Design network, inc.
P.O. Box 14702, Shawnee Mission, Kansas
(913) 268-0852; (913)-268-0852 (fax); IDnet@att.net
SUGGESTED CURRICULUM STATEMENT RELATIVE TO TEACHINGS ABOUT ORIGINS IN
Any teaching about the cause of life and its diversity has
and philosophical implications. A teaching
that life and its diversity results only from mechanisms of chance
and necessity, such as evolution guided by random mutation and natural
implies that no intelligent agent or god has intervened in the process.
Accordingly, the implications of that teaching are consistent with
atheism and inconsistent with theistic religions founded on the belief
God does intervene in the material world. A teaching that life and
its diversity may result from design implies the intervention of an intelligent
agent. Accordingly, the implications of that teaching are consistent
Good science education about origins issues should not censor the teaching
of evidence of any of the possible causes of life and its diversity so
long as the evidence has evidentiary reliability, is relevant to and
logically supportive of the issue and is not being presented to advocate
religious or philosophical belief. In particular, scientific teachings
about the cause of life and its diversity should not be based on a philosophy
of naturalism nor should they be based on any religious belief or teaching
about creation. Naturalism is "the doctrine that cause-and-effect
laws (as of physics and chemistry) are adequate to account for all phenomena
and that teleological [design] conceptions of nature are invalid" (Webster's
Third New International Dictionary).
If a teacher is censored from discussing evidence of design so that the
teacher may only teach a theory based on mechanisms of chance and necessity,
then the school may be causing the state to promote atheistic beliefs
in a way that has the effect of denigrating theistic beliefs. If a teacher
is censored from discussing evidence of evolution based on natural selection
and random mutation so that the teacher may only teach a theory based
design, then the school may be causing the state to promote theistic
beliefs in a way that has the effect of denigrating atheistic beliefs
which are not theistic.
Teachers should also not be censored from teaching evidence that tends
to criticize any theory of origins for the same reasons. Censorship of
evidence critical of any theory of origins will tend to promote the protected
theory and its atheistic or theistic implications. Censorship of the
evidence will also undercut the credibility of the protected theory and
inconsistent with the fundamental principle of science that all theories
should be held open to testing and criticism.
Any conclusions expressed by a teacher regarding the weight of the evidence
supporting any particular theory should be formed objectively and tentatively,
based on the strength of the evidence and not on any religious or philosophical
view or belief. The tentativeness of any such conclusion is important
since ultimate answers to the issue of the origin of life are currently
based on available technology.
Teachers should also be encouraged to explain to science students an
objective history of the philosophy of science and how that philosophy
the advent of Darwinism to a philosophy of naturalism. Science teachers
should carefully explain that naturalism is merely a belief or philosophy
and that explanations of origins may be affected by this belief or philosophy.