The other ID thread is getting too long. We had the swinging phalli and pissing contests already.
So let's get down to brass tacks here. Okay Kansas, what the hell? I mean, why did you do this in the first place? What exactly is going on over there?
Here we go, Part 1:
"The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion."
Nothing hinky about that? What's so bad about attempting to refute Evolutionary Theory? What's the big deal?
Part 2, from the website:
"In a broader sense, Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection -- how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose. Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences."
This is where an error creeps in, and I think that the Kansas School Board got a little hoodwinked by statements such as these. Yes, there is such a thing as "design detection", but it is used in the human sciences. You cannot take techinques we use to discover the source of a fire in an abandoned building and use them to draw conclusions about DNA. We do not measure atomic mass with a car speedometer.
"ID is controversial because of the implications of its evidence, rather than the significant weight of its evidence. ID proponents believe science should be conducted objectively, without regard to the implications of its findings. This is particularly necessary in origins science because of its historical (and thus very subjective) nature, and because it is a science that unavoidably impacts religion.
Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the "messages," and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation. Other evidence challenges the adequacy of natural or material causes to explain both the origin and diversity of life."
Another critical error here, but if you aren't looking for it carefully, you may not see it. The contradiction is right in the bold-faced text I indicate above. Every "positive" bit of design evidence mentioned is nothing but the subjective implications of evidence which the ID scientists are trying so hard to avoid!
Just because there is information contained in DNA doesn't mean that the molecule was originally "designed" by an intelligence. That's a subjective implication drawn from the evidence.
Just because it seems unlikely to the layman that organic matter arose from inorganic matter, doesn't mean that it was "created" by an intelligence. That's a subjective implication drawn from the evidence. I once again wish to mention the groundbreaking and significant Miller-Urey experiment, and some discussion about it, in case some of us aren't familiar with the reality of complex order arising from chaos:
Note that no intelligent creator was required to intervene in the Miller-Urey experiment. The organic molecules happened just fine all by themselves. This is the way of nature. This is normal. But wait! That is my mistake, because thinking that no intelligence was behind the experiment's results was another one of those implications drawn from the evidence.
To be intellectually honest, what the experiment proves is that order arises from complex chaos. It does not show HOW. So do we find God in-between atoms, arranging them? Is the mechanism of the synthesis of order a surface manifestation of an intelligent creator, working "behind the scenes"?
THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC WAY TO PROVE YES OR NO.
We can see the patterns, but we can't say why. Gravity is just as odd and unusual a phenomenon as the relationship of complexity to order, and yet there is no "scientific" movement to show such a thing as "Intelligent Falling". Does God make me fall down so hard after eighteen beers? Is the Lord pulling me back to earth after I miss another slam dunk?
What we have here are people who are uncomfortable with evolution, plain and simple. Perhaps if the bible said that there was no gravity without God, then we would be taught "Intelligent Falling" in Kansas public schools?