Hi, I’m here to settle the debate regarding evolution vs. intelligent design. Not to settle which is ‘correct,’ but how to teach it in school.
Here’s my idea:
Nobody knows every single actual, proveable, factual fact of the matter. But there are all sorts of bits of information, some huge and some tiny, about the past and present world. There are remains of rocks and animals and plants that no longer exist. The food chain and water cycle and adaptation of plant and animal species is endlessly interesting. The earth has changed and is changing. In short, there is a lot to study, but no one theory can explain everything.
So, why not just teach the facts without teaching theory? Why not let the students put the facts together themselves and draw their own conclusions? Why not use this as an example of how even the most brilliant thinkers cannot answer everything? Why not give them a chance to figure it all out?
I always saw a clear connection between creation and evolution. I don’t belive in the pop culture version of a white-bearded creator with a walking stick and flowing robes (uh, Zeus, anyone?). But I do think that the idea of things evolving as they are being ‘created’ makes sense. The most obvious example would be sculpting with clay. You can start with a block and gradually shape it into a form, say a woman’s face. As it is being created it will take different forms. The act of creation is an evolutionary process. The things that work stick around, the things that don’t are phased out.
If you want to translate the bible literally, though, and believe that somebody instantly created humans as they are today out of dirt (don’t get me started on the rib idea grrrrrrrr) then I can’t help you. But, that wouldn’t be part of the classroom lesson anyhow, as the lesson would be based on stuff that’s been told to us by the planet and not the beings on it.