Biology profs: Intelligent design is not science

To the biology department, intelligent design is a theory that should stay in philosophy or religion classes.

To Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher the idea of an intelligent designer is a truth as “self-evident” as “two plus two equals four.”

Since several new nominees to the Kentucky Board of Education said intelligent design should be taught in classrooms, Northern Kentucky University biology Professor Miriam Kannan has been worried.

The Kentucky Academy of Sciences of which Kannan is president, issued a statement in December 2005 reaffirming its stance that creationism should not be taught in science classes.

Kannan said she’s had three students drop her classes “because they couldn’t handle” learning about evolution because it conflicted with their religious views.

“I told them that science is not a matter of belief,” she said.

“Scientists consider facts and the facts support evolution.”

The Department of Biological Sciences at NKU was recently upset when Fletcher issued a letter to KAS asking that intelligent design be taught in science classes.

“It disappoints and astounds me that the so-called intelligent elite are so concerned about accepting self-evident truths that nearly 90 percent of the population understands,” Fletcher wrote to KAS.

Fletcher, who has a medical degree, wrote even a computer that is “less sophisticated in function than this writer, was built by an intelligent designer.”

Richard Durtsche is an assistant professor of biology at NKU and also a Christian Church of Disciples of Christ minister.

Durtsche said he teaches evolution in his classroom. “The belief and God and evolution are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

“God uses evolution as a part of his plan.”

Kannan also expressed concern because three recently appointed members of the Kentucky Board of Education have said intelligent design should permitted to be taught in science classes.

“There is absolutely no place for religion in biology,” said Debra Pearce, Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.

“Although intelligent design is inappropriate in science classes, that’s not to say it wouldn’t be appropriate to teach it in other classes, like religion.”