great name, too

For a while now, I have written sporadically about my
thoughts regarding the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID)/creationism in the
classroom. As I’ve stated before, I feel
that ID is the result of a religious belief system and not scientific
knowledge. Therefore, it is my opinion
that its teaching belongs (if anywhere) in the social studies classroom – not the science

Today; however, I found an interesting article
about the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. He has also “stepped into the controversy
between religious fundamentalists and scientists by saying that he does not
believe that creationism – the Bible-based account of the origins of the world
– should be taught in schools.”

Of course his reasons for this are quite different than
mine. From what I’ve gathered his worry
stems more from the concern of diminishing biblical beliefs by reducing them to
the category of theory.

"I think creationism is … a
kind of category mistake, as if the Bible were a theory like other theories …
if creationism is presented as a stark alternative theory alongside other
theories I think there’s just been a jarring of categories … My worry is
creationism can end up reducing the doctrine of creation rather than enhancing
it," he said

I am always intrigued by the realization that people who
appear to be polar opposites can in fact come, via very diverse routes, to the
same conclusion. More information about
Rowan Williams can be found here.


As long as you do not personally attack
me, I’d love to hear your views on ID in the schools.


8 thoughts on “great name, too

  1. The Archbishop of Canterbury has been criticised in the past for ‘not believing in God’. He is hardly a good leader for a faith if he is not going to recommend this sort of teaching in schools.

  2. I believe that his point was that diminishing creationism to a theory would reduce its validity.

    This is the first that I’ve heard of this particular Archbishop, so I know nothing of his past. I did; however, think that he had an interesting take on the whole controversy.

  3. I think there is a time and a place for both theories. However, if you are talking about the biblical creation I feel that is best learned in a church. Scientific creation should be learned in a science class. I don’t really like the idea of mixing the two, because of the questions kids might have. However, I just don’t understand why there can’t be a place for both in the world.

    Some of our best scientists were god-fearing men.

  4. Hi Rowan! I really love your site!

    And I am so nervous to voice my opinions on this topic, but I’m going to anyway. Before I tell you what I think, let me just say, I am a person of faith. And, I firmly believe in creation as it is stated in the Bible.

    That being said, I’m not so sure ID should be taught in schools especially to my daughters. For one, I would agree with the Archbishop. (no need to rehash his statement.) Secondly, I’m not even real sure what ID actually teaches. So how could I just throw my support behind it, willy nilly? Sadly, watching a local debate on it, many people who vocally supported it, could not even tell the reporter it’s basic premise. hmm. It intrigues me and I will be looking into it, and perhaps it will be something we discuss as a family. But, if I wanted my children to be taught that in schools, I would send them to a private school. I also don’t think we should quit teaching evolution theory in schools as many on the right seem to think. I want my children to learn what all different groups of people believe instead of sheltering them with just my viewpoint. Too many children from all different belief systems are raised to think that anyone who doesn’t believe like them is ‘the enemy’. That’s just sad.

    And that’s my 2 cents.

  5. Lynda:
    I would love to know what the difference between biblical creation and scientific creation is defined by. I’ll have to look into that.

    Thanks I’ve enjoyed yours, as well.

    This is a very lengthy response. But I thought that since, well it’s MY blog, I might be entitled. So here you go.

    From Wikipedia:
    Intelligent design (ID) is the concept that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”[1] Its leading proponents, all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute[2], say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life.[3]
    An overwhelming majority[4] of the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience or junk science.[5] The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design “and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life” are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions and propose no new hypotheses of their own.[6]
    A United States federal court recently ruled that a public school district requirement for science classes to teach that intelligent design is an alternative to evolution was a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005), United States District Judge John E. Jones III also ruled that intelligent design is not science and is essentially religious in nature.

    In biology, evolution is the process by which novel traits arise in populations and are passed on from generation to generation. Its action over large stretches of time explains the origin of new species and ultimately the vast diversity of the biological world. Contemporary species are related to each other through common descent, products of evolution and speciation over billions of years. The phylogenetic tree at right represents these relationships for the three major domains of life.
    The understanding of evolution is based on the theory of natural selection, which was first set out in a joint 1858 paper by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, and achieved a wider readership in Darwin’s 1859 book, On The Origin of Species. Natural selection is the idea that individual organisms which possess variations giving them advantageous heritable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce and, in doing so, increase the frequency of such traits in subsequent generations.
    In the 1930s scientists combined Darwinian natural selection with the theory of Mendelian heredity to create the modern evolutionary synthesis (often simply called the modern synthesis). The modern synthesis understands evolution to be a change in the frequency of alleles within a population from one generation to the next. The mechanisms that produce these changes are the basic mechanisms of population genetics: natural selection and genetic drift acting on genetic variation created by mutation, sex, and gene flow.[1] This theory has become the central organizing principle of modern biology. It helps biologists understand topics as diverse as the origin of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, eusociality in insects, and the staggering biodiversity of the living world.
    Because of its potential implications for the origins of humankind, the evolutionary theory has been at the center of many social and religious controversies since it was first introduced.

    So now I’m off to research Lynda’s point.

  6. Let me say that I am Catholic. I went to Catholic school. I am not sure how I feel about this. I don’t think I know enough to voice an opinion. I appreciate that you opened yourself and your blog to criticism in order to encourage intelligent discussion. Brave girl!

  7. Shelli:
    I have nothing but respect for people with religious convictions. I must admit, though, that it does make me happy when I see someone with strong faith, who does not let it get in the way of objectivity. Good to know that you are a friend whether we agree on a point or not.

    As for your comment that I am brave…

    I’ve sat back for almost a year now.
    I was starting to bore myself.

  8. hehe. I guess my point depends on who you talk to. In my experience though, religious folk and science folk don’t seem to think the two creations can mix. (Actually, I think it is more the religious folk than the science folk because as I said, many of our famous scientists have been god-fearing men.) But, and forgive me for sounding kinda stupid here, science might have you believe we evolved from goop. And from that we evolved into various species of man to become who we are today. Religious folk prefer to think we were made, and the whole Adam and Eve with the garden. Personally, I don’t see why we can’t have both.

    But it has been a long time since I have been in school, and though I was raised Catholic, I have developed my own way of celebrating god and it doesn’t involve organized religion. (Oh, I might get in trouble over this one….usually I keep my mouth shut. Might have been better that way.)

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