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Political Discussion: Dover School Board

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Political Discussion: Dover School Board

Postby Coppermine » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:30 pm

I do not want to instigate here in any way, but I am a Pennsylvania resident as many of you probably know. In York, at the Dover school district, there has been a proposition called for by the Dover school board to teach intelligent design alongside evolution. I don't think I need to go over the specifics of why this is a problem, but it is refreshing to see that Dover residents will not stand for it. All 8 Dover school board members that support the teaching of ID have been voted out.

Voters in Dover, Pennsylvania rejected school board incumbents who had made national headlines for wanting to mandate inclusion of Intelligent Design in a public school biology curriculum. In Tuesday's election, Republicans fielded a pro-Intelligent Design slate of candidates including some returning candidates who had previously voted to include a statement about Intelligent Design in the biology curriculum. A Democratic slate of candidates, known as Dover CARES (Citizens Actively Reviewing Educational Strategies), won all eight of the seats that were up for election in a clean sweep. Dover CARES candidates advocate removing Intelligent Design from the biology curriculum but allowing discussion of Intelligent Design in courses dealing with philosophy and comparative religion.

In October 2004, the Dover school board decided that Intelligent Design is a scientific theory that should be mentioned in biology classes that include discussion of biological evolution as part of the course content. The board mandated that a statement should be read in those classes stating, "Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life," and "The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families".

The school board's statement on Intelligent Design directs students to the book Of Pandas and People as a source of information "for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves". This book is published by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, a non-profit organization founded for the purpose of "promoting and publishing textbooks presenting a Christian perspective".

Parents of some Dover public school students filed a law suit against the school board, charging that including the school board's statement on Intelligent Design was an attempt to introduce religion into the science curriculum. The book Of Pandas and People says, "Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency". The original complaint in the law suit against the school board claimed that, "Intelligent design is a non-scientific argument or assertion". The evidence phase of the trial ended on November 4, 2005. Judge John Jones, who heard the non-jury case, hopes to make his ruling by the end of the year. A local Dover newspaper, the York Daily Record, editorialized that Dover voters should take trial testimony into account when casting votes for school board members.

Biology teachers in the Dover schools have refused to read the school board's statement on Intelligent Design to students because the Pennsylvania state code for education states that, "The professional educator may not knowingly and intentionally misrepresent subject matter". In a letter to their adminisrator, the teachers stated their view that, "INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS NOT SCIENCE." School administrators have been reading the school board's Intelligent Design statement to students in Dover public schools.
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Postby RugbyD » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:33 pm

don't worry, i don't think you're instigating much. we hashed this topic out a couple months ago. i'd post a link but i'm lazy and busy at work (bad syntax, i know).
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:43 pm

Intelligent design isnt a scientific theory, yet the big bang theory is? :-?
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Postby Coppermine » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:50 pm

Cornbread Maxwell wrote:Intelligent design isnt a scientific theory, yet the big bang theory is? :-?


Well I think a lot of the argument comes from the definition of theory. A theory is scientifically testable and observable. Although Big Bang is a theory, it is one that is held in high regard in the scientific community because there is scientific evidence to support it. It's not proven, obviously, but it's also not just based on speculation.

The intelligent design theory is actually not a theory at all, unless you count blind faith itself as a theory. There is no scientific evident to support ID, it is simply based on the belief that the complexity of the universe is so complex that it MUST have been created by an intelligent designer. Although ID has its merits and it is a proposition that is held in high regard amoung most citizens, it is not a testable and observable theory like big bang or evolution is.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:07 pm

Id like to see someone explain that the Big Bang theory is observable and testable.

Intelligent design is blind faith yet the big bang is a theory? No one else finds that really amuzing? :-b
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Postby Coppermine » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:09 pm

The Big Bang Theory is the dominant scientific theory about the origin of the universe. According to the big bang, the universe was created sometime between 10 billion and 20 billion years ago from a cosmic explosion that hurled matter and in all directions.

In 1927, the Belgian priest Georges Lemaître was the first to propose that the universe began with the explosion of a primeval atom. His proposal came after observing the red shift in distant nebulas by astronomers to a model of the universe based on relativity. Years later, Edwin Hubble found experimental evidence to help justify Lemaître's theory. He found that distant galaxies in every direction are going away from us with speeds proportional to their distance.

The big bang was initially suggested because it explains why distant galaxies are traveling away from us at great speeds. The theory also predicts the existence of cosmic background radiation (the glow left over from the explosion itself). The Big Bang Theory received its strongest confirmation when this radiation was discovered in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, who later won the Nobel Prize for this discovery.
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Postby RugbyD » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:12 pm

Cornbread Maxwell wrote:Intelligent design is blind faith yet the big bang is a theory? No one else finds that really amuzing? :-b

No, not at all.
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Postby Coppermine » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:14 pm

I think the big bang theory is amusing in church, but not so much to scientists.
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Postby acsguitar » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:14 pm

Cornbread Maxwell wrote:Id like to see someone explain that the Big Bang theory is observable and testable.

Intelligent design is blind faith yet the big bang is a theory? No one else finds that really amuzing? :-b


I don't find it amusing....

Intelligent design is not testable at all. There is no way to prove it one way or the other.

The big bang can be replicated in extremely small tests just not to that extent. Physics can do some pretty amazing things. However, guessing at things without any sort of proof its not a theory its a guess and an Uneducated one at that.

I have no problem with someone saying well the Big Bang may have been initiated by some other force we don't really know. However, to call that other force "GOD" or a "Higher Being" is just poor.

Really the only thing in the big bang theory that is untestable is where the matter came from before it started expanding.

The rest of the theory makes a whole lot of sense.

However, dedicating a whole study to this is total bs. Again the republican party is very conservative and very christian. Therefore I don't think its wrong to say that their agenda is to promote christianity. Church and state seperation.
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:15 pm

:-D

ok - so because galaxies and nebulas are moving and growing, that means that life as we know it started with a single exploding superatom. Are you sure it wasnt evil knevil that first came up with this theory, cause thats one hell of a jump in logic to come to that conclusion.

well - clearly Im the one with blind faith then, since the science behind the big bang is obviously rock solid. ;-7
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