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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

Evolution has been a hot topic of discussion for ages. It started way back in 1633 and the trial of Galileo for publishing dialogue. Dialogue was a book that supported the theory that the earth revolved around the sun. This was a problem because the bible always suggested that the sun revolved around the earth. After this first early controversy, the next to occur was the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. This controversy involved John Scopes and the state of Tennessee. The state of Tennessee, at the time, had a law that prohibited the teaching of the theory of evolution in public schools. John Scopes tried to fight this law and teach evolution in a public school and for his attempt he was prosecuted. The next two controversies/court cases laid down the laws that we follow today. In 1968, the Supreme Court made a ruling in Epperson vs. Arkansas that stated banning the teachings of certain theories because they contradict religious beliefs was unconstitutional. The next court trial, Edwards vs. Aguillard, in 1987, struck down a Louisiana law. The law required teachers to teach creation if evolution was going to be taught as well. The controversy with theories of evolution continues today. In recent news a new theory has arose. The theory of intelligent design has been getting more and more press. In Dover, Pennsylvania, the school board voted to allow the teaching of intelligent design in their classrooms. This began a controversy that has gotten national press. The parents of local children, as a result of the school boards decision, have filed suit against the school district. The case is currently in the Pennsylvania state supreme court, but the case has every implication of being a United States Supreme Court in the near future. When this happens, the supreme courts, decision will have a significant impact on sciences classes around the country. This is why it is vital for the Supreme Court to rule in the parents favor. Intelligent design must not be taught in schools. Intelligent Design must not be allowed in schools. It is a constitutional right to keep Church and State separate, and this is the fundamental reason why intelligent design should not be taught in school classrooms.

 

In order to understand and discuss the origins of the solar system and life, we must first understand what the solar system is. The solar system is a system of planets, dust, gas, and a star. It lies within the milky-way galaxy, which exists in our universe.

 

The planets of the solar system include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, which are also known as terrestrial plants and Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, which are also known as outer planets. Mercury is the first planet in the solar system, it lies closest to the Sun. Mercury is a planet that is very inhospitable. It is a planet with large temperature extremes. Mercury is mainly made up of iron and it has a very thin atmosphere if any at all. The next closest planet in the solar system is Venus. Venus is very similar to earth, but because it is closer to the sun than Earth, several differences arise that make Venus unable to support life. Venus has a very think carbon dioxide atmosphere. This carbon dioxide atmosphere creates a greenhouse effect that heats the surface to an extreme temperature. The next planet is the planet Earth. Earth as we know is the only planet that supports life. It is also the only planet with liquid water on its surface, this trait alone makes Earth a unique planet. Mars rounds out the last of the terrestrial planets. Mars, also called the red planet, experiences planet wide dust storms. That completes the inner or terrestrial planets.

 

The outer planets begin with Jupiter. Jupiter is a big gas ball, simply put. Jupiter is the largest of the planets. Jupiter has more than two and a half times as much mass as all the other planets combined. After Jupiter comes Saturn. The best-known characteristic of Saturn is its ring system. Uranus is the next outer planet after Saturn. An interesting fact about Uranus is that since its discovery it has only orbited the sun fewer than three times. Uranus like Jupiter and Saturn has an atmosphere composed mainly of hydrogen. Uranus like Saturn also has a system of rings. The rings are not as spectacular as the rings of Saturn, but they are still evident. Neptune is the next planet in the line of nine. Neptune also has an atmosphere of hydrogen. Pluto completes the outer planets. Pluto is not really a planet at all it is more like an icy rock. Someday Pluto may be declassified as a planet, but now it still remains as the ninth and farthest planet from the sun.

Planets are not the only thing that makes up the solar system we live in. The solar system is also comprised of dust, gas, and a host of other material. In particular, there is an asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter. This asteroid belt appears to just be an area where rock like objects orbit the sun. It really seems to have no purpose, it just seems to be a place where extra mass in the solar system has collected and started an orbit.

 

The solar system is an amazing thing. It is made up of the Sun, nine planets, and many other things. The solar system is the foundation for arguments concerning evolution. If the solar system did not exist, not only would we not be here but also there would be no reason to argue about its formation. Now let us take a look at the different theories behind the solar systems formation.

 

One theory of evolution is Intelligent design. Many people have heard of Intelligent design in the news and the media, but what is it? Well, Intelligent design is a mix between creation and evolution. It is, “an anti-evolution belief that asserts that natural explanations of some biological entities are not possible and such entities can only be explained by intelligent causes.”

 

To help explain Darwin’s theory we must have knowledge about the theory of creation. The Holy Bible states, “At the first God made the heaven and the earth. And the earth was waste and without form; and it was dark on the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God was moving on the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God, looking on the light, saw that it was good: and God made a division between the light and the dark, Naming the light, Day, and the dark, Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, Let there be a solid arch stretching over the waters, parting the waters from the waters. And God made the arch for a division between the waters which were under the arch and those which were over it: and it was so. And God gave the arch the name of Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven come together in one place, and let the dry land be seen: and it was so. And God gave the dry land the name of Earth; and the waters together in their place were named Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let grass come up on the earth, and plants producing seed, and fruit-trees giving fruit, in which is their seed, after their sort: and it was so. And grass came up on the earth, and every plant producing seed of its sort, and every tree producing fruit, in which is its seed, of its sort: and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the arch of heaven, for a division between the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for marking the changes of the year, and for days and for years: And let them be for lights in the arch of heaven to give light on the earth: and it was so. And God made the two great lights: the greater light to be the ruler of the day, and the smaller light to be the ruler of the night: and he made the stars. And God put them in the arch of heaven, to give light on the earth; To have rule over the day and the night, and for a division between the light and the dark: and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters be full of living things, and let birds be in flight over the earth under the arch of heaven. And God made great sea-beasts, and every sort of living and moving thing with which the waters were full, and every sort of winged bird: and God saw that it was good. And God gave them his blessing, saying, Be fertile and have increase, making all the waters of the seas full, and let the birds be increased in the earth. And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth give birth to all sorts of living things, cattle and all things moving on the earth, and beasts of the earth after their sort: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after its sort, and the cattle after their sort, and everything moving on the face of the earth after its sort: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, like us: and let him have rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every living thing which goes flat on the earth. And God made man in his image, in the image of God he made him: male and female he made them. And God gave them his blessing and said to them, Be fertile and have increase, and make the earth full and be masters of it; be rulers over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing moving on the earth. And God said, See, I have given you every plant producing seed, on the face of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit producing seed: they will be for your food: And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the air and every living thing moving on the face of the earth I have given every green plant for food: and it was so. And God saw everything which he had made and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” ( ) As you can see creation and the bible version of evolution give sole credit to an intelligent being, whether or not this intelligent being is God we do not know. The Bible however says that God created the earth and everything else in six days leaving the seventh day to rest.

 

To explain intelligent design we must also have some background on Darwin’s theory of evolution. Darwin’s theory of evolution is complex to say the least. His theory relies on natural selection, and natural selection is a process involving the organisms that formed life. Natural selection and evolution states that everything is interrelated. The main premise behind Darwin’s theory of evolution is that all organisms descended from a common ancestor. More specifically Darwin’s theory states that complex creatures such as humans, evolved from simple ancestors. This is further explained through a process of mutations. The theory states that as a species evolved and aged that they would undergo helpful mutations that would aid them in their survival. As these mutations were passed down from generation to generation the species evolves slowly over time. Darwin states that evolution can never progress in leaps and bounds but must be a slow continual process. Take a salamander for example. The salamander lives in a very grassy area. The grass is very tall. The salamander originally has small legs. The legs really serve no purpose because the legs can neither mat down the grass nor reach the ground. Over time, the salamanders began to slither instead of walk. As the salamanders begin to slither the legs are used less and less. The legs begin to mutate into small tiny stumps and eventually are completely destroyed. The salamander has evolved or mutated into a snake-like creature. There are several misconceptions about Darwin’s theory as well, three in particular. The first is that Darwin’s theory denies the existence of a god or other higher power. It does not, it neither gives support to the existence of a higher power nor does it deny the existence of one. The second is that the theory does not make any claims about the formation of the stars or the universe. Finally, the theory does not make any judgments such as “survival of the fittest.” Recently with the development of technology in the biology field, especially micro-biology, gaps have been found in Darwin’s theory. Not only have one or two gaps been found, but hundreds of gaps or jumps have been found in his theory that complex beings evolved from simpler ones. This is where supports of Intelligent design step in.

 

Intelligent design, however stated, is religiously based. All you have to do is look at the supporters of the theory to see the religion involved. One such supporter is the Discovery Institute, a religious based Institute. John E. Haught, professor at Georgetown University, said, “Intelligent design is very similar to creationism.” However, really Intelligent design is more or less a happy medium between creation and evolution. Intelligent design does not totally throw out Darwin’s theory of evolution. Instead, it tries to explain the gaps or holes in Darwin’s theory. The theory also does not completely throw out the theory of creation. Instead, the theory states that there is a higher power, God maybe, who was “directing the show” so to speak. In essence, intelligent design is just a new name for creation. Both Intelligent design and creation both have the existence of a higher power conducting some or all of the evolutionary process. This in itself is enough to classify intelligent design as religion and not science. As soon as we bring a higher power/God into the equation, the theory becomes religion and not science. Science is what science is. It involves the laws of physics and chemistry to explain evolution. This definition of science leaves no room for a “higher power.” It is another chance for the pro-religious people in the world to get religion into the classroom. Now that we have background information on the three main theories of evolution we can get down to business. Intelligent design should not be taught in schools

 

Intelligent design should not be taught in schools for a number of reasons. The biggest reason Intelligent design should not be taught in schools is separation of church and state. The constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” This simply means that Congress cannot pass a law making it ok to practice religion in a specific institution. This is why US courts have ruled several times to keep religion out of schools. For example, in 1992, in the court case Lee v. Weisman the US Supreme Court ruled that any type of prayer at graduation ceremonies was unconstitutional due to the 1st amendment law stated earlier in this paragraph. There have been many attempts to get religion into schools since 1992, but still the courts continue to rule that religion in schools is unconstitutional. This leads us to the dilemma we face today. Should Intelligent design be taught in schools today? The answer is no. Not only do parents not want their kids being taught intelligent design in school, but it is also their constitutional right to keep religion out of schools. By using our previous definition of intelligent design, which classified intelligent design as religion and not science, it should be easy to tell that intelligent design does not belong in the classroom. We know from history that creation would never be taught in the classroom nor would it stand a chance to win a court case. Since Intelligent design is almost the same thing as creation, in that they both include a “higher power” then intelligent design also should never be taught in schools.

 

Recently Intelligent design has been making the headlines in a small town in Pennsylvania. The Dover High School school board voted to read a statement in their classes before teaching evolution. The statement was, “Because Darwin’s theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered…Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin…With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind.” This is an obvious infringement of constitutional right which says that students have the right to keep church and state separate. The Dover school district is now under heavy scrutiny because several parents filed suit to remove the statement from the classrooms. The court case is currently in a federal courtroom in Harrisburg, PA. It is interesting to note that in a recent election in the Dover community that the majority if not all of the school board members, which voted the statement into classrooms, have been voted out of office. This clearly shows that the parents do not agree with the statement being read in the Dover classrooms. The court case shows no signs of slowing down, however. In the near future I expect the case to be before the United States Supreme Court. Here the court will make a ruling that could effect thousands and thousands of students. When the court is making their decision they must keep in mind that the constitution states that church and state will remain separated. This means no religion in schools. Since intelligent design is religious, intelligent design must be with held from schools.

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