Why cannot both Design and Descent be taught in science classes

In this topic, I am asking why the Universal Common Designer theory and model cannot be taught in science classes. BTW, I think this will probably be the most important topic this forum has ever discussed because it actually deals with the whole reason why this forum was created in the first place. The reason I say this is because the resistance behind the evolution theory comes from it being taught in public high school science classes where most parents are forced to send their kids.

This is fundamentally why I think Joshua’s model is unlikely to make even modest gains in ending this culture war. Unless he plans on getting his idea taught in specifically high school science classes, the Common design theory crafted by various theists throughout history is the only real game changer with any hope.

For me, I went as far as I possibly could with it and made all the necessary changes and omissions to the theory we constructed together on this forum. Now, after making the final draft, I can’t find any reason why this shouldn’t be taught in public school science classes, which is a very different proposition than whether it is convincing or scientifically valid. So please frame your objections according to this topic.

Before we start though, let me show you the final draft changes I made that address the so-called fatal flaws…

From this body of evidence, I am inferring that Consciousness is probably fundamental:

(A) Quantum structure is in cognition

Experimental Evidence for Quantum Structure in Cognition | SpringerLink

(B) Wave-function collaspe depends on a causally disconnected choice

Quantum erasure with causally disconnected choice | PNAS

(C) The wave-function is real

Measurements on the reality of the wavefunction | Nature Physics 1

(D) Since the wave-function is real, it’s also non-local

Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 230403 (2021) - Relativistic Bell Test within Quantum Reference Frames (aps.org)

(E) The wave-function collapse is non-local

Experimental proof of nonlocal wavefunction collapse for a single particle using homodyne measurements | Nature Communications

From this body of evidence, I am Inferring that a Perfect Common Designer probably created and developed life on earth:

(A) The Similarities between Genomes and Natural languages

Grammar of protein domain architectures | PNAS

(B) The Appearance of Common Design

Survey of Engineering Models for Systems Biology (hindawi.com) 1

(C) Reproduction of the Common Design Patterns

Evolutionary transition from a single RNA replicator to a multiple replicator network | Nature Communications

(D) The Alleged design flaws that are found to be optimal

[Just ask for all the examples]

Now, here is where I am going with this…

Because the evidence in quantum physics is only compatible with a form of idealism, we don’t have to prove or assume some extra supernatural force/substance exists first in order to use God as a potential explanation for a natural phenomenon.

More importantly, we have good evidence that suggests God is a perfect human. This means that we don’t have to worry about using an unfalsifiable theory that involves an omnipotent human because a perfect being is immutable and cannot violate his own nature in comparison to imperfect beings, which can change and violate those principles.

In other words, the immutable trait this particular designer possesses offsets the omnipotent trait this designer would also have to possess if true. This is what makes the difference on why we can treat an omni-potent God/Jesus the same way as other intelligent agents (Neanderthals, modern humans, aliens,etc.) when we want to use an intelligent cause to explain a phenomena over a mindless force. Thus, all candidates are considered natural but immaterial causes that we can test because consciousness is supposed to be fundamental not classical physics.

So we can ask this question without being too presumptuous:

“Does all currently living organisms have a common design that can be traced back to a common designer?”

One more thing before we start. When I argued that God can be falsified with the methods I proposed, I only meant this in the realm of science. God could still exist in the realm of philosophy and theology if he was ever falsified because science is not the only truth. Sean Carrol , the atheist physicist I mentioned before, even suggested this in his video:

God is not a Good Theory (Sean Carroll) - YouTube

Welcome back @Meerkat_SK5 :slight_smile:
i recall a series of objections from the last discussion but not all the details. Without getting into the weeds, your thesis is that Common Design is a topic that could reasonably be taught in high school. Isn’t Quantum Mechanics a subject far beyond high-school student, and even most undergraduates? Even if your premise is accepted, I don’t think you could practically teach to unprepared students.

Again assuming we accept the thesis, it has no practical application leading to students finding jobs after graduation. Why teach Common Design as science when it has no scientific applications? This seems more suited to a philosophy of religious studies class.


Quite simply, because it isn’t science.


In the context of public schools, it can’t be taught because it violates the First Amendment. That’s what the Dover trial was all about:

There’s also the problem of Common Design not being science.

High school isn’t the proper place to teach new hypotheses or theories. Your ideas would have to gain traction within the scientific community before they are taught in high schools.


And the fact that it’s barking mad might also be a consideration.


The reason this shouldn’t be taught is because science classes do not teach every crackpot “theory” someone dreams up and posts on the internet. I suggest you review the usual process by which a scientific idea becomes accepted enough to make it into a high school textbook.


The biggest flaw in your previous versions was that you were caught citing sources you hadn’t read so often that no-one could be sure that you’d even read anything you cited, let alone understood and correctly described it.

You have not addressed this fatal flaw.


Because Universal Common Designer theory is not science.


Sorry, but as with your previous iterations, I find all this incoherent. It most certainly is not science, and therefore should not be taught in science classes. Maybe we shouldn’t start, since it didn’t work out at all well last time.


My thought is that even if there were a nominally scientific theory it should not be taught at school until it gained wide acceptance in the scientific community. Speculative, fringe ideas don’t belong in school.

That said, this looks to me like a contentious philosophical position which would need a lot of development and support before it could be considered even nominally scientific.


My inexperience may be out of date but in my day Quantum Mechanics was a University level subject. However, we did get an introductory course in the first year of University.


“I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.”

-Prophet Bobby Henderson, pbuh.


Looking through the proposal in the OP, it lacks what almost all such attempts lack: an attempt to explain the facts of biology. For example:

  1. Why a nested hierarchy? Why don’t we see common designs swapped around in a pattern that isn’t a nested hierarchy?
  2. Why is there hundreds of millions of years worth of fossils for complex life? Why are they found in the order they are found in?
  3. Why does the phylogeny based on DNA correlate with the phylogeny based on morphology?
  4. Why do humans and other primates share the same ERV’s at the same locations?
  5. Why do transitions outnumber transversions when we compare the SNP’s between species?
  6. Why is there more sequence conservation in exons than in introns?

These are just a few off the top of my head. I don’t see how the concepts in the OP can be used to even start to approach these questions.


In order to decide what should or should not be taught in science classes, you first need to understand what makes science science.

Science is not just a body of knowledge. Nor is it a forum where each and every opinion should be given equal weight. It is a set of practices and methods used to develop knowledge and understanding in a rigorous, systematic and disciplined manner. This means that there are rules that must be followed and standards that must be maintained.

Before any theory can be taught in science classes, it must demonstrate that it has been developed in accordance with the rules of science, and that it meets the high standards of rigour and quality control that science demands. Subjects that do not may be appropriate for other subjects – art, literature, history, theology, philosophy, music, and so on – but not for science classes.


Regardless of a parent’s position on evolution, have students learn this well-supported theory in no way harms their education. Being bitter about learning scientific processes, their application, and even insight into another position is is a choice.

I teach high school biology students at a university prep school. What scientific value is there in a theory that cannot be tested, does not make successful predictions, and does not explain the evidence better than the current one? When my students must design and run their own investigations, can they use ID 's methods and arguments? Is there evidence of technological and scientific progress from ID?

I get 12 hours in my course to cover basic aspects of modern evolutionary theory and its evidence and applications. I do spend time explaining various Christian perspectives on both the bible and science as well as having students do a short survey summary of these as homework because many are forced into a culture war they have not chosen for themselves and need an accepting space to discover their own perspective and science literacy for themselves.

Hope is not sacrificing 50% of my students evolution unit to give equal coverage to an idea that cannot be applied. Your suggestion amounts enabling one religious minority’s perspective vastly greater coverage and to dominate a secular institution. This is not peaceful. This does not take into account other perspectives or the needs of the students.

I would argue that the meta-narrative behind resistance to evolutionary theory comes from evangelical (and other similar groups) counter-reformation. Individual motives vary greatly, but the institutions have been attempting to capture institutions and force their viewpoints. Attacking science does has a threefold purpose:

  1. Limit the credibility of science and create a false dichotomy
  2. Use said rift to privilege and build positions without respect to science in the political realm
  3. Use said rift to privilege and maintain power within Christian traditions

Josh and his model provided a way for 3 to retain its place, yet it is clear that many ID/YEC organizations also need 1 & 2 as well.


Since we are not quantum biologists, I don’t think we can make this determination.

That is not true. Watch this brief video to see why:

What is Intelligent Design’s practical application? - YouTube

All this does is beg the question. What is science?

The Common Designer theory that theists have been constructing all these years is not an alternative hypothesis to evolution like what was presented in the Dover trial, but an addition to the theory. So this objection does not apply here.

Well first off, this is not a new idea nor is it my idea. Second, I never pretended to be an expert in the field but I mainly been showing how the Orch theory is essentially the Universal Common Designer theory they are advocating based on science that’s been done already. Most of my definitions or information I am using came from Penrose and Hammeroff research into their Orch-OR Theory. In fact, Penrose is an atheist and neither one of them are Christians . Instead, they are qualified experts in their field who have conducted their theory 25 years ago using the scientific method (NOT the bible) and has survived testing ever since.

Of course, Penrose is not advocating that his precursor mind interpretation has omni attributes or human characteristic that are akin to the Christian God. In that case, it can be suggested that I am being manifestly bias here BUT it is testable bias that even atheistic physicists, like Sean Carroll, recognized.

In regards to the common design model, this idea has been first proposed well over a 150 years ago by Richard Owens, which was before Darwin’s common descent model was ever proposed. See for yourself:

Richard Owen (1804-1892) (berkeley.edu)

This is not consistent with the topic I am afraid. The question is “Why cannot the Universal Common Designer theory and model be taught in science classes” .

Invoking the scientific consensus is merely an example of why it should not be taught

That’s because I have already addressed and answered all these questions in the last topic I created. The reason why I did not repost it here is because I did not make any major changes to the common design theory even though it is flawed in some areas.

Instead, I just wanted to highlight and address the flaws that are classified as fatal for the purpose of this topic to make sure it is not brought up as a reason it cannot be taught in science classes.

Yes, this is exactly what the universal common designer theory has done throughout history, which is why I created this topic to get answers as to why it cannot be taught in science classes now.

Nothing, but this does not apply to the common designer theory. Like I told someone else, I think you need to read the last topic I created which addresses all these things: Universal Common Designer theory [UPDATED and REVISED] - Peaceful Science

Yes. The Orch-OR theory has 20 predicitions that show how the mind is non-material. Although only 6 out of 20 predictions have been confirmed for a quantum mind, most of the 14 other predictions survived falsification from testing.

Here are snippets from a recent review article on it and judge for yourself:

"Undoubtedly, the Orch-OR theory co-established by theoretical physicist Penrose and neuroscientist Hameroff is currently the most convincing theory. Even more exciting, with the emergence of new drugs, new research methods, and new quantum technologies, this theory is constantly being enriched and perfected. Especially in the research of anesthesiology (96-100), memory (71), cognition (42,101-103), neural synchrony (104) and vision (49), mounting results and evidence indicated the Orch-OR theory could be self-explanatory and could be invoked to many different conscious backgrounds. More recently, Li et al. found that xenon’s (one kind of anesthetic) nuclear spin could impair its own anesthetic power, which involves a neural quantum process (105). " [emphasis added]

The finer scale of consciousness: quantum theory - PMC (nih.gov)

This includes biology:

“…OR played a key role in life’s evolution.
We conclude that consciousness plays an intrinsic role in the universe”

b2237_Ch-14.indd (arizona.edu)

I think you have a misunderstanding of what I am presenting here. This is still evolutionary theory we are talking about where Its more like an improvement than an alternative. The only differences between Common design and common descent is…

Common descent: discontinuities in the fossil record are artifacts of incompleteness, species were distributed and diversifyied outwardly from one location using a strictly bottom-up process, the Adam and Eve story is false, and there is a LUCA .

Common design: discontinuities are real, basic types were constructed (using a bottom-up and top-down process) from different locations and times around the globe, Adam and Eve story is true, and there is no LUCA or there is only FUCA.

You are quite rignt. There are no laws of logic nor of nature that make it literally impossible for any crackpot “theory” someone dreams up and posts on the internet to be taught in a high school class. My mistake.


Science is the application of the scientific method. This means constructing hypotheses and testing them with empirical observations. I don’t see you doing that in the realm of biology.

That doesn’t address the religious nature of the Common Designer claims. If it is a religiously based addition then it is still inappropriate for public high schools.

That’s completely false. The two are not the same. There is no logical connection between consciousness being a product of quantum mechanical effects in neurons to God designing life.

The common design model was rejected by the scientific community because it fails as a scientific explanation. We already have natural mechanisms that explain the observations. Adding a supernatural mechanism that exactly mimics the natural process isn’t a scientific explanation.

  1. Common Designer theory is religious.
  2. Common Designer theory has failed to gain support by the scientific community.

The flaw is its inability to explain observations in a scientific and testable manner.

Then all matter and energy is non-material since all participate in quantum mechanical processes. That doesn’t make any sense.

There is no reason why this process would produce a nested hierarchy. That’s why the theory fails.


As with all suggestions of adding to science class, legitimate or otherwise, there are only so many hours available, and those are filled. What would you like to take out of chemistry? Periodic table? Valency? Thermodynamics? Ideal gases? Conservation? Oxidation? pH? The closest most high school students will come to QM is a discussion of orbitals, wavelength, and ionization. The core science surveys are already respectably challenging.

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First, one of my pet peeves is misuse of “beg the question” when you mean “invites the question”. Second, science has a number of features that you lack here, among them is coherence, logic, empirical obsrevation, willingness to consider alternatives to one’s ideas.

That’s “Owen”; no “s”. And the archetype theory doesn’t predict a nested hierarchy or biotic succession, so it’s at odds with the data.

That it shouldn’t be taught is good enough reason not to teach it. But it cannot be taught because it’s innately religious and so would violate the first amendment.

But you didn’t. You answered no questions, just kept ignoring objections and slightly rephrasing your previous nonsense. This is not useful. You need to drop your delusional pose if you want to get anywhere.

That’s a predatory journal, and there is no reason to believe anything published in it.

Even if this dubious theory is correct, it has nothing to do with a “common designer”. It’s a key flaw in your ideas that you make this unjustified leap.

Then it’s not common descent. How can you say your notion is compatible with common descent? Further, you have refused to engage on the subject of what “kinds” are or how to recognize them, or why there should be nested hierarchy between kinds. Your theory becomes increasingly murky as it approaches any sort of empirical data.