The publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species in 1859 has led to an ongoing debate that continues amidst the modernization and technological advancement of the 21st Century. This debate revolves around the very origin of life in the making, and consists of two theories. One is the evolutionary theory, which states that a species gradually mutates and adapts based on four natural stages while inheriting the genes of its original ancestor. The second is the intelligent design theory, which states that all organisms were made by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected one. For the most part, evolution has won this debate; there is clear concise evidence in support of the theory through the examination of fossils, chronology, and the observation of organisms evolving based on their surroundings. Because of this evidential backing, evolution is universally accepted within the scientific community and is taught in public schools. Despite this, there remain several movements and people at large who promote intelligent design, and worse yet, wish to integrate it within the educational system.
Intelligent design is too flawed and inconclusive to be taught in public schools. Politicians such as Rick Perry, who wish for schools to teach both evolution and intelligent design, have a very narrow view of the theory, interested only in the education of creation according to Christian mythology. In order for students to attain a proper education of intelligent design, every creation myth would have to be taken into account. The Abrahamic traditions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, and possibly many others would all have to be presented as theories to the concept of intelligent design. To boldly proclaim that only one of these beliefs is true is nothing short of cultural arrogance and religious bigotry. We are then left with an unproven theory that leads to even more unproven theories, leaving us none the wiser as to how we came to be.
Most arguments in support of intelligent design are simply criticisms of certain scientific aspects that have not yet been fully realized. The theory itself has little to no legitimate evidence to stand on. Many of these attacks involve what evolution has thus far been unable to explain, proclaiming that only an intelligent designer could comprehend it. What must be taken into account, however, is the fact that science continually advances. With these advancements come new ideas, laws, and principles. The human genome, for example, wasn’t fully mapped out until 2003. Therefore, many theories that are unexplainable now may become scientific fact within a few years or so.
Intelligent design should only be expressed within religious institutions. Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter in regards to the laws of the US Constitution, which prohibit the establishment of a state religion and religious practice within public institutions: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall between church and state.” Intelligent design is a theory rooted solely in religion. It’s ideas originate from the numerous religious texts that claim a superior being/beings created us. To allow such ideas to be integrated into the educational system would be unconstitutional.
Those who believe in intelligent design are entitled to do so; they are also entitled to express those beliefs within the proper establishments. These are mosques, temples, churches, and synagogues, not public schools. Intelligent design has too many flaws to present a proper education. It has no proof beyond superstitious lore, and would only promote ignorance and bigotry within the scientific community. It should therefore be kept out of education for all time.
Work Cited Sources:
The Daily Cougar (updated Aug 25th, 2011)
The Atheist Experiance: A Case for Intelligent Design? (June 6th, 2010)
The TalkOrigins Archive: Darwin’s Black Box: Irreducible Complexity or Irreducible Irreducibility? (updated Dec 11th, 1996)