Intelligent Design

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Intelligent design theory makes the claim that due to the irreducible complexity of some biological elements, a designer must be responsible for creating these elements in their present form. Intelligent design proponents claim that their theory has no religious motives, is purely scientific in nature, and that it answers questions that the theory of evolution fails to explain. Proponents further assert that intelligent design should be taught as an alternative to the theory of evolution in science classrooms. Despite these claims, research suggests that intelligent design should not be taught in public science classrooms because its basis of irreducible complexity cannot be proven, it is not an established scientific theory, and its religious underpinnings violate the establishment clause of the first amendment.

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In 1993 Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, coined the term irreducible complexity. Behe asserts that “By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning” (Pennock, 2008, p. 153). Dawin’s theory of evolution assumes that all biological systems, regardless of complexity, formed through gradual changes. Darwin understood that his theory would break down if a biological system could be proven to be irreducibly complex. Behe’s application of irreducible complexity is to attempt to disprove the theory of evolution by pointing out specific biological systems that have not been scientifically reduced to their...

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