The creationist group, The Centre for Intelligent Design, or C4ID, is taking fire for wanting evolution to “objectively” be taught in school. Critics of The Centre for Intelligent Design say that creationist views should only be taught in a religious context and have no place in public education.
This fight is not happening in the American South, it’s being fought in Glasgow, Scotland, where C4ID is based. The Center for Intelligent Design was created four years ago, but now it’s come to the fore in light of the recent petition submitted to the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Secular Society. The petition, which is set to be heard on November 11th, calls for official guidance to be issued in schools barring the presentation of creationist and Young Earth doctrines as viable alternatives to the science of evolution. Three Nobel-winning British scientists – Sir Harold Kroto, Sir Richard Roberts and Sir John Sulston – have endorsed the petition.
The creationist-squashing petition was largely in response to outrage felt in Scotland last year when it was made known that members of an American creationist group has worked as classroom assistants in the Scottish city of East Kilbride. The creationist assistants were from the West Mains Church of Christ and had been giving the students books intended to debunk evolution.
Alistair Noble, a director of C4ID, spoke about the petition, saying that he knew that teaching the “for’s and against’s” of evolution was controversial, but his claim is that doing it closely aligns with the scientific method.
“Scientific theories are always an approximation to the ultimate truth, some of which is beyond our capacity to understand. So no scientific theory should ever be accorded a privileged position. To give to evolution a status that no other scientific theory has is unscientific – so therefore the objections to evolution should be explored in universities and schools … I don’t see why debating whether a scientific theory is valid or not is a problem. That is the nature of science.”
Noble commented that intelligent design was highly misunderstood, saying that it actually isn’t creationism and isn’t fundamentally religious in nature.
“The evidence for adaptation is largely solid and uncontroversial, but the … theory of evolution, that random mutations can produce complex life, is highly speculative and has never been demonstrated.”
Paul Braterman, an honorary senior research fellow in chemistry at Glasgow University and committee member of the British Centre for Science Education (BCSE), says that Noble and C4ID are using “tired” arguments.
“By calling into question the evidence for what they describe as macro-evolution – which most of us would simply include under the term evolution – C4ID have raised the stakes. Either the [petition] committee must accept their contention that the evidence for macro-evolution and common descent is inconclusive and reject our petition, or they must agree with the overwhelming scientific evidence in favour of common descent and reject what is in reality a plea by C4ID for a licence to spread disinformation among schoolchildren.”
In related news, according to The Blaze, Pope Francis just announced last week that he was a believer in evolution, saying that he did not believe that God was a “magician with a magic wand able to do everything.”
What do you think about creationism, evolution and intelligent design? Should creationism be kept out of schools, or should C4ID’s notion that the “for’s and against’s” of evolution be taught make sense? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Swords of Truth]