I have to admit this is a first. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a student having to read an intelligent design book and then write an essay on how correct it is.
I will say this: @ weasel–I think the concept of irreducible complexity is not necessarily debunked…
Irrelevant. Just saying it has been debunked means it really has been. Right?
'Course then a creationist can say the debunking has been debunked. Then an evolutionist will debunk that.
If I were this guy I would write the essay just the way the teacher asked him to. Then as a epilogue I would attempt to debunk it. And I would give it an honest effort. It’s lazy to say, “It’s been debunked.” Plumb lazy.
…but simply that there are arguments against Behe’s specific examples. We know too little about biological specimens the world over. We know less than 10% about the biological world we live in as a whole, despite the monumental achievements and discoveries we’ve made in the last (and current) century. It is conceivable there are species or examples out there that will defy rebuttal. Only a foolish person would completely deny the possible existence of this concept.
That being said, I think you should follow your beliefs. Integrity is important. I would not blame you if you should decide that sucking it up and writing a positive essay on Int. Design is the way to ensure a good grade. In the end I would not consider that decision a real dereliction of your beliefs and so I would not blame you at all. We do have to pick which battles we fight in life, some are worth it and some are not. I still think you should take the hard road, do as much research and planning as you can, and then write a kickass essay on your beliefs. Make it perfect. You might still get a bad grade based solely on the teachers bias, but that is life. I would hate for that to happen to you, but you should face the possibility and stick up for your beliefs.
Man, this has some religious overtones to me. If we were talking about writing an essay on say…opposing viewpoints how the Gulf Stream affects the weather in Ireland…would we be so passionate about ‘beliefs’? No, it’s when we talk about hypothetical unprovable events that may or may not have happened in the distant past that it gets all emotional. “Principles” are invoked. Passions are aroused. On both sides of the aisle. That’s why this debate transcends science.
This is english though. I would say that any essay that is grammatically correct, shows good reasoning should be rewarded. It should not be necessary for you to “prove” one side or the other.
What would you be telling him if it was the other way around? What if a creation-believing student were asked to present a paper touting evolution? Would your advice change?
Yup, my advice is the same either way regarding one’s beliefs.
Also, while I think one should give as strong an argument as one can in any paper one writes, in english the paper should not be graded on whether the argument is “right” or “wrong”. That is not the function of an english class.