Public schools are now embroiled in the controversy over the teaching of intelligent design. Eric Schansberg points out that we wouldn’t have this problem if there were more choice in education. But neither education elitists nor theocrats are big on educational freedom. “They wage battle within the monopoly, hoping to capture the process and force their view of truth down the throats of others,” he writes.

Read the complete commentary here.


  • http://www.slantright.com Theway2k

    Being a “theocrat” not interested in monopoly, ID could be taught alongside evolution allowing students to come to an educated conclusion. Yet elitist teachers prefer to denigrate ID and insist evolution is truth rather than theory disallowing alternatives by slick cries of separation of church and state. Now that is hogwash.

  • G. Tingey

    “Let’s put down our weapons and give all Americans freedom to educate their children as they see fit.”

    Including, presumably, the right to tell deliberate lies to the children in your charge?
    Because that is what ID is – a deliberate lie.
    It is NOT science, it is theology, and not particularly godd theology at that.

    If people wish to believe, theologically, in ID (Complete with defects like the appendix in humans) that’s up to them.
    But it has no place in a science class.

    Can you not see this, since it is in fact a simple, and true proposition?

  • K Larsen

    Yes, G. Tingey, including the right to tell deliberate lies to the children in your charge. Students who are not taught scientific orthodoxy willl enjoy or endure a consequence for that. Judgements about that consequence will inform parents decisions about who educates their children.

    Thank you Prof. Schansberg. I am in whole hearted agreement that most often, controversies about what to teach or how to teach it or even how to operate schools with regard to health and safety would best be addressed by leaving the solutions up to the free choice of the consumers of education and those who would be suppliers of education.

    We have chosen to educate our children at home. There are financial costs and some angst over the many thousands of dollars of our property tax bill that goes to support our local public school. And of course there is an enormous commitment of the most valuable resource, time. But it seems the best available alternative at this time. Even the private schools (we tried 2) are so influenced by the monopoly public school system, they don’t offer real choice.

  • John Holmes

    Intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. In psychology, the study of intelligence is related to the study of personality but is not the same as creativity, personality, character, or wisdom. Attributing intelligence to a designer of some sort is equivalent to attributing the limited capacity of the human brain to an omnipotent creator. As I think about it, using my limited intelligence, I understand that the entire notion of “intelligent design” is the product of limited human brains seeking to impose their limitations on God. Why would believers want to do that, much less force the teaching of such an obviously thought constraining view of creation? Evolution as Darwin understood it is certainly not the last word on the matter, but at least it leaves the doors open to a more complete understanding of how this all came to be.

  • J Crichton

    G. Tingey, you are missing the point of D. Schansberg’s article. It is not about which one should be taught but releasing the monopoly of the school system from the state. This way people can choose where to educate their kids and in what way, not the government. Whether ID is an a good theory is of no relevance. If people want to teach their kids that, that is their decision and they should have the freedom to send their kids to a school as such.

  • jeff

    G.Tingey, you are missing the point of the article by D. Schansberg. Irrespective of which theory is more credible, ID or evolution, the point is that the state should remove their monopoly from education. This way parents can decide what they want their kids taught. With the state involved in education their have to provide for everybody’s needs simultaneously which in the end results in nobodies needs being met. This would also restore the rightful place of the parents raising their kids and not the state trying to raise them.

  • http://www.slantright.com Theway2k

    I am not a scientist but I can look up “theory” in the dictionary. I am very religious so I do not consider ID a “lie.” To say that Darwinian theory is fact is a lie. I want the choice to choose what my children are taught and they can decide what is truth and what is a lie.

  • Dale Milne

    John Holmes writes, “In psychology, the study of intelligence is related to the study of personality but is not the same as creativity, personality, character, or wisdom. Attributing intelligence to a designer of some sort is equivalent to attributing the limited capacity of the human brain to an omnipotent creator.”

    I believe it is more accurate to say: ‘In human psychology, the study of human intelligence is related to the study of human personality but is not the same as creativity, personality, character, or wisdom. Attributing human intelligence to a non-human designer of some sort is as faulty as attributing divine understanding and wisdom to creatures that deny that divinity both within and without themselves.’ The issue of intelligent design, so far as I can tell, is not, at present, immediately concerned with Personality, or the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. When the dust settles, and as the arguments on both sides develop, these are certainly topics that must be considered, and are a necessary component of intelligent design such as we see has purposed the cosmos. And as each topic is developed, I am confident that it will be seen that only through a concert of these qualities can intelligent design have been accomplished, and only through their concert can “life, the universe, and everything” be adequately explained.

  • John Holmes

    Dayle Milne makes an excellent point. There may indeed be a devine intelligence beyond the human ability to understand or describe it. My point, however, is not to deny that possibility. I don’t think the intelligent design Mr. Milne is prepared to wonder about is the "intelligent design" being pushed by those who want it taught in schools as science. That brand of ID seeks to end the discussion, not open it up.

  • Frank Brideau

    I have recently published a book called Intelligent Design of Personality. In Intelligent Design of Personality I make, I believe, a strong and definitive case that Personality development is more a science then an art form.

    In particular, as referenced against the characteristics of science accepted in U.S. law from the 1982 court decision, McLean vs Arkansas Board of Education, my theory of personality development justifies itself on all accounts.

    The essential characteristics of science are:

    1) It is guided by [physical or biological] law;

    2) It has to be explanatory by reference to natural law;

    3) It is testable against the empirical world;

    4) Its conclusions are tentative, are not necessarily the final word; and

    5) It is falsifiable[or, more accurately, makes predictions that can be tested by observation],

    My theory in the text, Intelligent Design of Personality, first of all, uses Natural Law, those “unchanging moral principles common to all human beings” Oxford Dictionary, 1998, as it’s foundation. In the second instance, I use many natural biological processes of homeostasis, reflexes, imprinting and the “natural” Pleasure Selection Principle, all governed by Natural Law, to explain how organized, orderly and explicit the biological processes are at arriving at their objective, the production of a moral human being. Thirdly, I reveal, with many examples, how testable, predictable and definitive the theory is against the real or empirical world. In the final analysis, it is readily accepted that the theory is tentative, i.e., that it will be improved upon in the future and that it is falsifiable not only by observation but would stand the scrutiny of the laboratory on all accounts.

    The Natural Personality theory, essentially, uses evolution as a stepping stone to the realization that there is order and organization laid upon the human spirit that far exceeds the relatively small and slow input of evolution. In essence, evolution is the track upon which the far superior human spirit engine runs, and the proof of this native morality in man is the real and present existence of Natural Law.

    I believe the proponents of both evolution and intelligent design will find the text both informative, uplifting and restorative of faith in human dignity. You will be able to read more about the book at my website [www.intelligentdesignofpersonality.com].
    Yours sincerely,
    Frank Brideau

  • http://www.slantright.com/ Theway2k

    It does sound like a fascinating read. Are you attempting a dialetic synthesis between ID and Evolution? Just wondering.

  • http://www.intelligentdesignofpersonality.com fbrideau

    My initial objective was a synthesis of the psychology of personality development. The outcome of the work points to a synthesis between ID and evolution. I believe evolution is the first rung of the ladder and what we refer to as intelligent design, is the ladder itself, an individual being functioning as a whole entity and ,at the same time, totally integrated within the larger human species.