The Intersection

I was watching CNN the other day, and saw a segment they had on the latest “intelligent design” case out of California (no link available). My impression? Whew: We’re going to win this one easily if it goes to trial, because once again, the creationists aren’t smart enough to cover their tracks. It was like Bill Buckingham and Alan Bonsell all over again.

I went to Lexis-Nexis this morning to get the CNN segment transcript. In particular, CNN interviewed, on the air, a kid who had taken the notorious “philosophy” class that is at the center of the dispute. Wisely, CNN asked the twirp what he had learned. Here’s how the exchange went:

SIMON [CNN Reporter]: Senior Sam Alexander would be devastated if the course went away.

What have you learned?

SAM ALEXANDER, STUDENT: I’ve learned that evolution has become, over the years, more and more — more and more people decide that it’s not completely true and that there has to be another belief or another thing that replaces it.

SIMON: And what is that?

ALEXANDER: That is an intelligent designer.

SIMON: Meaning God?

ALEXANDER: Yes, God, the Christian God who created earth in 6 days.

This video footage sure will be useful in court, no? We now know from a student who took the course that its effect was to denigrate evolution, and moreover, to indulge the fallacy that Judge Jones noted in the Dover case: If evolution is wrong, creationism must be true.

Moreover, on top of that, we know that for at least one student in the course, “intelligent design” is only the thinnest disguise for young-Earth creationism. This is completely devastating to any legal defense of this particular class in court.

Young Sam Alexander has been quite the little Judas, hasn’t he?

Comments

  1. #1 Daniel Morgan
    January 16, 2006

    El Tejon is nothing more than a YEC course designated “philosophy”. From inviting a dead Nobel laureate to speak, to showing 10 videotapes from creationist organizations, the class is a joke. Even the DI realized they had better distance themselves, so Luskin went down to El Tejon to do so, after they supported it on their “Media Complaints Division” blog.

    This has been one big embarassment for them, as they at first pounced on “censorship” but then realized that the Supreme Court already “censored” YEC from ANY public school course, named “Philosophy” or otherwise.

  2. #2 D. Sarkar
    January 16, 2006

    If “Intelligent Design” curricula cropped up in scores of public schools across the nation then would the next logical step be to settle on an Intelligent Design theory that is better than the others?

    I mean certainly a Christian theory is different from those in the Hindu, Incan, Australian Aboriginal traditions – not to mention Scientology. So do you teach every single ID theory or is there one big generic version? Obviously, the folks pushing ID in this country are going to settle on the Christian one and castigate the others.

    It’s all quite fascinating stuff for social studies and religion classes.

  3. #3 mark
    January 16, 2006

    If little Sammy really wants to be like Bonsell or Buckingham, he must be prepared to lie about what you just quoted. From what he said, it sounds like his school has failed miserably.

  4. #4 Keanus
    January 16, 2006

    Promoters of ID cannot help themselves. There is no way, no matter how carefully they plan, to push ID into school curriculum without their describing their reasons for it: religion! Johnson, Dembski, Meyers (sp?), and other ID pushers may be able to give a single talk without referencing their God or religion but they are no capable of doing it two times in a row. Their religious beliefs are too important for them to ignore them for long. They pride themselves more on their beliefs than they do on getting ID into the schools.

  5. #5 Daniel Morgan
    January 16, 2006

    D. Sarkar,

    That is a very good point–and one that scientists made long ago. That is why the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” was invented, to parody those who want to “teach all sides” of an issue, showing the legitimacy of one religious opinion is not superlative to another.

  6. #6 mark
    January 16, 2006

    Remember, Judge Jones did not base his decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover solely on the testimony of expert witnesses. One of the factors he considered was the great number of letters to the editor of the local papers, reflecting community opinion. Nearly all of the pro-ID letters were unabashedly based on a religious viewpoint. Plus, various witnessed testified as to the religious motivations of the school board members based on statements made by those members leading up to the new policy. Seems like most of the local boobgeoisie did not read the Discovery Institute memo that said “Don’t mention religion.”

  7. #7 Chris Mooney
    January 16, 2006

    Thanks everyone. If the anti-evolutionists really are constitutionally incapable of shutting up for even one second about God, then we are (thank goodness) constitutionally protected from their nonsense…..

  8. #8 megan
    January 17, 2006

    Well it’s over, they’ve decided not to teach the class. But my favorite thing is a quote from the teacher on CNN.

    ‘Sharon Lemburg, a social studies teacher and soccer coach who taught “Philosophy of Design,” defended the course in a letter to the weekly Mountain Enterprise. “I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach,” she wrote.’ – http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/01/17/evolution.debate.ap/index.html

    No, no, there’s no religious bias at all…

  9. #9 Gerry L
    January 17, 2006

    And we also had the teacher of the course writing a letter to the editor in which she said “I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach.”

    They REALLY, REALLY don’t get it, do they?

    I was going to file that one away, but it looks like they have pulled the plug on the course.

  10. #10 Marcia Van Horn
    January 18, 2006

    I saw the simpleton also on CNN. For a moment I thought that it was funny that the kid lacked common sense, but then I realized that we are seeing another teenage brain being molded with irrational thoughts. In a study on addiction, authors state, “The infant development of the brain involves making more synapses, but adolescent development involves paring down the nerve junctions. If you sculpt the brain around addiction, you could make it much more permanent.” http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn4163

    The frightening thing is that these classes may be molding new cultists who may run for office, change the rules, and allow others to teach this nonsense.

    I’m glad this one was nipped in the bud.

  11. #11 Mr_Christopher
    January 18, 2006

    Great article, Chris. In a similar vein as this student who was interviewed by CNN…check this out:

    “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: God, Science, Politics and Your School, airing on Nickelodeon, Sunday, Jan. 22, 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT), award-winning journalist Linda Ellerbee and Nick News take a look at the on-going controversy surrounding the teaching of the theory of intelligent design alongside the theory of evolution in public school science classes.”

    Now look at the comments made by an intelligent design creationist on William Dembski’s IDC blog:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/651

    “My 13 year-old brother in law got a call from his youth minister at his church in Kansas City to go in and be interviewed for this particular show. I happened to be there and drove him over there, trying to explain some of the basic core concepts of ID so that he would have something intelligent to say, as he didn?t really know anything about it at all.I watched the interviewer talk to about 10 different kids from this particular church?.none of them really knew anything about ID, and most of them ended up talking about Creationism and God and why it should be ok to teach that in schools. Unfortunately, I got the impression that this is what Nickelodeon was looking for, so I am sure the creationist and God comments will be all over the broadcast and ID will be misconstrued yet again.

    Comment by Nate ? January 12, 2006 @ 8:59 am ”

    Yeah, kids say the darndest things, don’t they? Funny how all the adults are the ones lying about IDC while the kids are the ones telling the truth.

    .