and vote.

Seems that Judge Jones’ ruling, which ID proponents argued would be of limited relevance because of the jurisdiction involved, has managed to go far beyond its original jurisdiction to inspire others to expose the scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design

21 Comments

Teehee, I hope it is not merely Judge Jones ruling that made the Council decide the way it did. Looking at the “ID movement”, its intentions stand out painfully clear. Although we have our crackpots in Europe, too (like the secretary for education Ms. Wollf in one of Germanys countys, Hessen), the religious right don’t have the support it has in the USA. So, our politicians in general don’t have to take into account something like the ID movement in their decisions.

As the first stage in a new scientific study, we are in need of help from the scientific community and people around the globe, as we search for an inclusive definition for GOD.

Please go to: http://www.webspawner.com/users/sci[…]d/index.html

Teehee, I hope it is not merely Judge Jones ruling that made the Council decide the way it did. Looking at the “ID movement”, its intentions stand out painfully clear.

Of course not, it’s just ‘icing on the cake’

36. However, in 2005 the intelligent design creationists also suffered a setback when the Pennsylvania judge John Jones declared that the teaching of intelligent design in schools violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

It may very well have assisted in deciding that ID and creationism violates a separation of church and state.

Davescot calls it “A Socialist Manifesto on Evolution.”, ignoring the varied makeup of the committee.

Of course he did…things didn’t go the way he liked. Had the decision gone the other way…Dave would hearlding the committee as honest thinking people.

Which is why NO ONE give a sh!t what Davescot thinks.

I am sure that the Discovery Institute will hail the document. After all, they also seem to claim that ID should not be taught in schools. And as far as a critical analysis of evolution is concerned, ID has contributed little to this either. At least, scientifically speaking.

the dangers of creationism in education?

asimov said it well enough:

Science can be introduced to children well or poorly. If poorly, children can be turned away from science; they can develop a lifelong antipathy; they will be in a far worse condition than if they had never been introduced to science at all.

Isaac Asimov

I always thought that socialism at least where it ruled was rather affiliated with Lysenkoism and Lamarckism. But OK, we Europeans are non-American. Thus, we have to be evil (aka socialist, aka communist, aka godless etc.). Next DaveScot may claim that “Nationalsozialisten” first and foremost have been socialists. His logic is like this: Darwin –> Marx, Engels –> Lenin, Stalin –> Hitler

Nice bit of irony: one of the committee members and a signatory of the original motion is (Lord) Andrew McIntosh, namesake of Britain’s most prominent ID supporter and creationist.

“It may very well have assisted in deciding that ID and creationism violates a separation of church and state.”

That’s not what this document is about. Several EU countries have established churches and the EU doesn’t worry about that. It’s about ensuring that science is taught in science classes.

But OK, we Europeans are non-American. Thus, we have to be evil (aka socialist, aka communist, aka godless etc.)

Not in Northern Ireland Sparc:

http://www.lisburntoday.co.uk/news/[…]L.3218642.jp

It would seem that in this part of Europe at least, there is an overwhelmingly strong body of opinion that advocates the teaching of creatiosm as a viable alternative to evolution.….which basicly means using AiG materials in science classes.

The ID mevement is not that strong here (although Philip Johnstone has done a tour of the province a few years ago.). No, we go for the real thing, out and out YECism.

Soooo… what does evolution have anything to do with socialism? Or anyother socio-economic theory for that matter?

Come on, guys. The Cold War is over. You can stop with the “Red Baiting,’ already. Sheesh.

I don’t agree that ID should be studied in religion class, if there’s such a thing. ID is linked to religion but it’s not religion in itself. It should be studied as an example of pseudoscience and bad thought, ie in history and philosophy of science. There’s a teaching of philosophy in high school. I always thought that scientific sections should hear about such topics, from a teacher with a double training in philosophy and in science. But I’ not sure it will happen (I didn’t have this in high school, anyway).

Klaus Wrote:

I hope it is not merely Judge Jones ruling that made the Council decide the way it did.

It looks like it could be a reaction to Harun Ayhya, as the draft resolution discusses this at length. I’m going to quote myself:

Torbjörn Larsson Wrote:

I’m very glad that the draft resolution kept its conclusion and sharp formulation, …

[Referring to such examples as:

Committee on Culture, Science and Education Wrote:

Creationism in any of its forms, such as “intelligent design”, is not based on facts, …

]

Torbjörn Larsson Wrote:

… and a bit surprised that it was unanimously adopted by the reporting committee.

Browsing the report more in depth now that it is finalized it seems to be a direct reaction to Harun Yahya evangelism, which is described in detail, but it also surveys other creationist actions including the EP member Giertych’s. [And they just had to remind me of the old swedish creationist museum in Umeå. Sigh!]

Here’s for hoping that it will vote favorably in the CE!

Star Girl Wrote:

As the first stage in a new scientific study,

I find it extremely arrogant of you to burst in on a scientific blog and presume to describe science when it is very obviously not. You could ask why and how scientific studies are done.

Scientific programs are initiated by scientists. (Or should be, but some crazy grant givers have distorting and self defeating agendas of their own, ask the tobacco industry…) The purpose is to further science.

The first order of business is to decide an area or interesting question to study. (This applies even if you have found a nifty method that you want to apply on new problems.)

After gathering preliminary data, it can be necessary and sometimes laborious to define appropriate definitions to fit a candidate description or theory. (I hear mathematicians often start in this end. But then again, that isn’t exactly science.) A scientific definition is always connected to data in some manner.

You don’t do any of that and your linked reference site is down so I can but assume that you have already decided on a ‘result’ and want to find a “scienciness” [modeled on truth - truthiness definitions] sounding ‘question’ that fits. There is an obvious problem with your ‘definition’, but I will let you find that by yourself. Maybe you learn something in the process.

Torbjörn Larsson Wrote:

A scientific definition is always connected to data in some manner.

Actually, I would like to say supported by data, in the end. But it is true that some working definitions exist.

Also, Star Girl, I wanted to say that if you ask about the problem with your ‘definition’ I will tell you - I don’t want to block understanding. But it is better if you think about it, it isn’t too difficult.

From the comments above, it doesn’t sound like any of you have a clue as to what ID is. First educate yourself before you say such nonsense. All I can assume here is Europeans in general are an ignorant group of people who make prejudiced decisions based on hearsay and their own imaginations but not on critical analysis and firsthand knowledge.

If ID was about religion then why are there many non-religious and non-christian scientists who support it?

kh:

From the comments above, it doesn’t sound like any of you have a clue as to what ID is. First educate yourself before you say such nonsense.

Careful, stranger. You’ve wandered into The Panda’s Thumb, the bar of the University of Ediacara. The patrons here know more about ID than any other group on the planet.

The Thumb has in the past been likened to a bikers’ tavern, and you wouldn’t want to stroll into one of those announcing that “none of you have a clue what a Harley-Davidson is”, would you?

But we’re a friendly crowd. Maybe one of the patrons will buy you a drink and tell you all about ID. It won’t take long.

kh:

From the comments above, it doesn’t sound like any of you have a clue as to what ID is. First educate yourself before you say such nonsense. All I can assume here is Europeans in general are an ignorant group of people who make prejudiced decisions based on hearsay and their own imaginations but not on critical analysis and firsthand knowledge.

If ID was about religion then why are there many non-religious and non-christian scientists who support it?

ID is clearly about religion as was shown during the Kitzmiller trial. Amongst the ID proponents there are some token non-religious proponents and non-Christians, although the latter still involves ‘religion’. ID’s lack of scientific content, combined with its history, clearly shows an attempt by creationists to return religion to our schools.

Of course, you are free to make accusations against Europeans but you will have to be more specific than that in order to be taken seriously.

As others have pointed out, the PT crew and its readers are extremely well informed about Intelligent Design. I’d argue that most of us understand ID better than most ID followers who are too easily misled by conflation and equivocation.

Of course, we are also a friendly crowd, willing to share our knowledge and wisdom (sic) with anyone willing to listen. Take a pint, have a seat and listen. Many have learned a lot in this tavern.

What questions may we help you with?

The following article explains the next steps and provides some background info.

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe’s main human rights body will vote next week on a resolution opposing the teaching of creationist and intelligent design views in school science classes. ADVERTISEMENT

The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly will debate a resolution saying attacks on the theory of evolution were rooted “in forms of religious extremism” and amounted to a dangerous assault on science and human rights.

The resolution, on the agenda for October 4, says European schools should “resist presentation of creationist ideas in any discipline other than religion.” It describes the “intelligent design” argument as an updated version of creationism.

Anne Brasseur, an Assembly member from Luxembourg who updated an earlier draft resolution, said the vote was due in June but was postponed because some members felt the original text amounted to an attack on religious belief.

Only minor changes have been made to the initial draft.

“There are different views of the creation of the world and we respect that,” she told Reuters. “The message we wanted to send was to avoid creationism passing itself off as science and being taught as science. That’s where the danger lies.”

As to being anti- religious

“The aim of this report is not to question or to fight a belief,” Brasseur wrote in a memorandum added to the new resolution. “It is not a matter of opposing belief and science, but it is necessary to prevent belief from opposing science.”

She said the resolution also shortened references in the resolution to “evolution by natural selection” to “evolution” because some members had misunderstood the reference to natural selection to be an attack on their religious beliefs.

kh: If ID was about religion then why are there many non-religious and non-christian scientists who support it?

If ID was about science, how come nobody gets around to 1) clearly stating the premise so that it actually says something.

2) describing the relevant evidence.

3) describing the patterns in that evidence that are relevant for ID.

4) explain how those patterns are a logical consequent of the premise as stated.

5) explain why those patterns would be unexpected if the premise is wrong.

6) explain where one would look for evidence against the premise.

Henry

kh Wrote:

From the comments above, it doesn’t sound like any of you have a clue as to what ID is. First educate yourself before you say such nonsense. All I can assume here is Europeans in general are an ignorant group of people who make prejudiced decisions based on hearsay and their own imaginations but not on critical analysis and firsthand knowledge.

If ID was about religion then why are there many non-religious and non-christian scientists who support it?

:) :) :) :) :)

Ginger Yellow states that “one of the committee members and a signatory of the original motion is (Lord) Andrew McIntosh, namesake of Britain’s most prominent ID supporter and creationist.”

He is wrong: the Rt. Hon. Lord Andrew McIntosh of Haringey, MP (Labour) member of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, former UK Minister for Media and Heritage (who signed the motion) is not Mr Andy C. McIntosh, Professor of Thermodynamics in the University of Leeds (the creationist).

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on September 22, 2007 10:15 AM.

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