Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Drawing the Line

Benjamin Dowling-Sendor writes for the American School Board Journal on "Drawing the Line Between Science and Religion." I can't link to it because it is behind a vendor subscription but I will provide a few items that did not make their way out of the general Kitzmiller recaps.

Dowling-Sendor reminds us that the wording of the revised disclaimer on the textbooks read

Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin's theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design. Note: Origins of Life is not taught.

The connection that he does not make here, though, is that the "reference book" Of Pandas and People (which I reviewed bit back) goes out of its way to teach origins of life questions. And it does it badly.

Dowling-Sendor also boils down one of the consequences of ID thought that was picked up by Judge Jones:

Second, Jones observed that intelligent design rests on "a false dichotomy, namely that to the extent evolutionary theory is discredited, ID is confirmed."

This is the age-old argument that "creation science" attempted (badly, again) to address in the 1960s: just because your theory is wrong, doesn't make my theory right. What also wasn't widely reported was a much more damning allegation:

He noted, for example, that two board members expressly and repeatedly pushed the other members of the board and school officials to inject creationism into the science curriculum, and that those two board members secretly arranged for the donation of 60 copies of Of Pandas and People to the high school.

Few people like to be snookered, especially by people espousing the value of Christianity. As Dowling-Sendor notes:

In a board election held during the trial, all eight incumbents on the nine-member board who were up for election were defeated.

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