January 6, 2011
The Differences Between Creationism and Intelligent Design
Intelligent design is the search for God’s existence through science. Scientists seek to prove it through particular intelligent design of features in organisms. Essentially, they try to explain miracles beyond what can be rationalized by natural selection/breeding. Creationism, on the other hand, is the belief that humanity, life, the Earth, and the universe are the creation of a supernatural being. Overall, the roots of Creationism are based in biblical fundamentalism and narrow, literal readings of the bible.
Teaching creationism is banned form being taught in public schools by the U.S. Constitution, thanks to the requirement of a separation between church and state. On the other hand, it is possible that teaching intelligent design could be legal. While intelligent design seeks to prove the existence of God through science, in the absence of proof, it is neutral on the topic of religion. If God is found to belong to a spiritual realm outside of science, as many believe, intelligent design fails in its mission to instruct. There would be no reason to teach it, but if you did include in a public school curriculum it would not be illegal.
Despite the efforts of intelligent design proponents to distance themselves from creationism, gradually over time, the lines btween the two distinct theories have become increasingly blurred. This is largely because proponents of creationism have tried to pass the two terms off as synonymous in cases where the legality of inclusion in public school curriculums was at stake. So far, this has not been successful. Unfortunately in the process, it seems to have tarnished the image of the more scientifically-rooted intelligent design theory.
References: Evolution and the Christian Faith by Joan Roughgarden