Despite the fact that it has been a long-standing controversy, the question of whether evolution and not intelligent design should be taught in public school science classrooms remains unresolved. This is not to say that the debate has died, however, because there are still legislators who would love to see intelligent design brought into the classroom.
Regardless of what you think of evolution vs. intelligent design, there are some significant constitutional problems associated with it. Evolutionists claim that the most important problem is whether a policy to promote it in schools is constitutional or not. They insists that it could be a violation of the First Amendment, but it could also be a religious endorsement of the concept. The Supreme Court has yet to define the term “religion” in the First Amendment, so there is no firm rule of thumb. In the meantime, there is a plethora of bills aimed at protecting teachers from teaching the “debatable” and “questionable” topics in their classrooms.
The intelligent design is referred to as the scientific theory to explain how the universe came to be. In other words, it is a scientific hypothesis that claims the existence of a supernatural being that explains many of the most basic and mundane natural phenomena.
The intelligent design says that the universe did not exist until the creator decided to put it there. A well-intentioned teacher could leave students with the impression that the aforementioned is true. The intelligent design movement speak in religiously inspired terms, which somehow sounds less scientific for evolutionists. This is no different than the creation-science movement, which simply argues that the world did not exist until the God created it. The Supreme Court has yet to settle the question of whether the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classrooms is not constitutional. It will be interesting to watch how this case plays out.
The debate over intelligent design in public schools is only the latest chapter in the evolution debate. A slew of bills have been introduced in Congress and state legislatures since 2009. Those bills are largely based on the notion that teachers can supplement their curriculum with intelligent design and other non-fanciful theories as they were equally valid. Conclusively, there is no principled limit on the amount of academic freedom that is acceptable to public school teachers.
Evolutionists assert three primary constitutional problems with teaching the aforementioned intelligent design in the classroom. The first is that it may be the most impressive, but it does not prove the existence of the aforementioned “religion” or its effect. The second is that it may not be a lawful way to teach the topic, and the third is that it could violate the Establishment Clause, which prohibits government from adopting or subsidizing any religion.
The most important thing to remember about teaching evolution without supplementing curriculum with intelligent design in a public school science classroom is that it is a bad idea. The only courts to examine this matter have been located in Pennsylvania, and the state lacks precedential authority. Science ought to look at all angles and present factual and inclusive curriculum content regarding scientific theory.
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