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

If we are going to use tax dollars to teach religion then the constitution requires you to teach Christianity side by side with all the other religions. If you are going to teach philosophy then you teach naturalism side by side with all the other philosophies. But those are more for higher education. In the earlier years we have to focus on the giving them the tools which are needed to do better in higher education and the world in general. And science is one of those tools… particularly important for a future in medicine where the principles of evolution are used all the time.

That’s because you’re reading backwards, or is it upside-down?

I’m advocating that if they want religion out of the classroom, they need to remove all religion, not just our country’s founding religion.

What schools are teaching science based on Buddhism or paganism?

Schools are not removing religion form their campuses. They are not teaching creationism as science and they are ending things like Christian prayers over the intercoms and so on.

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On that point I fully agree.

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Science has a philosophy, ID does not, it is a fundamentalist religion regardless of the odd, very odd 4 sigma outlier scientist who claims to be an atheist or physicalist and claims to accept ID or some other anti-evolutionary non-sc(i)ence.

What if the religious belief is sexist, homophobic, racist, placist, elitist and otherwise anti-social? Attributing mental illness to the demonic and/or to sin for example?

There is nothing philosophical about it just as there is nothing scientific about it. It’s fundamentalist religion; literalism, textism, Biblicism.

I don’t see how that has any bearing since school teachers can’t teach those beliefs to begin with.

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The child’s religious belief being ridiculed.

Oh, I see.

A teacher could discipline a student for their actions without ridiculing their religious beliefs. For example, a teacher could punish a student for using racial slurs without also saying that their religion is evil for being racist.

Hmmm. What actions? Hate speech is explicit in religious belief. So one cannot ridicule hate speech.

Using racial slurs, as an example.

Why would you have to ridicule hate speech in order to discipline a student for using hate speech?

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Ridicule is extremely effective.

This is pretty straightforward for a teacher. Every student should feel safe and respected in my classroom. It’s the prime directive. A mind under stress cannot learn (take in new information). The “fight or flight” reflex shuts off the rational brain. Unless every student feels safe and comfortable in my classroom, they are not in a position to learn/absorb new information. Thus, according to the prime directive, I tolerated no bullying or disrespect of anyone in my classroom. That’s every teacher’s responsibility. Not every teacher understands or practices this, but it’s the gold standard.

As I understand Intelligent Design, the proposition is this: If nature shows evidence of design, an intelligent designer must exist.

The hypothesis is that nature shows evidence of design. This can be scientifically demonstrated. Unfortunately, none of the ID theorists attempt to do this. Instead, they spend their time attempting to show that evolution is impossible/highly unlikely, which doesn’t demonstrate anything.

The conclusion is logical. Setting aside the fact that the hypothesis is undemonstrated, the conclusion cannot be proven by science, since it’s a question of logic. That question properly belongs to philosophy, not science.



Science shows no design. The default is no design. Rationality, deduction beyond science, beyond empiricism has no warrant for proposing design in the face of no design, on the basis of ‘Just because there can be no scientific evidence of design doesn’t mean there isn’t any’. There is no space, no need for design, creation, God, the supernatural, religion in philosophy just as there isn’t in science. So IF there were a God, what does that say about Him?

Design is a legitimate inquiry in biology (Google scholar search):

And then there is this one, cited nearly 4,000 times:

Design is a question that can be scientifically explored and demonstrated. But, as I said before, none of the ID theorists have shown any inclination to pursue it. They haven’t even established parameters to the question.

As for philosophy, it has been concerned with God, the supernatural, and religion from the start. That’s where the topic of an Intelligent Designer properly belongs.

What does it say about him? To quote Isaiah’s complaint:

Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, God of Israel, Savior!

Design as used in book titles is not scientific. Unless it’s about the science of, in, used by design/ers. Design as used by engineers (nearly 4,000 times!..*), including software, applied to biology is fine as long as one remembers that there is none. *Hit rates are a function of IDers looking for… design. It’s just a pair of polarized, anti-glare sunglasses. Or a welder’s visor. Artefactual. Biologists = (dysteleological) evolutionists - use the term design for vernacular, shorthand purposes knowing that’s exactly what they’re doing. It’s spoken in parentheses, often with the appropriate gesture.

Philosophy rapidly evolved out of polytheism and discarded it as a dead husk, where did it evolve out of theism? Apart from Kierkegaard. By the time you get to the Enlightenment and beyond, where is religion in philosophy?

ID properly belongs in the psychology of religion. To leap metaphors, don’t forget that the hammer in your eye is why you’re seeing nails. That you’re a horse looking at the rear end of your cart.

Please find a disinterested, scholarly (Oxbridge, Ivy League level), academic paper demonstrating design by nature.

Nature brings honesty to God.

The book “An Introduction to Systems Biology” is not an engineering text, and the 4000 citations are citations in scientific papers and books, not the number of “hits” it gets. (I sincerely doubt that ID has even produced 4000 publishable scientific papers.)

Perhaps a snippet of the book’s introduction will explain:


As I said, “design” can be empirically investigated and described in the context of biological evolution without resorting to a “designer.” As soon as one takes that next step, inferring a designer, the scientific question is left behind and the philosophical question begins. The philosopher Daniel Dennett, no friend of religion, has written quite a bit on the “design stance.” You could look it up.

I didn’t say philosophy evolved out of theism. I said philosophy has been “concerned with God, the supernatural, and religion from the start.”

Do you want a list of post-Enlightenment philosophers who addressed questions of God and religion (both “for” and “against”)?
Friedrich Schleiermacher
G. W. F. Hegel
Arthur Schopenhauer
Wilhelm Dilthey
William James
Friedrich Nietzsche
Edmund Husserl
Bertrand Russell
Martin Buber
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Martin Heidegger
Hans-Georg Gadamer
Mortimer Adler
Jean-Paul Sartre
Karl Jaspers
Hannah Arendt
Albert Camus
Paul Ricœur
Charles Taylor

I’ll leave off there. Try not to be so dogmatic all the time.

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As you know full well design is being used just as I say. I’ll deal with the philosophers later. There . is . no . design . in . nature . . Period.

Evolution was designed.

“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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