Intelligent design a 'non-event' for NSW Catholic schools

Catholic schools have distanced themselves from the furore surrounding the teaching of intelligent design in science classes, insisting the theory must be discussed only in religion classes.

CLICK HEREToday's Sydney Morning Herald quotes the executive director of the NSW Catholic Education Commission, Brian Croke, who told the paper's reporter: "For Catholic schools, intelligent design is simply a non-event."

In September, Sydney's Cardinal George Pell said that while the theory of evolution is compatible with the church's teaching, it is sometimes taught "in an anti-God way" and he'd "be happy for [science teachers] to talk about design or intelligent design [ID]".

The main focus of today's Herald article is a NSW Greens call for the stripping of funds from private schools that "teach the intelligent design 'myth' as science".

The paper said an advocate of intelligent design, state MP, Rev Fred Nile, said it was a "ridiculous intimidating threat" and he staunchly defended the right of schools to challenge Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in science classes.

Leading advocates of the theory are Christian community and Seventh Day Adventist schools, with many already teaching the controversial American doctrine.

Government funding figures obtained by the Greens show that about 80 Christian community schools in NSW received more than $140 million in taxpayer funding during a one-year period. They educated 25,000 students and received $98 million in federal funding in 2003 and $42 million from the State Government in 2003-04.

The 23 NSW Seventh Day Adventist Schools received $19.8 million in the same period for 4200 students - $13.3 million from the Federal Government and $6.5 million from the state.

Cut funds to myth advocates: Greens (Sydney Morning Herald 15/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Education Commission NSW
Evolution and Intelligent Design - Eureka Street Comment (Jesuits Australia)

Pell 'agnostic' on intelligent design (CathNews 5/9/05)
Continuing debate on Minister's support for intelligent design teaching (CathNews 29/8/05)
Vatican Observatory head clashes with cardinal on evolution (CathNews 8/8/05)
Cardinal redefines Church's view on evolution (CathNews 11/7/05)
Vatican Observatory sponsors conference on evolution (CathNews 22/6/04)
Vatican scientist joins effort to define new object in solar system (CathNews 29/3/04)
'Intelligent design' theory threatens evolution in US schools (CathNews 24/11/04)

How design supporters insult God's intelligence (Sydney Morning Herald 15/11/05)
Creation and Evolution: To the Debate as It Stands (kath.net 14/11/05)
Linda Doherty: In a class of their own (Sydney Morning Herald 15/11/05)
Designer God? Vatican experts debate fine points of evolution (Catholic News Service 11/11/05)
Science friction: God's defenders target 3000 schools (Sydney Morning Herald 14/11/05)
The God of small things (Sydney Morning Herald 14/11/05)
Pope Echoes Arguments of Intelligent Design Advocates (Religion News Service/Beliefnet 9/11/05)
World is 'intelligent project' that reflects divine origin, pope says (Catholic News Service 10/11/05)
Theory of evolution compatible with Bible: Vatican (The Australian/The Times 7/11/05)
Editorial: Of God and science (The Age 24/10/05)
Don't teach design theory: scientists (The Age 21/10/05)
John Cameron: Re theories that don't add up (The Age 21/10/05)
Ban design theory in class: scientists (The Australian 21/10/05)
Letters: Intelligent design makes mockery of science teaching (The Australian 21/10/05)
God versus Science? (Vatican Radio English Features 10/10/05, audio - requires Real Player)

15 Nov 2005