NEJM: Intelligent Judging --- Evolution in the Classroom and the Courtroom

The New England Journal of Medicine has an excellent article on Intelligent Design titled Intelligent Judging — Evolution in the Classroom and the Courtroom

Requiring public-school science teachers to teach specific religion-based alternatives to Darwin’s theory of evolution is just as bad, in the words of political comedian Bill Maher, as requiring obstetricians to teach medical students the alternative theory that storks deliver babies

Teach the controversy I say… Storks rule…

The article descibes the history of the anti-evolution/creationism movements, culminating in Judge Jones ruling.

Judge Jones summarized the expert testimony in more than 25 pages, concluding that it demonstrated to him that intelligent design is “an interesting theological argument” but is not science for many reasons: it invokes a supernatural cause; it relies on the same flawed arguments as creationism; its attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community; it has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community; it has not generated any peer-reviewed publications; and it has not been the subject of testing or research. The judge quoted from a report on creationism by the National Academy of Sciences as an authoritative and definitive source: “Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of sciences. These claims subordinate observed data to statements based on authority, revelation, or religious belief.”10

Until ID ‘grows up’, it is doomed to remain scientifically vacuous. But the cost of becoming scientifically relevant may be too high.

Some people have objected to Judge Jones’ ruling because of what is known as the ‘demarcation problem’. But the demarcation problem merely affects the decision of what is science not what is not. In other words, while it may be hard to establish what is science, it is much easier to establish what is not science or in case of ID, what is scientifically vacuous.