Intelligent Design Origin Of Life science education

But why is origin of life even ON the curriculum in Texas?

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carbon-rich molecules - NASA

In “Intelligent Design Making Headway into Texas Public Schools”, Eryn Sun reports at Christian Post (May. 13 2011): Reading the following, I am not sure that’s good news:

The Texas Education Agency has released all of the projected Web-based materials from publishers on their website, with one of the submissions already culling controversy for its purported slant towards creationism and intelligent design.Belonging to a previously unknown company based in New Mexico, International Databases LLC, the International Business Times reported that it was operated and run by one man, President Stephen O. Sample.

Little is known about the owner, besides that he is said to have a degree in evolutionary biology and has taught at the high school and junior college levels for 15 years, according to IBT.

His proposed submission consists of eight modules covering the current issues in biology and ecology, most of the material reported to be “well within the mainstream scientific consensus.”

But two of the modules which deal with the origin of life, is drawing criticism from groups like the Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education, for its “null hypothesis” which places intelligent design as the default position.

Surely, this course is unlikely to be adopted, except as a deliberate setup for a lawsuit to entrench Darwinism. (Don’t laugh; that’s precisely what the famous Scopes Trial was in 1925 in Tennessee. Scopes had agreed among friends in a soda fountain to be the one prosecuted, and it’s not clear he ever did teach evolution; he was filling in for the regular teacher prepping the kids for exams.)

Stephen Sample is entirely correct in thinking that origin of life studies today are a conceptual shambles. Theory is beyond far-fetched, and new discoveries generally refute each other.
That’s not anybody’s fault, to be sure but – as I have asked before, why inflict it on the school system?

It would be best to just say that “researchers differ as to how exactly life originated, but let’s look at the characteristics by which we recognize a life form.” (PowerPoint starts.)

Alternatively, we could present origin of life to a high-functioning senior class as one of the “historic deadlocks in science.” But why bother?

13 Replies to “But why is origin of life even ON the curriculum in Texas?

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    Stephen Sample is entirely correct in thinking that origin of life studies today are a conceptual shambles.

    Origin-of-life “studies” are way beyond being in a state of conceptual shambles. They represent speculation based upon speculation about speculation — speculation raised to the third power.

    That’s a really big number, since the speculative universe is potentially infinite.

    No one has the faintest idea about how life originated, and even Richard Dawkins admits this.

    One thing we can say with reasonable certainty, however, is that life (and especially its origin) gives every evidence of having been designed by a master computer programmer, just as the laws of physics that govern the universe give every evidence of having been designed by a master mathematician.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    You can’t tip toe around this.
    Right now the historic and common ideas on God and Genesis are censored by law.
    The American people can not through the legislature decide what is is not to be censored on conclusions or options about origins in nature of great importance and interest.
    Organized creationism must take on this ;egal prohibition discovered in the mid 20 century invoking the late 18th century ideas on origin teaching.
    Creationism needs to attack on the legal front on behalf of freedom, truth, Christian truth etc, and the great ideal of America that the people can rule best themselves.

    The founders of america DID NOT put into the constitution anything that could be construed to censor God or Genesis.
    Its an absurdity.

  3. 3
    uoflcard says:

    I personally asked an Oklahoma State biology professor, who was given $500,000 by the state to initiate a abiogenesis chemistry public high school curriculum, why they were trying to teach abiogenesis in high school when almost nothing was known about it. His literal response was “scientifically, it must have happened that way”. This really bothered me because it wasn’t just some materialist with a blog, but a tenured professor who was given half a million dollars of public money to institute these lies in public high school.

  4. 4
    O'Leary says:

    Thanks uoflcard at 3 for the info. Scandalous waste of money in times when austerity is called for.

    What does “scientifically, it must have happened that way” mean?

    Happened that way? WHAT way? That’s just the trouble. We don’t know what way.

    If all the prof means to say is Godneverdunit, he is essentially teaching a religious proposition in science class, unrelated to the students’ needs and probably contrary to Constitutional principles.

    My problem with separation of church and state is not that it is enforced too often but not nearly often enough. That is, there should also be separation of Association for Atheism and state as well.

  5. 5
    Mung says:

    One thing we can say with reasonable certainty, however, is that life (and especially its origin) gives every evidence of having been designed by a master computer programmer, just as the laws of physics that govern the universe give every evidence of having been designed by a master mathematician.

    I just don’t understand why the mathemagician switched hats when it came to life!

    Different designer?

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    “Pssst! Don’t tell the creationists high school students, but scientists don’t have a clue how life began.” ,,,“Geologists, chemists, astronomers and biologists are as stumped as ever by the riddle of life.” You name it: protein-first, DNA-first, metabolism-first, RNA World (an erstwhile leading contender) – they’re all stumping the scientists with insurmountable problems.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20110312a

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    I always thought life originated in Vegas. But since what happens in Vegas stays in Vagas, we know that’s not true.

  8. 8
    GilDodgen says:

    I just don’t understand why the mathemagician switched hats when it came to life!

    No hat-switching required. Computer programming is just applied mathematical logic.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    Computer programming is just applied mathematical logic.

    YIKES! Maybe that’s why my programs don’t work.

  10. 10

    Mung: “I just don’t understand why the mathemagician switched hats when it came to life!

    Different designer?”

    What do you mean, Mung? Are you suggesting that life doesn’t appear to be designed in a masterful way?

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    Hi Eric,

    I am saying that mathematics does a great job of describing the universe.

    Until life comes on the scene.

    It’s as if there was a sudden switch to a completely different designer, one who knew nothing of mathematics.

    I’m still waiting for that mathematical description of life.

  12. 12

    Yeah, OK. They are different realms, so I’m not sure we should expect them to be the same. Gil is an engineer and a pretty accomplished musician. Should we expect to be able to ascertain engineering principles in his music? I’m not entirely sure what you mean, by a mathematical description of life, but if you mean a relatively small number of overarching principles that can be described by clear mathematical equations, I’m not sure why we should expect to see such a thing in life.

  13. 13

    Extending the thought just a bit . . .

    Life is largely an engineering (and aesthetic) challenge for a designer. Once the overarching laws are in place (chemistry, phyiscs, etc.), there is a lot of freedom to engineer different systems. Take the space shuttle, for example. We can mathematically describe some of its parts, in terms of size and, to a lesser extent, function. But there is no “equation” for a space shuttle. Same thing with life. I don’t know why we should expect to see any kind of mathematical description of life.

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