British Pupils To Be Taught Atheism In Religion Class

Good news of the day:

The new guidelines for key stage 3 (11 to 14-year-olds), published yesterday, say: “This unit focuses on creation and origins of the universe and human life and the relationship between religion and science. It aims to deepen pupils’ awareness of ultimate questions through argument, discussion, debate and reflection and enable them to learn from a variety of ideas of religious traditions and other world views.

Ultimately, I’m a fan of knowledge, science and healthy debate. Since ID advocates the opposite, it won’t stand a chance when scrutinized!

Responses to “British Pupils To Be Taught Atheism In Religion Class”

  1. Ah, but if you see religion as a “god question”, then Atheism fits in nicely.

    ID, however, doesn’t fit in very well with “scientific theories on how stuff works”.

  2. Joen says:

    Ah, but if you see religion as a ?god question?, then Atheism fits in nicely.

    I agree, atheism is an alternative to theism, therefor it has a place there.

    ID, however, doesn?t fit in very well with ?scientific theories on how stuff works?.

    I agree, ID is not science and hence not an alternative to scientific theories. Did the article mention any ID being taught in classrooms?

  3. Ricky says:

    Ultimately, I?m a fan of knowledge, science and healthy debate.

    Me too! I think it’s great to give pupils a chance to look at these questions and debate and discuss them.

    Since ID advocates the opposite, it won?t stand a chance when scrutinized!

    I disagree there – ID is a theory just as evolution and the big bang are theories and as far as I am aware haven’t been proven. Depending on how you look at each of them, there are issues that still need resolving. If you look at ID from the perspective that there is no God, it looks crazy. If you look at the big bang, at some point you ask the question, but what caused it. If you look at evolution you find that there are some really odd jumps between species that are missing vital links (aside from the depressing nature of it’s conclusions).

    It all depends on where you start from as which one looks the craziest

  4. Joen says:

    I disagree there ? ID is a theory just as evolution and the big bang are theories and as far as I am aware haven?t been proven. Depending on how you look at each of them, there are issues that still need resolving. If you look at ID from the perspective that there is no God, it looks crazy. If you look at the big bang, at some point you ask the question, but what caused it. If you look at evolution you find that there are some really odd jumps between species that are missing vital links (aside from the depressing nature of it?s conclusions).

    Well, I’ve heard this discussion before, and the usual retort to your response is “how about the theory of gravity?”.

    I’d like to take a different road, though, and define some semantics first.

    According to wiktionary, the word “theory” means many things. Among other:

    (countable) An unproven conjecture.

    I have a theory about who broke into the school last night, but it?s just a theory.

    (countable) (sciences) A coherent statement or set of statements that attempts to explain observed phenomena.

    There is now a well-developed theory of electrical charge.

    I personally think, the latter (scientific theories) should be taught in school, while the conjectural theories should not. If we can agree on this, we can focus the argument to discuss whether or not “intelligent design” is a scientific theory or not, and skip the whole argument of whether it should be taught in school or not.

    Essentially, if intelligent design was a scientific theory, I’d want it taught in school, sure.

    So if you’ll agree with me that it’s really a question of whether ID is scientific or not, I’d like to present my reasons for why I do not consider ID a scientific theory (as opposed to darwinian evolution, which I do consider scientific):

    1. Intelligent design strives to find shreds of evidence of itself, but AFAIK hasn’t found any.
    2. “Irreducable complexity”, the notion that the eye, for instance, is so complex that it couldn’t have evolved naturally, is one of the most common arguments for ID. However, saying that something is “irreducably complex” is useless if one cannot prove this. It’s word against word.
    3. Saying that the theory of evolution is flawed (sure it is!) does not mean that ID obviously must be right.

    Essentially, without any form of proof, or any way of testing whether the theory holds water or not, makes it a conjectural theory, and not a scientific one. The Big Bang theory actually has shreds of evidence such as the expanding universe. It actually does explain many occurences in our universe, including background microwave radiation, and other things more intelligent people than me could tell you about.

    My reasons for not wanting conjectural theories taught in school is because of the precedence this would set. If conjectural theories could be taught in science class, I’d want the theory of the flying spaghetti monster taught as well. Why not the theory of god?