Dear Mr. Chen,
As you mentioned, the issue of intelligent design and evolution has continued to escalate in various settings across the United States of America, to the point that I've had to wake up after a century of quiet rest and start communicating these postings from the grave.
The Dover trial has continued for four weeks and as the fifth and final week begins, I, being both a phantasm and a scientist, can no longer stay silent. Adults and even self-declared “experts” surround the debate with scientific jargon and legal lingo, while arguing as to the constitutionality of mandating the a disclaimer that mentions intelligent design and endorses Of Pandas and People
in the public school science classroom.
Basically, evolution is a fact.
Consider some eminent scientist-types who've weighed in on the controversy.
Dr. Kenneth Miller, Ph.D. of Brown University wrote in an open letter:
The scientific case for evolution is, indeed, overwhelming, and at the trial I gave several hours of detailed testimony documenting that fact. You are, of course, welcome to claim that there is “not a shred” of evidence for evolution. But had you been present in the courtroom, I suspect you would not make that statement.
Dr. Robert T. Pennock, Ph.D. of Michigan State University testified that (from the York Daily Record):
Intelligent design proponents’ ultimate goal is to create a revolution in science, taking it back to the days when epilepsy was believed to have been caused by divine possession and gravity was thought to be the result of “spooky action at a distance.”
Others, including Dr. Barbra Forrest, Ph.D. of Southeast Louisiana University and Dr. Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education are offering their testimonies against the "intelligent design statement" of the Dover Area School District.
Consider also William Dembski, who has consistently claimed that intelligent design can accommodate all the results of evolutionary theory. Where's the beef?
The issue is whether non-science has any place in a science class in any official capacity--whether teachers can be forced to read a statement endorsing a textbook that is explicitly religious, whether there is any
demarcation between science and non-science, whether, if Michael Behe is right, astrology is a science, and teachers ought to mention it in a disclaimer before starting the Planets Unit.
Overwhelmed by decades of research advances, science teachers across America teach evolution as a scientific fact. As the National Science Teachers Association states, "There is no longer a debate among scientists about whether evolution has taken place. There is considerable debate about how evolution has taken place." This is a solid and honest science education. Individual teachers are certainly allowed to talk about Intelligent Design, or answer their students' questions--but districts that try to force teachers to promote an "alternative" are not only tyrannical, but silly.
After reading much on both sides of the debate, I have concluded, as an inquiring student, that evolution is not sufficient enough to explain certain aspects of our current universe. Intelligent design has emerged as the better explanation for the origin of the universe.
Well, sorry, young and vital Mr. Chen, that evolution is inadequate to explain the Big Bang. Not exactly within its purview. Keep inquiring, and someday you'll get it.
We agree on one thing: "However, personal opinions do not matter in this case, the truth does." Your misrepresentation of the facts of the case makes this claim exceedingly ironic. Merely mentioning intelligent design isn't being "banned from schools," just as individual prayer hasn't been "banned from schools." Rather, school-endorsed pseudoscientific religious tracts and school-led prayers are out. Students still have access to a robust science education, and can ask all the questions they want about Intelligent Design.