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Equal Time for Intelligent Design?

An Intimate Debate Case



Author:

Clyde Freeman Herreid
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo
herreid@buffalo.edu

Abstract:

Whether Intelligent Design should be taught in a science classroom is a serious problem. This case study tackles the issue head-on by using intimate debate, a pedagogical structure in which small student groups are subdivided into opposing student pairs that take turns arguing each side of the issue. There is no audience for these concurrent mini-debates, and the session concludes with groups reaching consensus. This case study would be appropriate in general biology or advanced courses where the focus is on evolution.

Objectives:
  • Learn the basic arguments made for and against the teaching of Intelligent Design.
  • Understand how social, political, and societal forces may get involved in science.
  • Evaluate arguments and marshal evidence for or against a position.
  • Discuss a controversial topic civilly and to look at both sides of the issue.
Keywords: Intelligent design; Dover decision; creationsim; evolution; anthropic principle; irreducible complexity; science curriculum
Topical Area: Pseudoscience, Policy issues, Scientific argumentation, Social issues
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, General public & informal education, Faculty development
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Intimate Debate, Dilemma/Decision
Language: English
Subject Headings: Evolutionary Biology   Biology (General)   Science (General)   Science Education   Teacher Education  
Date Posted: 06/30/07
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes


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Supplemental Materials


Teachers interested in the ID controversy are encouraged to read the judge’s summary in the court decision below for the critical relevant arguments.

 

  Decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover, by Judge John E. Jones, December 20, 2005



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