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Should Intelligent Design be taught in science class?

Intelligent Design is the theory that God created complex life, as an alternative to the theory of evolution. Critics of teaching it in school claim that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, but a religious one.

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Experts In Science

Roy Spencer    Meteorologist
If the public school system insists on teaching evolution as a theory of origins, in the view of many a religious activity, why is it discriminating against the only other theory of origins, intelligent design? (There is, by the way, no third theory of origins that anyone has ever been able to determine.) At the very least, school textbooks should acknowledge that evolution is a theory of origins, it has not been proved, and that many scientists do not accept it.
08 Aug 2005    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Did complex life evolve through the process of natural selection?
   Mostly Disagree

Experts In Politics

George W. Bush    United States President 2001-2009
...both sides ought to be properly taught... ... so people can understand what the debate is about.
02 Aug 2005    Source

Sub-Arguments Of This Expert:
Should religious institutions be separated from government?

Sarah Palin    Former Governor of Alaska (Republican)
Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools.
27 Oct 2006    Source

Experts In Evolution

Kenneth Miller    Biology Professor, Christian
The [Dover Area School Trial] demolished any contention that this thing called Intelligent Design is a legitimate scientific theory. ... it showed how thoroughly we could show that Intelligent Design is a religious doctrine masquerading as science.
07 Nov 2008    Source

Experts In Law

Barack Obama    United States President
I believe in evolution, and I believe there's a difference between science and faith. That doesn't make faith any less important than science. It just means they're two different things. And I think it's a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don't hold up to scientific inquiry.
07 Apr 2008    Source

American Civil Liberties Union    (ACLU) Lobbyist
"Intelligent Design" is a religious view, not a scientific theory, according to U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III in his historic decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover. The decision is a victory not only for the ACLU, who led the legal challenge, but for all who believe it is inappropriate, and unconstitutional, to advance a particular religious belief at the expense of our children's education.
20 Dec 2005    Source

John E. Jones    U.S. Federal Judge III
The fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions. ... Our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.
20 Dec 2005    Source

Experts In Politics

John McCain    U.S. Senator, Republican
Mostly Disagree
I happen to believe in evolution. ... I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.
02 Jul 2006    Source


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1 Point      MTC      23 Feb 2013      Stance on Question: Disagree
No, because it isn’t science.

If you want to teach in RE class (for Americans reading this: Religious Education (RE) is a mandatory class in some British schools intended to teach about various types of religion [whether RE should exist is a separate question]) that some people believe it, then fine, but it has no place whatsoever in a science classroom.

1 Point      Nashhinton      21 Nov 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
Intelligent design is mainly a form of religious creationism, and if it were taught in public schools (which are government owned institutions) it would violate the separation of church and state found in the first amendment of the united states constitution.

1 Point      J. Ripley      02 Sep 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
"Intelligent Design" is not a THEORY. It isn't even an HYPOTHESIS. It is a religious belief. A theory is a statement that is based on observational data that can be reproduced by any observer in a lab or observational location. An hypothesis is not raised to the level of a theory until it can be demonstrated over and over and over again to be valid in all situations of testing and observation. Religious beliefs should be personal and not be imposed upon others.

-1 Point      Al Bikaadi      12 Sep 2011      Stance on Question: Agree
Evolutionary Theory is science, true. What is science? It is based on observation and hypothesis, measurement and analysis. Given that there is no such thing as undiluted immediate objectivity, it is clearly not the only conclusion to be had by these processes. Intelligent Design is a different conclusion from the same processes. It should absolutely be included in the science classroom!

1 Point      pineconedegg      25 Mar 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
Nonscientific theories should not be taught as science. The gaps in evolution do not imply Intelligent Design any more than the gaps in our understanding of gravity imply Intelligent Falling.

0 Points      blacktrance      10 Feb 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
Evolution is a scientific theory. Intelligent design is not.

-1 Point      Steven      18 Feb 2009      Stance on Question: Agree
I have read hundreds of comments on intelligent design exhibiting knee-jerk reactions to what is perceived as christian fundamentalism, but I have yet to hear from one opponent of intelligent design who actually understands what the theory says, or how it actually conflicts with the theory of evolution. Most detractors are blatantly misrepresenting intelligent design theory. Is this intentional on their part (if so, shame on them), or is it, as I suspect simply an indication of ignorance. I think this widespread ignorance clearly demonstrates that education on the topic is called for.

1 Point      Lisa      19 Feb 2009      Stance on Question: Disagree
Steven - you say you have yet to hear from one opponent of intelligent design who actually understands what the theory says - does that include all the experts on this website, such as Kenneth Miller? You may disagree with him, but I don't think it's fair of you to assert that he doesn't understand Intelligent Design.

Your attacks on people who disagree with you are Ad Hominem. Yes, there are ignorant and manipulative people on both sides of the debate - we can't use their shortcomings to draw conclusions.

Your argument that the widespread ignorance of something demonstrates the need for education doesn't make sense. If our kids are ignorant of Hinduism does that demonstrate the need for education in schools of Hinduism?

P.S. I'm not actually against teaching Intelligent Design in schools in the context of a philosophy or debate class, but I don't think it should be taught in science class.

1 Point      Lulu      04 Mar 2009      Stance on Question: Disagree
I agree with you Lisa that an understanding of the theory of Intelligent Design could be of use to growing minds, as could basic understanding of the theories of major religions and their historical basis- but NOT in science class! C'mon Steve- there is a LOT kids need to learn about in the limited time they have during compulsory science classes- and Intelligent Design is not one of them.

0 Points      Nick Carleton      09 Apr 2010      Editorial Comment
It seems to me that many people are confused on this topic. Evolution is an observation, not a theory. Natural Selection is a series of theories and Intelligent Design is a series of theories. If you're going to have a debate, at least be clear on what it is you are debating. Only the ignorant would debate the observed evidence of evolution; however, it is possible to debate whether evolution as observed occurred because of 1) one of the theories of natural selection or 2) one of the theories of intelligent design. I think a great deal of the angst and anger associated with this debate can be relieved by spreading this clarification rather than media-misinformed propaganda. The debate is not Evolution vs. God(s), it is Natural Selection vs. God(s), and the distinction between those two debates is absolutely critical.

-1 Point      Anonymous      07 Jan 2012      General Comment
Science is a way of learning, based on certain restrictions. One such restriction is natural causes, it assumes that natural explanations exist. It doesn't assume that the supernatural (God/ Ghosts/ etc.) do not exist, they are just omitted from scientific inquiry.

Scientists have always been trying to prove Darwin's theory wrong, they haven't just stopped doing tests on it because they 'think' it's right. However, scientists have yet to prove it wrong, while staying in the realm of the natural world. Though it doesn't mean that Darwin's theory is fact, it just means that there is a multitude of evidence supporting it, and thus it has gone from a hypothesis to a theory.

Many people dislike science because it goes directly against their religion, as with the case in Creationism/ Intelligent Design. Darwin's theory doesn't claim that Creationism is wrong, it only offers a natural explanation for the existence of species. Science is unable to make any claims about Creationism because it involves a supernatural being, and as such could be right, but is not considered science.

Now that science has been established to focus on the natural world, and Creationism does not focus on the natural world, it should not be taught in a science class, because it isn't science. That doesn't mean children should disregard it as false, as it may as well be true. Though I believe that students should be aware of the reason it isn't taught.

The definition of science as well as the information it gives, through theories, predictions, hypothesizes, and laws (a law is not a fact, it is a prediction, completely different from hypothesis and theory*) is something the general public doesn't really understand.

There maybe a place for Creationism in schools, in a different class but defiantly not in a science class. However, at least in the States, this is a shady (grey) area, because of the separation of Church and State.

For some information, please visit the link below. If you view the link below, do so with an open mind.



A Hypothesis is an explanation on why something happens (Evolution occurs because of natural selection).
A Theory is a hypothesis that has withstood the test of time (hasn't been disproved).
A Law is a prediction, on what will happen (If I drop a pencil it will fall).

0 Points      Dr. Stark      13 Sep 2011      General Comment
Actually Nick, evolution is a theory. A scientific theory comprises of a collection of observations that have been repeated tested and verified by the scientific community. A theory is the highest classification awarded to a tested hypothesis. Evolution has been awarded that honor. Intelligent Design, however, was not verified by the scientific community and is largely based on speculation.

0 Points      Anonymous      09 Apr 2010      General Comment
Now I'm even more confused.

0 Points      Mary Stuart      03 Nov 2010      General Comment
Me too.
I don't think I evolved from a monkey. Are my grandchildren going to be monkeys? I don't get it.

0 Points      deb      18 Apr 2011      General Comment
Darwin does not say that humans evolved from monkeys. Please know the facts it, before debateing the point.

1 Point      Anonymous      03 Nov 2010      General Comment
"I don't think I evolved from a monkey"
You're too hard on yourself.

"Are my grandchildren going to be monkeys?"
Probably. It's genetics.

"I don't get it."
That's understandable.

1 Point      Radio Gaga      19 Apr 2012      Stance on Question: Disagree
"I don't get it."
That's understandable.
Like :-)

I have to debate about this topic in school (in English and not in science) and I don`t find many arguments for Intelligent Science.
My personal belief is that Intelligence Design should not be taught in science class because seperation of Church and State is an achievement made just two centuries ago. There`s no reason to condemn it now.
I don`t think Intelligence Design is a proper scientific theory. Darwin has some arguments which sound more convincing and logical to me.

0 Points      jacob      15 Jun 2012      Stance on Question: Neutral
Agreeable with the above person.great comment.
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