How to answer the “ID in the public school classroom is freedom of speech” argument?

Because “freedom of speech” does not mean that anyone is welcome to say whatever they want. Different places (classrooms, parties, churches, internet forums) serve different social purposes and have agendas. If your speech is not in line with the purpose and agenda, you will be asked to shut up. You may be removed. Your rights aren’t being violated in those instances.

Yes, it does. You have read Hebrews 11:6, I presume. Do you need faith to believe something that has been demonstrated by scientific experiment under controlled conditions?

I could be rude here without any difficulty. :grin: There is a difference between empirical evidence and modern scientific empirically demonstrable evidence and deduction, scientific cause and effect. I do agree there is a distinction between science and scientism, naturalism and philosophical naturalism.

It is dealt with somewhat extensively here:

I understand this and as @jpm said above since the idst can state their opinion on grounds that are in line with what they believe then its fine. I was arguing for thwir right because i though that they were excluded from any kind of academic studies even religious and philosophical. Now that it has been cleared up the little “debate” has ended

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Another reference that supports my argument:

Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior. Isaiah 45:15

…and this:

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  Romans 11:33

No. Schools limit students’ “freedom of speech” all the time. Even school newspapers are under strict control. Students in many high schools also must pass through metal detectors that members of Congress balk at. Students lockers and backpacks are subject to inspection without reasonable cause. Kids don’t enjoy the same rights as adults, especially in the school setting.

The freedom of speech argument is a red herring. Schools don’t allow just anyone to walk in off the street and teach a classroom because, you know, “freedom of speech.” ID would have to become a viable scientific alternative to evolution to be taught in the classroom, which is never going to happen.

ID is a philosophical argument. If it belongs anywhere, it’s in the college philosophy classroom, not the 9th-grade biology classroom. But the Discovery Institute will never admit that fact.


Right. It does not show that God actually exists or created the universe. But if you believe God exists and created the universe then you are indeed without excuse.

It is pretty clear this is not God’s highest priority. A belief in God is hardly a panacea for human problems and seems to create a good number of problems as well. A belief in God is part of some people’s psychopathology and the best route to sanity is getting rid of this belief in God.

I think this problem is goes back to Adam&Eve and our separation from God. Because there is only thing that can separate a parent from his children… and that is if his presence in their life does more harm than good.

Objectivity is the difference… that which is the same for everyone. This is because scientific evidence consists of written procedures which give the same result no matter what you may want or believe.

On the contrary, a lot of “truth” and “evidence” is little more than hot air blustering shouting louder and longer than anyone else. So we have measures like logical coherence, consistency with the objective (demonstrable) evidence, and compatibility with the standards of a free society (where religion is not an acceptable excuse for making human sacrifices).

Is objective scientific truth a higher level of truth than religious truth? Yes, for one very simple reason: scientific truth is the same for everyone – those written procedures give the same result no matter what you may want or believe. Religious truth obviously depends on your religion, doesn’t it? That is not the same for everybody.

That is a line without a line. How much value on natural science is too much. How much value do you place on human life? Since science saves human lives, doesn’t that put the value of science near the same as the value of human life. What do you expect to compare that to? Religion? In the Bible, even God doesn’t place all that much positive value on religion and sees a lot of negative value in it.

But doesn’t religion save people lives by making it worth living? Sure. But that excuse only puts on the same level as baseball, television, and art. All this does indeed help to make life worth living. And for most science is also little more than an indulgence… but that is because they only read about science rather than using it solve problems and save people’s lives.

How about we go for strong and weak versions of religionism. The strong version makes religious teachings the measure of all truth including the findings of science. If the weak version is too much value on religion and you want to know how much is too much, then I suggest reading the first chapter of Isaiah, where you will find that too much is when religious ceremony takes the place of ceasing to do evil and learning to do good, when donations to religion take the place of seeking justice and correcting oppression, and when religious meetings take the place of helping those in need.

If we’re going to use tax dollars to fund teaching naturalism and humanism in schools, then we should pay to teach the bible too. At least it can be character building.

Parents can homeschool or send their kids to a private school.

There is also the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and the Lemon test.

A naturalistic answer is defined as a testable hypothesis supported by empirical observations. If God designed life then it would leave empirical evidence in nature and would be considered part of nature. God designing life can be a part of science if there is actually evidence to support it.

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See my post above. It would certainly run afoul of the 1st Amendment and subsequent decisions made by SCOTUS. The Bible could possibly be taught as part of a comparative religions course, but I don’t think teaching kids about Islam and other religions from across the world would go over well with many Christian parents.

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Do you believe that some teachers, though, teach evolution peppered by personal beliefs that lead to children in faith families to become persuaded in the very schools funded by their dollars that faith in God is for the low informed, less intellectually minded persons?

I ask for several reasons. As a Catholic, I believe that evolution is a well-supported theory and that a supranatural God does exist. As someone who spent years working alongside research scientists, I also learned that scientific facts are different from facts as used in societal language. As an aside, it’s interesting to not that it was Georges Lemaître, a Catholic priest and physicist, who developed the Big Bang Theory. Catholicism does not take issue with evolution, only what is called atheistic evolution, which is the absolute rejection of God. We believe both co-exist, that our minds are created by God to explore that which is material and the spiritual cannot be studied by science as it’s not material.

But what troubles me the most is that it’s perfectly legal for me to raise my children with our morals and in our faith tradition – something now completed, thankfully – and it seems that it is also perfectly legal for the public school system to teach my children that their home and church life is suspicious, to be doubted and the stuff of weaker minds. I don’t object to the teaching of the evidence that supports the theory of evolution. I do object to any statements that carry the weight of an authority figure, a teacher, that assail our family unit’s religious beliefs. Evolution should be able to be taught without that happening. My experience is that is not always the case.

If a teacher is ridiculing a child’s religious beliefs then they should be disciplined. The Lemon test says government officials can neither advance nor inhibit religious belief. A good science teacher would simply say that evolution is the accepted theory in science, so students need to learn what it says. That’s it.


So could the Qur’an and the Vedas, etc. Religion or philosophy would be the proper place for holy books to be freely discussed.


I would find it very reassuring if more religious people would embrace our national pluralism. Not that every tradition is equal or interchangeable, but mutual respect is a better alternative to mutual intolerance.


That doesn’t stop it from happening. Against the will of the parents, at that.

Parents can sue the school district if religion is being forced on them by the school.

It is also rather interesting that the very people who advocate for Christianity being taught in public schools can’t see the irony of protesting against other religions being taught in the same way.


“First, Paul states that the creation (“what he has made”) shows God’s eternal power and divine nature so clearly evident that there is no excuse for not seeing these. “Without excuse.”
But according to your narrative, God does not want his existence provable. That doesn’t square with “without excuse.” And please, what is the difference between “evidence” and “scientific evidence?” Is that like the difference between “truth” and “scientific truth?” Truth is truth, and evidence is evidence. To suggest that there are different levels of truth or evidence by adding the adjective “scientific” smacks of scientism.”
It would be tending towards scientism to claim that scientific truth or scientific evidence is always better than others. Ironically, you do that by equating “not scientific proof” with “not provable”. If you read the next several verses in Romans, Paul does not go on to tell people to study biochemistry. His example is the conscience, which is not very amenable to scientific analysis. When the Bible specifically considers what can be determined about God from science, the answer is “not much.” This is a major topic in both Ecclesiastes and Job. Science deals with, in the words of Ecclesiastes, “under the sun” data. As Job 28 acknowledges, such knowledge can be quite useful, but it’s not wisdom. Contrary to the wishes of young-earth, ID, or “scientific” atheism advocates, science isn’t really a good place to look to try to answer these types of questions. It’s a bit like claiming that your posts have no intelligent meaning to them because a scientific analysis of the electricity does not reveal any meaning. The way to see the meaning is to read the text, not to analyze the electrons.

Proving God is done by trusting in Him and following His word, not by scientific analysis. As Job strongly points out, it’s not even done by looking at how things are going in the life of someone.


The legal issues reflect the precedents and whims of our judiciary rather than particularly credible principles. In practice, nearly everyone’s appeals to right of free speech is “I can say whatever I like and you can say whatever I like.” The basic flaw in the “ID belongs in the public school as free speech” argument is that it is not “ID ideas should be discussed objectively” but rather “These bad arguments for ID should be treated as valid”. Truly free speech would give any idea a fair hearing. But allowing misrepresentations is not free speech, because it unfairly disadvantages those committed to accuracy. It’s a logical equivalent of everyone getting to talk, but some having megaphones. Of course, getting someone to admit that their idea had a fair hearing and was turned down is not easy - agreeing to how to determine what is a fari hearing would be very difficult.

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My Uncle Joe is a farmer, and I love him dearly. He’s a really smart guy who can fix anything on a farm…and a farm has lots of different types of equipment.

Uncle Joe was not much of a student, though. Though older than my mom, he made it through high school only through intensive tutoring on her part. He passed tests by copying answers from other students.

I would not want my Uncle Joe to design the curriculum for any kids, even his own.

We home schooled all 4 of our kids, and got to know dozens of home-schooling families. From this experience I can claim without fear of contradiction that home-school families rely on the expertise of outsiders. These outsiders are otherwise known as curriculum vendors. How does a home school family know what a fourth grader should be studying in history? Go to a curriculum vendor and buy their 4th grade history materials, that’s how.

Not everyone can home-school their kids (e.g., single-parent families). So public schooling is a very important government service.

And since it’s a government service, it needs to be done in a non-sectarian fashion. And it needs to rely on the insights of experts in the various fields of study.

If you or someone you know wants to substitute your theories of how science should work for the well-established, empirically verified theories of a scientific community that includes many devout Christians, you are free to pull your kids out of public school and educate them otherwise.



Every parent has the right to object to teaching that assails a family unit’s religious beliefs. What the Christian majority fails to recognize is that the same applies to a Jewish family, a Muslim family, a Buddhist family, a Hindu family, a Zoroastrian family, and a non-religious family. That is public education.

In my experience as a public school teacher, about 10% of teachers fell outside the norm on the left and the right. It’s a bell curve. In other words, about 10% of teachers on the far right would let their Christian doubts about evolution be known, and about 10% on the left would ridicule creationism. The vast majority followed the law and taught the science.


“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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