Intelligent design is a scientific theory

24th February 2006 at 00:00
It's disappointing that a scientist such as Chris Turney can't be more accurate in his observations ("Keep creationism out of classrooms", TES, February 10).

He must know that only a small proportion of those who believe that intelligent design is a better explanation for life than chance also believe that the Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago. He should also know that evolution, while providing an explanation for many biological processes, is far from the complete answer to what we see around us.

It is incontestable that scientific explanations are always of the "what we understand so far" variety; what has in the past been regarded as final truth has always been superseded. This is not a bad thing, as long as we remember it.

Intelligent design and irreducible complexity are scientific theories, as valid as string theory and the multiverse. The fact that we cannot test something does not mean it is invalid; it may mean simply that we have not developed the right test yet.

Let's face it: decisions in American courts say nothing of value about scientific truth. I find it reassuring that so many people in this country feel that children should be made aware of the evidence for intelligent design, whether in science lessons or elsewhere.

Most people who see the arguments for intelligent design would have no objection to evolution being taught as well. It is a pity that so many scientists - though by no means all - seem to want to polarise the arguments and deprive children of the right to hear different points of view.

It is also a little disturbing that so many people who want to deprive children of information about a possible God would apparently like to be regarded as gods themselves.

T D Lenton

Aspland Road


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