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Abstract

Considerable debate has taken place in the last two years over whether or not Intelligent Design (ID) should be taught to high school students. This paper examines some of the basic features of ID as set out by its major proponents. It also outlines the arguments of detractors who would argue that ID is not science, but religion or creationism in disguise. These suggest that ID is a type of ‘god of the gaps’ argument which then languishes when mechanisms accounting for the appearance of complex objects or systems having the hallmarks of design are elucidated by further scientific research. It is also noted that while the complexity, functionality and apparent purpose of biological systems may have the appearance of being designed, other explanations exist. Further, it is noted that design theory is unable to speculate on the mechanism(s) leading to their formation. It is also observed that the design discussion has some general concepts which go beyond the specific ID framework and with which many more Christians in science resonate. Internationally, ID has not featured in school science curricula and attempts to integrate it into Australian school curricula should be very carefully evaluated with respect to the experiences of the global educational and scientific community.

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