Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Evolution vs "Intelligent Design"

This hoax has been heating up lately in the blogosphere.

On August 19, 2005 Boing Boing put up a $250,000 (later capped at $1 Million) challenge

to pay any individual *$250,000 if they can produce empirical evidence which proves that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

With a couple of law changes and sues (see here and here), and the endorsement by the President of USA (see news releases from Washington Post, BBC), the debate is really hot. (see New York Times "complete coverage of the evolution debate") By the way, God bless America!

via Boing Boing, here is how Daniel C. Dennett sees the start of the hoax:
"The proponents of intelligent design use an ingenious ploy that works something like this," writes Tufts philosopher Daniel C. Dennett, and author of Darwin's Dangerous Idea. "First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist's work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges levelled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a "controversy" to teach."

I am not interested in this kind of debate. My point is what should be the position of educators/teachers faced with this problem. Since education can be used as a propaganda instrument, our curriculum has been loaded, increasingly, with social issues, such as sex education, road safety, drugs problems.... Is is a role of the formal education system to deal with such social/political issues while the teachers remain so low in social status, pay peanuts and themselves not fully equipped to deal with such situations?

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