Britain is in everything just one step behind the USA. They are the first in Europe to import the Intelligent Design debate too. There is people of unknown protestant church, well-trained in the psychological and the rhetorical skill, who are going around the country and pushing the agenda that Creationsm should be included in the UK school curriculum, namely in the Biology class. Recently, they started to get TV air time too!
They carefully picked an argument that is difficult to oppose in a country taking pride in its democratic traditions - "Students must be introduced to all available hypotheses, not just one." How to go about it?
For every TV debate the well-wishing Journalist picks as an opponent some big name in Biology. Unfortunately, this translates into an 80-year-old professor nearing dementia, who has spent the better part of his life torturing fruit flies. Naturally, with such a pass-time, he is a fanatic ultra-atheist (chemists and biologists mostly are), who could not even make a rational argument about why in fact he dismisses God (you will be surprised how few atheists can).
His only intelligible response to the Creationist's wiles is "It's not a Theory! There is no evidence!! SHOW ME A GRAM OF EVIDENCE, THE LEAST GRAM OF EVIDENCE AND I WILL BELIEVE YOU!!! YOU HAVE NONE!!!!" degenerating into a saliva-sprinkling scream...
At this point, a visitor from Mars would quite believe that Creationists are the reasonable guys and Scientists are some nuts mollahs.
However, the Journalist saves the day for Science! The TV Journalist ultimately tells you about Good and Bad. (The Russians are Bad, the Americans are Good. Bush is Bad, Obama is Good.) You hear it every day on the evening news. To trust his decision has become a habit. So far (take a note on the year - 2007) the Journalist stages his interviews in such a way that the Creationist comes out as The Bad Guy no matter his well thought-out answers or the nonsense coming from the science grand-dad.
Maybe one day we will have a pro-Intelligent Design presenter in BBC and then we will all start to believe in God?
"Students must be introduced to all available hypotheses, not just one." Sounds very rationalistic and democratic, right?
The correct answer to this is an argument which I haven't heard spelled out yet! Here it is:
If Creationism claims to be a science, and wants to be thought in the schools in the guise of a science hypothesis, it has to establish itself in the scientific way. To be ruthlessly attacked and accepted through peer-review. This is what happens to EVERY scientific hypothesis. It happens to Theory of Evolution* thousands of times every year!
Creationism's road to recognition does not go through battle in the heads of the clueless school students. It is no task for the school teenager to decide for himself whether Creationism is a viable scientific theory or not. That battle should take its proper place in the scientific journals. If Creationism has even a grain of potential, that grain will develop in the journals, through a, no doubt, fiery discussion. Then, God bless, one day the worthy bits will find their place in the Biology class in schools too.
Until that happens, however, Intelligent Design could only be mentioned in the Religion and Philosophy classes, maybe somewhere after the 88 incarnations of Brahma**.
*Today Theory of Evolution is far beyond Darwin's original work. Huge amount of it is by now developed into mathematical models and equations and they seem to make perfect sense. In fact, this is a weapon that needs to get more publicity. The public still equates Theory of Evolution with 'Theory of Darwin, 19th century'. Scientists need to show that it is an evolving, modern science, making progress by the day. And more importantly: requiring lots of boring effort and abstruse calculations - then the reverence reserved for Physicists will kick in on their side too!
**Oh, yeah, there is a second argument lurking there! How many religions would agree with the design theory promoted by a certain subspecies of american-borne protestants? Do the the orthodox and the catholic share the same view on God's tricks with the dinosaurs? What about the muslims or the hinduists idea for creation of the Earth? I've never seen their views on the subject being aired! Shouldn't we teach in class a dozen different 'hypotheses' for the life's origin?
However, ID-proponents (some of them are scientists with degrees!) know well that little will survive from their wishful construction if it passes through the scientific discussion. That's why they prefer to do battle with mellow and impressionable brains of youngsters. Their dream is to be aided by the Law in preaching to a large enough portion of the young population. So that in twenty years the tide of belief might turn in their favour... Then probably TV presenters will be keen to finish off the debates with a different set of conclusions from today...