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Now UK Gets ID In School.

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I watched the developments with regard to ID/Creationism in the USA with interest and was glad to see that the courts finally buried the legitimacy of teaching this theistic rubbish as if it were science.

Unfortunately my happiness was premature as this report informed me that it looks set to be introduced here in my home country and that my children may be force-fed this as a viable alternative to fact-based science.

I know that introducing the fact that there may be several theories surrounding a specific topic can help students to understand how people can misinterpret data, but this can only help if the students are then shown how the invalid theories have been repudiated by scientific (objective) testing/research.

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I haven't clearly defined what "secularism" means in my head, but I would argue that Europe doesn't have it. What they do have is uncertainty and subjectivism in epistemology, which lead to their disdain of religion because of its relation with moral absolutes, allowing ID to creep in as just as legitimate as anything else.

Edited by ex_banana-eater
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  • 3 weeks later...

I think the title post might be dramatizing things a bit:

A spokesperson for the exam board said candidates needed to understand the social and historical context to scientific ideas both pre and post Darwin's theory of evolution.

"Candidates are asked to discuss why the opponents of Darwinism thought the way they did and how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence," he said.

"Creationism and 'intelligent design' are not regarded by OCR as scientific theories. They are beliefs that do not lie within scientific understanding."

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Any good science course includes, as a minor part of it, some history of the subject. In highschool chemistry, we read a bit regarding alchemy, as well as some primitive scientific theories like phlogiston. In biology, the text included a little about the classical Biblical creation myth, but also myths from Maya, Hindu and other religions; there was also mention of "spontaneous generation," a medieval-era "theory" of reproduction. In math we read a bit about Pythagoras and Euclid.

This is a small addition, not a substitute for a proper history of science course (which isn't really highschool material). But it does help understand the science a little better. Take spontaneous generation, it was based on observations, but not on rigorous observations under controlled conditions. Or phlogiston, one of its biggest propponents was a brilliant chemist named Cavendish. Despite his advocacy of a wrong idea, he discovered several elements (including hydrogen and nitrogen), and determined botht he mass of the Earth and the Universal Gravitational Constant (and he invented the torsion balance to do so). So a brilliant scientist can come to incorrect conclusions, yet remain brilliant.

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