Wednesday, January 11, 2006

More "Intelligent" "Design" follies

From today's NY Times comes this absurdity:

A group of parents are suing their small California school district to force it to cancel a four-week high school elective on intelligent design, creationism and evolution that it is offering as a philosophy course.

The course at Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec, which serves a rural area north of Los Angeles, was proposed by a special education teacher last month and approved by the board of trustees in an emergency meeting on New Year's Day. The 11 parents are seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the course, which is being held during the session that ends on Feb. 3...

Let's stop right there...what kind of emergency was it?

Last month, a Federal District Court in Pennsylvania ruled that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design in a public school science class because it promoted a particular religious belief. After the ruling, people on both sides of the debate suggested that it might be constitutionally permissible to examine intelligent design in a philosophy, comparative religion or social studies class.

But the parents, represented by lawyers with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, contend that the teacher is advocating intelligent design and "young earth creationism" and is not examining those ideas in a neutral way alongside evolution...

In their suit, the parents said the syllabus originally listed 24 videos to be shown to students, with 23 "produced or distributed by religious organizations and assume a pro-creationist, anti-evolution stance." They said the syllabus listed two evolution experts who would speak to the class. One was a local parent and scientist who said he had already refused the speaking invitation and was now suing the district; the other was Francis H. C. Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, who died in 2004.

A course description distributed to students and parents said, "This class will take a close look at evolution as a theory and will discuss the scientific, biological and biblical aspects that suggest why Darwin's philosophy is not rock solid." ...

Gee, what "balance" - asking a dead guy to talk about the structure of DNA!

The school district, with 1,425 students, serves several towns in a mountain area where many students are home schooled. The special education teacher, who is married to the pastor of the local Assemblies of God church, amended her syllabus and the course title, from Philosophy of Intelligent Design to Philosophy of Design after parents complained. The course was approved by the trustees in a 3-to-2 vote, despite testimony from science and math teachers that it would undermine the science curriculum. The parents who brought the lawsuit said 13 students were enrolled in the class.

I'm all for a balanced presentation of ideas in a philosophy class, but this ain't by any means balanced. Where are the creation myths from Japan? From American Indians? East Asian nomads?

And why the overwhelming lack of balance for science?

Naturally the "Intelligent" "Design" crowd doesn't care about the obvious fundamentalist Christian YEC (young earth creationist) to any of this...

Darwinists have stated that ID is religion. Thus they have said that ID was just fine in a philosophy, or non-science course, as long as it stayed out of science courses. This is because even the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that "education is not complete without a study of comparative religion." (Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 42 (1980) (citing Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 225 (1963))

While of course we think that ID is not religion, a bona fide scientific theory which could be taught in science classrooms, we won't oppose non-science teachers that want to present this material to their students. Virtually any topic could be game for a non-scientific philosophy survey course like this one, where no material is being taught as science. We thought the Darwinists were willing to see non-evolutionary ideas considered in non-science courses. Turns out they were lying.

Rev. Barry Lynn, who leads Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, apparently doesn't want ID even in a philosophy course, because it's too dangerous for young minds to learn about regardless of the venue...

What objection could one possibly have to having students learn about material some people consider religious in a philosophy course? The answer is simple: Darwinists aren't interested in keeping non-evolutionary views just out of the science classroom, they want non-evolutionary views out of students minds completely. If anyone ever doubted the full measure of Darwinist dogmatism, this lawsuit should dispell those doubts.

What objection? Well how about the fact that it privilges fundamentalist Christianity over all other worldviews?

And this lack of concern for that blows the doors off of any pretense that "Intelligent" "Design" is nothing other than gussied up creationism.

Meanwhile, looks like our friend Wiliam Dembski (whose "Uncommon Descent" weblog was resurrected) is doing a speaking engagement funded by funamentalist "Campus Crusade for Christ[sic]." And yeah, fundamentalist is the right word, assuming that's taken to mean literalist and innerrantist.

Now why would Dembski be presumably taking money from creationists if he wasn't you know, at least in agreement with them...?

HT:Panda's Thumb

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