What is wrong with ninth graders hearing about the concept of Intelligent Design. Would they be corrupted in some way because of this exposure?
I think not.
The operative word is "hear". Students would not be required to believe it. They would just hear about it. The same way that countless of generations of students did before them.
OK, OK, separation of church and state, I know. The thing is, no one is even talking about God here. It may as well be an advanced alien civilization with a master plan/experiment for all we know. Alas, it makes no difference to the proponents of evolutionary exclusivity.
The concept of intelligent design is not new. The concept, until the last century, has been the only logical explanation of how everything formed in such an "extremely complicated but constructive'' manner through the ages. As part of this discussion, it should be made clear that this is the concept that civilizations all over the world and throughout time immemorial have viewed their existence.
What's wrong with that?
The recent interest by some prominent academics , even though still in opposition, should give some renewed momentum for ID. I can only hope that more academics finally start to debate the issue pro or con and disregard the peer pressure from their colleagues to ignore it completely. At least challenge "the guiding hand" concept by citing better science and admit that the idea is not as bad as the ACLU and other so-called special interest groups make it out to be.