Science is based on something called scientific method. A scientific theory requires something (or more realistically, several things) that can be proven or shown to be false. A scientific theory is never absolute “fact”: it is always subject to discovery of further data that could prove or disprove certain aspects of its truth. Science is strictly about the “how”, “what”, “where”, and “when”. Science demands perpetual intelligent inquiry, the continuous challenging of the status quo. Science does not guide a person’s moral choices, it does not make someone a kinder, better person. It does, however, require a certain amount of intelligence.
Faith is belief. It requires an act of will, and it abhors fact. Identifying contradictory information is anathema to faith. If something contradicts the matter of faith, it can be conveniently dismissed as heretic, or a lie. Faith can save a life or a soul, can guide one’s life decisions and moral choices. Fundamentally, faith is all about answering the “why” question. But Faith isn’t much good when trying to build a bridge or attempting to safely launch a man into space.
One does not “Believe” in science- science simply is. Faith is not challenged by science, unless one’s faith is doggedly attempting to explain natural occurrences. An intelligent religion could embrace science without giving up their fundamental belief: the “why” part of life.
Intelligent design can be taught in a church. It does not belong in a school, unless it is a school of religion. If someone choses to set aside facts and reason for a life dedicated to faith, they can educate themselves in whatever misinformation they choose: but public schools should stick to facts, not faith. Unless, apparently, you live in Texas, where a science curriculum director was suspended (and felt compelled to resign) recently for expressing the opinion that Intelligent Design is not a science.
I feel nothing but sorrow (and a bit of anger) that the U.S. has sunk to such a low state. Not only do 40% of Americans still believe that Weapons of Mass Destruction were found in Iraq (about the same percentage that believe in Angels, I believe…), but apparently a nearly equal number have no clue regarding the difference between faith and science.
And if you are reading this and muttering “heretic!” and “blasphemer!” under your breath, there is another faith-based “theory” you should check out: the theory of intelligent falling.