Council of Europe: The dangers of creationism in education

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