It’s over. The new school board in Dover, PA, officially voted down the teaching of Intelligent Design.
Of course, it’s not really over. Like a case of necrotizing fasciitis, the IDers will be back once again, trying to destroy the tissue of society.
Creationism and ID are full of ironies, too many to name. Perhaps the biggest, though, is their trying to frame it as a squelching of their religious liberty. But it is exactly the opposite. They are trying to squelch ours.
How is that? Just read the words of Frederick Callahan, a citizen of Dover, PA, when he testified at the Dover trial:
Well, what am I supposed to tolerate? A small encroachment on my First Amendment rights? Well, I’m not going to. I think this is clear what these people have done. And it outrages me.
What he’s talking about is the IDers trying to ram their brand of religion down the throats of everyone else. Mr. Callahan, not that it matters in the real world, is not an atheist. His family runs a vacation Bible school, and he is a churchgoer. While this doesn’t matter in the real world, it matters a great deal in the unreality populated by proponents of ID, because, despite their claims, they are framing this as religion against science. They may claim that they are simply pointing out “flaws” in evolution, and using scientific-sounding arguments, but their real intent is clear: to teach their particular flavor of religion in our public schools’ science classes. The judge in the Dover case saw right through this ploy, and was quite clear in his statement about it. He even called them liars, referring to their coy attempt at saying they were not religiously motivated.
ID is obviously no ally of science, but in another delicious irony, its proponents are not allies of religion, either, unless you have an incredibly narrow definition of religion; most religions have no problem with an old Earth, with evolution, with science in general.
ID is a religious viewpoint, and is one tiny sliver in a wide-ranging spectrum of religions. And whether it’s narrow or broad, it’s unconstitutional to teach it in a public school science class. There are people out there who know their rights. Frederick Callahan is one of them.
And in the end, ID is not even religion versus science. That’s too narrow a definition by far. It’s fantasy versus reality, it’s fallaciousness versus truth. But as long as they frame it as religion, then the Constitution is clear about this, right there in the very First Amendment. And if they want to back off the claim of religion, then they’re sunk as well, because science it definitely ain’t. They’re welcome to try to claim it is, but they’ll run into more trouble than they can handle there as well. They may be able to dupe some people, but they’re shooting blanks when when it comes to scientists. Wherever and whenever they turn up, we’ll be waiting, and we’ll have truth, evidence, facts, and reality fighting along side us.
Tip o’ the BABlog hat to The Questionable Authority for the quotation by Mr. Callahan.