"Intelligent Design" Materials Sneak Onto DISD Teachers' Curriculum Site. Maybe God Did It?

celltheoryslide.jpg
Turns out, Rick Perry was right after all.

What you see at right is a slide I received last night from a fellow Dallas Independent School District parent. It was, until this morning, available on the district's Curriculum Central website, accessible only to teachers and administration and a resource for instructors needing further materials to flesh out what's being taught in class.

This particular slide is part of a fairly standard-looking PowerPoint called "The Cell Theory," which is filled with benign references to the likes of Robert Hooke (the man who coined the word "cell"), Anton Van Leeuwenhoek (creator of the microscope) and the Germans who, in the 1800s, came up with cell theory. See? Educational. Except that last part you see here -- about how cells are "one of the strongest cases for intelligent design by our Creator God!"

That's what riled up this particular parent, who has a child in a district middle school. The PowerPoint, created by one Jim Sullivan of Cells Alive! and initially posted to something called The World of Teaching, was sent home for further review by a teacher. So the parent and child reviewed it. At which point the parent saw "intelligent design" in a science presentation and flipped out. So too did a lot of other parents at this particular junior high. Which is why it landed in my lap -- and why I asked district spokesman Jon Dahlander if he wouldn't mind looking into it.

[Update: Sullivan says he is not responsible for the materials. Via email he writes, "I had nothing to do with creating the PowerPoint and do not know who did, although I would certainly like to see the presentation. Often, people take materials from my website, CELLS alive!, for their own purposes but this use is a low blow."]

This morning, Dahlander called back and confirmed: The presentation was indeed on the Curriculum Central website, from which it was promptly deleted. Says Dahlander, 3700 Ross is trying to find out who made the docs available. And in the meantime,  he says, a directive was sent out this afternoon in which "curriculum directors have been reminded to review their quality control system, as well as to review all links on the Curriculum Central. We were very disappointed to see it there, and it was removed immediately."
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jeffhintx
jeffhintx

This goes way beyond Lysenkoism and will ultimately create the same results.

dave
dave

What?  This made it into the curriculum and Texas hasn't burned to the ground?  The entire state hasn't been looted?

The most ridiculous thing about these ardent anti-religious nuts (and that's saying something) is being so offended by someone offering an opinion.  Does his opinion, clearly labeled as same and in the last friggin paragraph on the last friggin page - really have to discredit the entirety of the presentation?  So what's the downside?  That your child may come home and ask you "Mom/Dad what is God?  I saw this slide show today..............." or ask a teacher the same thing to which they could reply "you should ask your parents tonight about that, Timmy" and start a real conversation that may lead a child to seek and learn?  Is that not the point of education?

But no, that's not good enough.  The very mention of anything other than what you happen to believe and champion is completely unacceptable.  The irony of that, of course, is that (you) are the ones who happen to fancy yourselves as the intellectually enlightened and advanced. 

A large part of real intelligence is being able to listen to, and allow, another point of view and discuss in an adult manner void of sophmoric insults, partisan rhetoric and outright demagougery.  Why would you insist the school teach only teach one theory which cannot be proven in lieu of, or in conjuction with, another theory that cannot be proven?  Let the kids know that there exist more than one theory about how we all came to be and let them take it from there. 

Michael C
Michael C

1. Texas HAS actually been burning to the ground, but probably not related to this PPT slide. It's probably because of the gays or something like that.

2. This slide wasn't his opinion - it was the opinion of someone else who added the slide without permission or approval.

3. And finally, creationism, intelligent design, whatever you want to call it, isn't science. If this slide was in a religion class, perfect. But it wasn't. 

dave
dave

1.  How did gay people enter the equation?2.  How does who's opinion it is change anything?  It's an opinion, labeled as an opinion and offered as an opinion.  Nothing more, nothing less. 3.  SCIENCE cannot definitively account for where we came from.  Until it can, theories are all we have. All theories should be mentioned. Give the scientific theory.  Give the non-scientific theory(s).  Let the kids do a little critical thinking. 

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

Wow, its hard to know where to begin.First of all, the scientific theory IS more provable than the non-scientific one. The evidence supporting evolution is so well supported that evolution is considered a fact. Besides, any SCIENTIFIC theory has a stronger position to be taught in a SCIENCE class than a NON-scientific theory does. Its a SCIENCE class. Only scientific ideas belong in science classes. Its not that the scientific evidence for creation is weak, its that its not scientific at all. It doesn't meet the requirements of being considered scientific. It is not-science. Not-science has no place in teaching science. I find it really hard to believe you're having so much trouble with that.

Paul
Paul

Dave it is OK in a science class that the Theory of Evolution does not address the origin of live, because it does not.

It is not appropriate to bring up the various creation ideas in a science class as they cannot be verified by the scientific method.

Any scientist will gladly and willingly agree that the Creation cannot be proved or verified by the scientific method.

dave
dave

When the scientific theory is no more provable than the non-scientific, specifically. 

Made up nonsense in math class?  You mean like Google Complex being the largest interger.  Can you prove that?  Why can't you add 1 to Google Complex.  Can you prove that a line of tangent gets infinitely closer to a fixed line without ever touching it?  The theory says that the distance becomes closer because the fractional distance keeps getting smaller.  If numbers have a cap, then it cannot get infinately closer, can it? 

What should we teach kids regarding the beginning of all life, in your opinion?  Should we just ignore it and hope they don't ask? 

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

"All theories should be mentioned. Give the scientific theory. Give the non-scientific theory(s)."

Seriously?You do realize we're talking about a science class, right?Under what circumstances would it be proper to give non-scientific theories in a science class? We might as well be teaching made-up nonsense math in math class.

dave
dave

I totally agree, Paul.  Great post.  I think for the purposes of education you do children a disservice "picking up the story" in the middle and ignoring the beginning.  As a biologist (not by trade, but by education) I know evolution to be scientific fact.  I just don't see any harm whatsoever in mentioning that evolution - by it's very definition - does not, and cannot account for how matter came to exist.  It is at this point that you introduce all theories and let the kids take it from there. Mention, not linger. As a christian and a man who believes in God I can tell you that those beliefs are not at odds with evolution so I fail to see any logic in an argument that would try and predict any possible negative ramifications of all theories being presented as it pertains to how matter came to be initially. 

Paul
Paul

The Theory of Evolution has nothing to say about how life began.  The Theory of Evolution posits how life adapts to changes in the environment and unoccupied niches in the environment.  Nothing more, Nothing less.

Intelligent Design is at best a hypothesis and will remain that way according to the scientific method as it cannnot be tested, nor is there evidence to support.  There is at best a hoc, ergo sum argument.

The Creation is and will remain a matter of faith and not of science.  At least until someone invents the CreatorScope which can detect the presence of the Creator.

As far as evolution is concerned a successful plant or animal is one that can pass its genetic material to offspring that survive to reproduce and pass on their genetic material.

An unsuccessful plant or animal is one that does not survive to reproduce.

Anything beyond that is considered gravy in the Theory of Evolution.

NONE
NONE

and then....."which came FIRST, the Chicken or the Egg.....and did the Chicken DESIGN her OWN egg, or did the EGG decide to grow wings and eat worms when it hatched?   Oh, the humanity!!!!

NONE
NONE

Global Warming clearly ONLY explainable by Intelligent Design.....without the guidance of a higher power, man would not be able to screw up the environment so well....the other animals don't do so much, unless you count methane farting!  Gotta be a God....no MAN is going to take the heat for polution.....

Tom
Tom

Yeah, baby. Wouldn't want anybody rationally considering actual intelligence behind the vast and minute complexity of everything that surrounds us day by day. Somebody might wanna hold us accountable for the things we do! Meanwhile, who is this "creator" that allegedly endowed "all us men who were created equal" with "certain unalienable rights?" And if He didn't give us those rights, who did? After all, aren't the Bush family members and their "business and political spinoffs" the real "gods" of this culture? Why else would we be sending our kids to kill and be killed for them?

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

"Wouldn't want anybody rationally considering actual intelligence behind the vast and minute complexity of everything that surrounds us day by day"

For the 9,318th time, there's nothing wrong with considering that. Just don't get it confused with science.

Tom
Tom

....which is really just to ask, is it OK, according to the "really smart" albeit crass and graceless, latter-day American materialists to talk about "an almighty creator" as the source of the legitimacy of everything the USA is supposed to be founded on? Or was Mr. Jefferson just blowing smoke when he said, "God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time?"

pots and pans
pots and pans

Intelligent design is not intelligent... it's not based in fact or science.... it's just creationism repackaged... it belongs in Church, not science class. Come on America, you are better than letting these radicals subvert the education system.

Electronic Cigarette
Electronic Cigarette

I love living in Texas... but this type of s**t just gets on my nerves. Teach our kids facts in schools and religion in church.

Red80
Red80

Why can the teacher not teach an alternative approach to an unproved theory of Evolution. Creation (ID) is an alternative theory and should be taught since it is the second most widely accepted theory of the beginning of the world.  Both theories are taught in most Christian schools, why can both theories not be taught in the schools my tax  dollars are paying to support (and ran poorly for that matter).

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

ID is not a scientific theory. It doesnt make any scientific predictions. The Young Earth idea that the planet is only 6,000 years old can be considered a scientific theory, since it predicts that the elements that make up the earth should be no older than 6,000 years old. But that's been thoroughly disproved.

D.F.
D.F.

Must be nice to see ID as an actual scientific option. I think FSM http://www.venganza.org has just as much proof behind it.

Babyjesus
Babyjesus

god just poop'd in my pants.

Wpatm
Wpatm

Just consider the prophecies from the bible.  Israel has returned.  Keep an eye out for the Holy Temple to be rebuilt.  The Ark of Covenant will return.  A great war will come to Israel and G-d will cause a great Earthquake that the Whole world will know about and save Israel.  Also all the foreshadowing of Jesus in the old testament and references from the new testament.  There is a lot of truth in the bible and a lot of prophecies that I haven't mentioned that are still to come.  

Montemalone
Montemalone

I think I saw that on the History Channel, right after Ancient Aliens.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

Junk history is no improvement over junk science and junk theology.

Bmarvel
Bmarvel

May God save us from another arid arid and tedious debate on evolution vs. creationism. Acceptance of evolution is NOT tantamount to atheism, nor has science somehow managed to disprove the existence of God. If those clinging to one or the other of these false assertions would just shut up, there'd be nothing left to discuss, and we could go back to talking about the Trinity River toll road or something useful.  

     

Evolutionist Atheist
Evolutionist Atheist

Very quick lesson for you all: Equality and evolution are absolutely irreconcilable and incompatible belief systems.I believe in evolution. I believe it's an ongoing process. I believe it has rendered us all, individually and among groups, with a "diverse" set of skills and traits.To believe in equality and evolution simultaneously, you'd have to believe in a process that took millions of years but somehow, against all mathematical odds and every shred of reason, rendered all ethnic groups cognitively and physically equal from here to eternity.What's truly religious is your blind, naive, unquestioning belief in innate human equality and the "blank slate," because all the available evidence contradicts it. That's why you seek to demonize anyone who dares challenge what is to you a deeply held folk-religious belief.Let the name-calling commence. I realize it's all you have.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

I get what you're saying, and I totally agree.White people are clearly inferior to everyone else.

Leigh Williams
Leigh Williams

Good lord, you're ignorant.  There is one race, the human race, which is quite remarkably UN-diverse genetically.  Your appeal to the theory of evolution in support of bigotry is 180 degrees wrong.  But here, let the American Anthropological Association set you right on the issue:  www.understandingrace.org

Tom
Tom

"Bingo!," Leigh. You immediately got the "very quick lesson!"

Nicholas Reichart
Nicholas Reichart

yep, tell that to asians who are lactose intolerant, or whites you have wisdom teeth crowding or black with rare blood phenotypes and extra muscle structures the rest of us don't have

drklassen
drklassen

ID is *not* a theory.

Jel5
Jel5

Agreed.  Although it purports to explain everything (thereby explaining nothing) with the shibboleth "God did it", ID has, as far as I can tell, no explanatory power.  These two elements, broad explanatory capacity and the ability to generate predictions which lead to incisive experiments along with the quality of falsifiabillity are the hallmarks of a theory.  ID fails on two of these and probably on the third as well.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

There is no such thing as "Intelligent Design".

This fact is *clearly* demonstrated by the people that advocate the very idea. 

SteveT
SteveT

To arlocrescent:

If you listen carefully you will hear in the voices of scientists complete wonder, amazement, adoration, and worship of the intricacy and vastness of the natural world--this is a lot deeper than semantics.

jeffhintx
jeffhintx

Nope sorry, science is the use of the most complete toolbox available. 

A scientist might choose to claim that God is the owner of the toolbox, and that is perfectly fine and dandy, but the idea is that the toolbox is only limited by our ability to see and use the tools. Intelligent Design states that some things are simply too complex and intricate and can only be summed up as a "miracle", and therefore cannot be explained through science alone, and it also claims that biblical verse offers the only real explanation for some questions.Don't take my word for it, look it up for yourself. 

Paul
Paul

The deficiency in the argument as presented above for intelligent design is that the conclusion is based upon induction, not deduction.  The induced conclusion is but one of many that can be made from the same line of reasoning.

For example, there are the breakfast cereal advertisements that end with a picture of the table setting with a glass of orange juice, some toast and bacon slices along with the obligatory bowl of cereal with the tag line: "Part of this nutritious breakfast".  Well, I can stick a piece of scrap pig iron in the bowl instead of the cereal and the tag line is still just as true.

Did God create the world?  You betcha, but this is a matter of faith, not scientific inquiry.  Personally, I think that God came up with the idea of evolution for the development of life.

BTW, the most significant part of evolution is bilateral symmetry.

I want my money back
I want my money back

Intelligent design is the last thing public schools have to worry about.

Look at the graphic on this page.

Ouch.

http://www.freedomworks.org/bl...

D.F.
D.F.

As an educator I think you need to put some numbers on the y axis. Fed spending in Ohio schools is a pretty small part of our budget. Most of our funding is local and state (there is some fed money in the state funding but it's not broken out for us). Also not the biggest part of that growth is in the Every Child Left Behind era (thanks Paula!)

And you are using freedom works as a source? Strawman lovers unite!

pak152
pak152

hopefully parents will be as diligent in rooting the Climate Change religion materials

Amy S
Amy S

I might be wrong, but if there is a God, then he doesn't want or need credit for his work. But that 's just my opinion.

Catbird
Catbird

Dear Amy:

From Genesis through Revelation, the scriptures tell us that the primary fnction of mankind is to worship and glorify God in all things and in this case, it would be the scientific study of His created universe - some people call it "Intelligent Design". 

But don't trust me, you can read it for yourself in any Holy Bible,   

I use the Harper Collins Study Bible myself, New Revised Standard Version.

It's a really good read and I think you'd like it.

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

" ...the scriptures tell us that the primary fnction of mankind is to worship and glorify God in all things..."

Yes, Amy, God is apparently much more insecure and needy than you'd think an omnipotent being would be.

Montemalone
Montemalone

The insecure and needy are the charlatans that claim to speak for the spaghetti monster on Sunday.

Amy S
Amy S

Maybe I am wrong, but wasn't the bible written by man?

Montemalone
Montemalone

amen, awoman, adog , and aeverything else to that.

Paul
Paul

Actually, no.  I have spent most of my life working and living outdoors.  The daily weather and the changes from day to day and season to season affect my life and how I plan my days.

Certain times of the year are for certain activities.  The days when the weather are most pleasant are the days that I reflect on creation.

Just as certain times in our lives we experience joy and happiness and on other days we experience sadness and despair.

I believe that it is part of the human condition knowing that there are beautiful times is what gets us through the less desirable times of our lives.

hth y Vaya con Dios

Nicholas Reichart
Nicholas Reichart

which god?  there are thousands of religions all claiming to have the TrueGod(TM)

Nicholas Reichart
Nicholas Reichart

you only appreciate the day because if it were any other way and you lived in the wild, you would have to worry about it

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

amy, your comment made me think of this NSFW video. Makes me smile. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...Catbird, the 40th Chapter of Job is one of the finest pieces of religious literature I know. Really moving. Glad you two exchanged peace. well done. 

Amy S
Amy S

Likewise Catbird. Go in peace.

Catbird
Catbird

Paul thought the same thing and by passed the institutional "church" of his day for a direct relationship with Jesus Christ, you can read about it in the first chapter of Corinthians if you're interested.

I whish you well Amy S.

Amy S
Amy S

Good for Job, neither did I.

I happen to think that God doesn't care about what we say, or don't say, it's about what we do. And I'm very willing to incorporate the possibility that I'm wrong about God, which is why I include the caveat, if God exists. I guess neither you, nor I will ever be absolutely certain if she is up there giggling or getting pissed off at me. Unless maybe, you've had some sort of direct answer? Because I haven't, lately.

But I find your view to encompass the very intolerance that drives me away from church.

Paul
Paul

I agree Amy S, many times I will walk outside and say to myself, "On a beautiful day such as today, how can anyone deny the existence of the Creator."

The "bad days" have something to do with free will.

Catbird
Catbird

Job never gave up on the Lord, why did you?

Amy S
Amy S

Been there, done that. Catbird. You calling me Godless? You don't even know me.

Catbird
Catbird

After all these years Amy, don't you think you ought to pick it up and give it a try? That's where you'll find the answer.

Amy S
Amy S

To clarify my point, I might be wrong, but I think (if there is a God) she would appreciate  recognition like "It's a beautiful day" as surely as "God made today beautiful".

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