Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The (Natural) Philosophy of Design


Since the term “science” as we use it today is a 19th century invention, and since the older term is “natural philosophy,” I’m happy for high school courses to teach “Natural Philosophy of Design” courses. The following class, then, is at least a step in the right direction.

California high school class discusses intelligent design

LEBEC, Calif. A small high school outside of Bakersfield has jumped into the national debate about whether “intelligent design” belongs in the classroom.

Officials at Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec contend that the class, called “Philosophy of Design,” is not being offered as science.

The teacher of the course is Sharon Lemburg. She says in the course syllabus — quote — “This class is not meant to guide you into a certain belief, but to allow you to search, become aware of the differences, and gain a better understanding of world views on origins.”

Lemburg is a social sciences teacher married to an Assembly of God pastor.

She did not answer calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Some parents in the community are opposed to the course.


Miles wrote: "Odd that the Lord would have such an interest in a philosophy class. You’d think the intelligent designer would have more pressing matters to contend with." Not that the intelligent designer is God, but if it happened to be God (not that it necessarily is), and if it wasn't someone else, then we might surmise He is capable of doing more than one thing at a time. He could smite you, check someone else's heart for lust, listen to 5,732 prayers and tell Sharon Lemburg to teach a philosophy class all at the same time. That's assuming the intelligent designer is God, which is not necessarily true. woctor
Well today it is being reported that the social studies teacher who planned to teach intelligent design and creationism was compelled to do so by the Lord Himself. "I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach" http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/northern_california/13634000.htm Odd that the Lord would have such an interest in a philosophy class. You'd think the intelligent designer would have more pressing matters to contend with. But ehn again, the intelligent designer sometimes moves in mysterous ways... Miles
It looks like this teacher was using a ton of blatant creationist teaching materials. If they keep doing that then ID doesn't stand a chance. Here is a Mountain Enterprise (the local paper there) link to the original course outline where evolutionist Ken Hurst pointed out all the creationist materials: http://www.mountainenterprise.com/IntelDesignSyl/IntelDesignSyllabus051209_kjh_markup.htm Miles
Wait im confused... so this is a philosophy class after all & not an actual "science" class ?. if so whats the big problem ?. i thought the evo side usually argued that ID isn't science and should belong to philosophy oriented classes ?. Or are the parents that are arguing against this just "crying God" ? Charile Charliecrs
I have written more on this topic at http://matterandspirit.blogspot.com/ PjB
I think that natural philosophy is what the scientific method really is anyway. The term "science" literally means "to know." What do we really know? Science is really a philosophy of nature. That's why Gould was so good at writing about science. He understood this and approached the field from this point of view. Not only that, but it's almost impossible to divorce the metaphysics from the so-called science in popular science books. Why? Because you can't do science without an underlying metaphysics. The experiment and the paradigm that determines which experiments to perform, taken together, is natural philosophy. This is what we commonly call science. PjB
I think this will be a fruitful route for looking at the design idea, although these issues may be better looked at in unversity: Issues that could be taught in philosophy that could not be covered in science class could include: - The history of the teleology debate over the millenia - An understanding of materialism, naturalism, theism, deism and how these philosophies shape the debate - the implications of Darwinism for humanity (morality / free will, etc) - scientific, information theoretic, philosophical critiques of Darwinism - the positive case for design The best part is that if they have any integrity, ID critics should welcome this development as even the most vehement opponents of ID such Eugenie Scott have suggested that ID is taught in philisophy class. My final thought is that if evolution is to be taught at high school, only Darwin's version should be taught in science class, as right or wrong, it is the scientific consensus. antg

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