Don’t as me. Ask PZ Myers. Next Monday, November 16th in Saint Paul.

Dr. Jerry Bergman and Dr. PZ Myers will be debating the topic: “Should Intelligent Design Be Taught In The Schools?”

This event is sponsored by the Christian Student Fellowship and Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists.

The event is held at the North Star Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center (Buford Ave. near Cleveland Ave.)

7:30 to 9:30 PM, student center, St. Paul campus.


  1. #1 Jim Thomerson
    November 11, 2009

    Consider, “Should intelligent design be taught ABOUT in schools?” This is a rather different quesiton. It has been argued that at the university level we do not teach, but rather teach about. I’m not sure I completely think that, but when I taught courses about evolution, I included a couple of lectures about creationism. The evolution course was required of biology secondary education majors, and I though they should be informed about creationism.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 11, 2009

    For every parent that gets mad at the High School teacher for teaching evolution, five will get mad for teaching “about creationism”… which is just a huge time sink.

  3. #3 PoxyHowzes
    November 11, 2009

    1) Can creationists argue for teaching creationism without ever mentioning evolution or Darwin. (I.e., can they make a positive case, not a negative one based on a false dichotomy?) If so, I want to see that syllabus!

    2) If Creationists agree that teaching Evolution is not appropriate until a child is in High School or College, will they agree to hold off on teaching creationism until the child is that old?

    3) Will creationists accept the teaching of creationism as part of a semester-long (or longer) “review” of the creation stories of various cultures around the world?

    Even if the world is not flat, the playing field ought to be.

  4. #4 orion
    November 11, 2009

    No debate, simple answer – NO.
    End of discussion.

  5. #5 Lee Daniel Crocker
    November 11, 2009

    Actually, I’d answer “YES!”. It should be taught. “This is Intelligent Design theory, which you’ll probably hear a lot about. Here’s what they say, and here’s why they’re morons and liars…”

  6. #6 Allan
    November 11, 2009

    Why wouldn’t you want to inform people about it? Given that it is not a mainstream religious concept, it should be–at best–included as an aside in a “Comparative Religion”-type class.

    Of course, any mention of it in a science class would be absolutely ridiculous because it’s simply and obviously *not science*. But informing people about it right alongside Buddhism or Islam … sure! Let them know about all the crazy shit out there. They need to know who they’re dealing with.

  7. #7 orion
    November 11, 2009

    I still say no, because intelligent design is NOT a theory – never has been and never will be. It’s a crackpot faith-based idea that has no place in a science curriculum, or any other curriculum for that matter. I accept your views about the religous curriculum, and can understand that would be one way of dealing with it. However, as you also point out, its not really a religion, just one issue raised by one particularly extreme section (fundamentalists) of one faction (evangelists and similar) of one religion (christianity).
    It would be impossible to single out every stupid idea and have a discussion on why they are wrong. Why pick on intelligent design? Why not creationism (which is related to intelligent design anyway)? Astrology? Numerology? Homeopathy? Alchemy? Earth-centric universe? The Loch Ness monster? Magic? etc etc etc.
    To include these things as part of a school curriculum just gives them legitimacy that they do not possess. I would suggest that kids should be taught how to think, and then if any of these topics come up (ie raised by the kids) they should be argued away there and then.

  8. #8 Fabrice
    November 12, 2009


    I think ID, and creationist, and homeopathy, and astrology, and… should be taught in schools, and in Science classes in particular. Students should be taught, very early, how to discriminate between a scientifically sound theory and a pseudo-scientific absurdity. We should give them the tools necessary to distinguish between science and pseudo-science, using the above-mentioned topics as illustrations of what should be called a scientific thinking class.

  9. #9 Ben
    November 12, 2009

    There is nothing pseudo-science about the scientific hypothesis present in Intelligent Design Message from the Designers.One has to be familiar both with the wonderful theory of evolution and all the world religions to understand it .Our scientists are close to artificially creating life.One can see where this will lead in the coming years, as a result of progression of design.Eventually our scientists will become as those mistaken for gods so long ago. Once one understands the underlying principles of progression of design followed by the development of a human race then a lot of things begin to make sense together.Instead of progression of design evidenced in the theory of evolution we have evidence of progression of design by very advanced science.This is much quicker than the presumption of nature with the theory of evolution. This is against a backdrop of the planet being very ancient, and upon which there have been many humanities tthat have disappeared for the self evident reason we can see today.One famous person said of the above mentioned book
    ‘ if this is science fiction, then it ranks alongside the most breathtaking of it’s kind, but if it is true it is earth shaking. I would add that if this is science fiction then within the context of this hypothesis, so are the dangers of nuclear war, over-population, environmental degradation and for that matter the subject of ufos.
    So yes Intelligent Design should be taught along with Evolution and some understanding of the world religions in order to be able to comprehend this hypothesis.

  10. #10 rob
    November 12, 2009

    this is from the wikipedia entry on the Dover ID court ruling:

    “The plaintiffs successfully argued that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and that the school board policy thus violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

    you cannot waste time in science class covering every crackpot counter-theory that crops up. if a theory is part of the history leading up to the current supported theory, then it could be taught. say, like Larmarckism, or Spontaneous Generation in the case of evolution. or the various preliminary models for the atom.

    since ID has been show to *not* be science and it isn’t one of the theories leading to the current accepted theory of evolution, it should NOT BE TAUGHT. heck. it shouldn’t even be mentioned in a science class.