Senior man peering through frosted glass
Senior man peering through frosted glass

Intelligent Design Should Not Be Excluded From the Study of Origins

Published at The Guardian

Your article stated that "the government is ready to put evolution on the primary curriculum for the first time after years of lobbying by senior scientists" (Scientists win place for evolution in primary schools, 9 November).

Andrew Copson, director of education at the British Humanist Society, found this "particularly important". The plans, you report, come "in the wake of a recent survey commissioned by the British Council which found that 54% of Britons agreed ... that 'evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism'."

As a former science teacher and schools inspector, I am disturbed that proposals for science education are based on near-complete ignorance of intelligent design. I also think the views of most British people in this matter should not be so readily set aside.

It is an all too common error to confuse intelligent design with religious belief. While creationism draws its conclusions primarily from religious sources, intelligent design argues from observations of the natural world. And it has a good pedigree. A universe intelligible by design principles was the conclusion of many of the great pioneers of modern science.

It is easily overlooked that the origin of life, the integrated complexity of biological systems and the vast information content of DNA have not been adequately explained by purely materialistic or neo-Darwinian processes. Indeed it is hard to see how they ever will.

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