Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Casey Luskin appeared before the El Tejon school board to give them some advice on the creationist “philosophy” course. In short, he told them to cancel it:

From what I can tell, this course was originally formulated as if it would promote young earth or Biblical creationism as scientific fact. Although I understand that the course has since been reformulated to remove the creationist material, a course description was sent out to students around December 1st which described this course as promoting young earth or Biblical creationism as scientific fact. This is very concerning because courts have made it clear – specifically the U.S. Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard – that young earth creationism is unconstitutional to teach as fact in public schools…

There is a legal train coming at you and we can see it coming down the tracks. Unfortunately this course was not formulated properly in the beginning, and students were told it would promote young earth creationism as fact. Thus, the only remedy at this point to avoid creating a dangerous legal precedent is to simply cancel the course.

I wonder, then, if we’re going to get an apology from Luskin, or at least a retraction, of his statement a few days ago where he reacted to the AU’s attempt to get the course cancelled – the very same thing he is now trying to do – by bashing those “Dogmatic Darwinists” for our “intolerance” and even for lying:

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.

Well Casey, 4 days ago, in the process of calling us liars, you said that you would not oppose this course and now you’re opposing this course. So can we expect a retraction and an apology for calling us liars and accusing us of dogmatism for doing the exact same thing you are now doing? Or were you just lying?

Oh, and I just have to note one other part of his statement:

The Discovery Institute is a think tank based out of Seattle, Washington that represents a large number of scientists who do scientific research into intelligent design.

It’s incredible that they keep saying there are all these scientists doing research on intelligent design, yet none of it ever seems to appear. 10 years after they promised that the first phase of the Wedge was scientific research and publication, we still have not seen a single bit of research supporting ID appear anywhere in the scientific literature. Apparently this “research” is highly secretive. I wonder if we could get the NSA to do some spying on this one.


  1. #1 Dave S.
    January 14, 2006

    Bear in mind he’s probably using the Behe definition of “science” … you know, the one that would allow astronomy as a science too.

    As for dangerous legal precedents, aren’t those already in place?

  2. #2 Dr. Free-Ride
    January 14, 2006

    Astronomy isn’t a science any more? Did I miss the memo? (Perhaps Dave S. meant astrology.)

    And again, Luskin’s attitude toward philosophy survey courses is disturbing.

  3. #3 afarensis
    January 14, 2006

    Luskin’s just pissed that there is a paper trail linking creationism to ID in the paperwork for that class. Form the same post:

    Discovery believes that the Dover case was wrongly decided, and that it is constitutional to teach about intelligent design in a science or a philosophy course. However, given the history of this course, this course threatens to become a dangerous legal precedent which could threaten the teaching of intelligent design on the national level. The young earth creationist history of this course places it on extremely shaky legal ground. Iím not here to tell you that you should like the law, but this is what the law is, and this course is extremely problematic and is on shaky ground.

    Clearly, they don’t want to have to deal with Barbara Forest again…

  4. #4 Zeno
    January 14, 2006

    “Dave S.”? “S” as in “Scott”?

  5. #5 FishyFred
    January 14, 2006

    Zeno: This is a different Dave S. Not the nuts DaveScot.

    Obviously, the Discovery Institute was keeping up appearances for its hardline creationist base with that initial press release.

  6. #6 Ed Darrell
    January 15, 2006

    DI paid to fly Luskin down to California to tell this board the opposite of what DeWolf has been advising other boards? DI paid to get Luskin to California to repudiate Francis Beckwith’s litigation advice?

    Dover may have been bigger than we thought.

    Was it an actual appearance before the board, or just a letter Luskin sent?

  7. #7 Grayman
    January 15, 2006

    My suspicion is that somewhere between Tuesday and Friday, the DI paid for some real legal advice for a change.

  8. #8 Dave S.
    January 16, 2006

    Hi Zeno,

    As FishyFred stated, I am not DaveScot.

    Dr. Free-Ride,

    Yes, I did mean astrology. Thanks for pointing out my error.

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