Apparently Ben Stein has a movie coming out discussing the persecution of intelligent design by scientists. There really shouldn't be such a huge fuss over intelligent design.
1. Should intelligent design be taught in basic science classrooms? No. The theory of evolution is the theory that is generally accepted by the scientific community. There is no more room for intelligent design in classrooms than the theory I just made up about how people are on earth because we were painted into existence in a giant piece of canvas by a crazy artist in another dimension.
2. Should scientists be permitted to write papers that consider intelligent design? Sure. They better have good scientific evidence supporting their theories. There was a time when evolution was the minority opinion and was greeted with hostility as well. Scientific progress comes from people coming up with new ideas and testing them.
3. Is evolution "just a theory?" Yes. However, theories studied through the scientific process carry a lot more weight when they have a huge body of evidence backing it from the work of countless scientists working to find the truth. Evolution has a lot of scientific research supporting it. Intelligent design is also "just a theory." However, the very nature of this theory is nearly impossible to support scientifically, so it will likely not be a seriously considered scientific theory in the foreseeable future.
4. Why is everyone so upset? A lot of the bad taste in people's mouths about this issue come from the notion that some religious people may be using intelligent design as a way to sneak religion into science classrooms. Religion should not be a part of public school education since our country grants religious freedom. Religious people need to clear their heads and accept this.
5. Is there room for religion to peacefully coexist with science? Sure. It is pretty much impossible for science to ever answer all our questions because every question that is answered inevitably leads to more questions. Furthermore, religion gives people answers to questions beyond science, like morality.