The Intelligent Design Versus Evolution Debate: An Overview
Intelligent Design vs. Evolution , 2008 Neil Munro writes on issues of science and technology for the National Journal, a weekly magazine on politics and government. The intelligent-design (ID) and evolution controversy is a debate between those who oppose scientific materialism, a belief system that ID advocates claim ignores moral concerns and religious values, and scientists defending years of scientific accomplishments. ID proponents claim that the theory of evolution does not explain complex processes and that public schools should teach that an intelligent designer could fill these gaps. Scientists argue that no scientific evidence supports the existence of an intelligent designer. Teaching ID, scientists fear, will confuse students because it erroneously paints science as anti-God and hostile to American values.
There's been a lot of media coverage recently [as of 2006] about "intelligent design" versus the arguments for or against Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. This coverage has often treated the dispute as a boxing match between religion and science, between faith and data, as if either were somehow capable of knocking out the other in six rounds. But the dispute is also part of an enduring political fight, in which the strongest partisans of rival philosophies argue that their beliefs are better for the country and for democracy. The clash plays out in newspapers, in magazines, and on television—but in recent years, most sharply at the meetings of local school boards, where elected members set policies for grades K-12 science education. At those meetings, advocacy groups and allied parents present cacophonous arguments—some scientific, some political, some constitutional—to sway the curriculum decisions in their favor.
The ID Movement
Today's debates are fueled by the intelligent-design movement, whose core advocates and their allies argue that the variety and complexity of life on...