Archive for Sunday, February 13, 2005

Should public schools teach ‘intelligent design’? Yes.

It’s supported by science

February 13, 2005


— For decades, students have been taught the Darwinian theory of evolution in science classes. Now, thanks to developments in the world of science, there is another theory gaining attention -- that of intelligent design.

Eighty years ago, attorney Clarence Darrow argued in the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee that denying the right to teach Darwinian evolution in schools violated fundamental academic freedom.

Now, evolutionists argue that their theory of life should be the only one taught in schools. What's wrong with teaching intelligent design, which concludes the uniqueness and complexity of human life points to a superior being that is responsible for the creation of life?

It is science itself that continues to produce evidence to suggest that the creation of the universe was the result of an intelligent creator. We learn more each day about human DNA, which represents the code of life -- specific and unique to each individual.

In his best-selling book "The Case for a Creator," Lee Strobel finds that there are insurmountable questions about Darwinian evolution that are leading some of the brightest minds in the scientific community to reject that theory.

Dr. Antony Flew, the well-respected British philosopher and atheist, recently told a journal published by the Evangelical Philosophical Society that "I think that the most impressive arguments for God's existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries."

Flew, now a theist, added that "I think the argument to intelligent design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it."

Twenty-five years ago, in an article in Science Digest titled "Educators Against Darwin," Larry Hatfield noted that "scientists who utterly reject evolution may be one of our fastest-growing controversial minorities."

And, the father of space science, Werner Von Braun, wrote: "The vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science."

The legal challenges to intelligent design center on the notion that if a superior being created the universe and that superior being is God, then such a theory violates the separation of church and state and cannot be taught in public schools.

But consider what the Supreme Court has said about this issue. In 1987, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the high court concluded that "teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to schoolchildren might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction."

The court also said that teaching these theories would pose no constitutional problems provided they are not taught to the exclusion of evolution.

If the classroom is indeed, as the Supreme Court has said, "the marketplace of ideas," why not teach multiple theories regarding the origins of mankind -- including intelligent design?

Let's permit students to examine all theories about the origins of life. By opening the classroom door to intelligent design, educators are not endorsing one theory over another. They are not teaching religion. They are simply fulfilling their obligation to give students an opportunity to study all sides of this issue.

Educators must keep up with science. And it is science that is pointing to the inevitable conclusion that an intelligent creator was the architect for this magnificent universe.

-- Jay Sekulow is chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, a public interest law firm specializing in constitutional law. Readers may write to him at ACLJ, 201 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 20002;

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