There’s a fascinating exchange of views in the student newspaper at SMU, where the recent “Darwin vs. Design” dog and pony show was held. Leading up to the event, the Discovery Institute shills were busy trying to lay the groundwork. In particular, there was an
editorial that tried to distance ID from old-school creationism.
What’s more, the authority he cites is nonexistent because the U.S. Supreme Court has never dealt with the teaching of intelligent design. The only time it did strike down a non-evolutionary theory was when it struck down the teaching of “creation science” in 1987. Even intelligent design’s harshest critics recognize that “most ID proponents do not embrace the Young Earth Flood Geology, and sudden creation tenets associated with [young earth creationism].” (Eugenie Scott, pg. 128, Evolution vs. Creationism). Moreover, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the teaching of “creation science,” it did so because it “embodies the religious belief that a supernatural creator was responsible for the creation of humankind.” (Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 592 (1987).) Because intelligent design does not try to address religious questions about the identity of the designer, this test does not apply to ID.
But, as we learned in the Kitzmiller trial in Dover, Intelligent Design creationism is just religiously-based creationism dressed up with a disingenuous denial of its basis. While some of its proponents deny Young Earth Creationism, others accept it, and those who advance it take the intellectually dishonest position that they will not make any decision on the age of the earth — they explicitly avoid addressing scientific evidence that might antagonize their religious base. There is just something rotten about this evasiveness—not only do they distort the scientific side of the issue, they can’t even be straight about their own position.
And speaking of rotten, here’s the byline on this article:
Sarah Levy is a third-year law student at the Dedman School of Law. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anika Smith is a recent graduate of Seattle Pacific University. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Anika Smith is a paid associate of the Discovery Institute. They can’t even be forthright about their professional affiliation.
So far, this is all the same old baloney from the DI, nothing at all unfamiliar. Here’s the fun part:
some skeptical students attended the conference and wrote up a summary. Remember that Levy and Smith have just innocently declared that ID has nothing to do with religion, oh no … it’s scientific, and all those court decisions that keep religion out of the classroom don’t apply.
The night was wrapped up when, somehow, one of our flyers made it to the front of the stage, where the journalist asked the other men on stage about the quote regarding the institute’s true purpose (see first quote mentioned above) being that it wants to replace modern science with “a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”
To my shock, one of the men on stage said, “Yes that’s true, and I don’t see anything scandalous about that.”
I wonder which of the four said it. The journalist was Lee Strobel, who isn’t a member of the DI as far as I know, but is an evangelical Christian and creationist who is a bit dodgy on whether he’s the young or old earth variety; the others were Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, all bigwigs of the DI.
Remember that for the next court case: the DI fellows have admitted that they want to replace science with some kind of Jesus-friendly theism.