Stranger Fruit

Somewhat predictably, Dembski has posted this comment by Freeman Dyson:

My opinion is that most people believe in intelligent design as a reasonable explanation of the universe, and this belief is entirely compatible with science. So it is unwise for scientists to make a big fight against the idea of intelligent design. The fight should be only for the freedom of teachers to teach science as they see fit, independent of political or religious control. It should be a fight for intellectual freedom, not a fight for science against religion.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Teachers – at least in American public schools – don’t have the freedom to “teach science as they see fit”. They are mandated – as public servants – to teach science as the mainstream of the scientific community sees fit. Teachers in public schools don’t get to choose what is scientific. And that’s why claims that ID is an issue regarding a “fight for intellectual freedom” are completely bogus. Appeals to academic freedom only apply to tertiary level educators.


  1. #1 ArtK
    March 27, 2007

    Not to mention a big ol’ honkin’ “everybody believes it so it must be true” fallacy.

  2. #2 Brett
    March 27, 2007

    Im not sure how ID could ever be considered scientific anyway. Personally, i do believe in God and that things were from a design, but i also know that science cannot prove it. The job of science is to show “how” things work, not to try and resolve the “why”, and science does a very good job at that. ID is unfalsifiable, therefore it isnt scientific, therefore i do not want someone teaching my kids that in school under the guise of “science”. My opinion, if im allowed to have one, is that ID was designed by a minority of liberal Christians. I personally know a lot of Christians and im not aware that any of them would think ID should be taught as science. Maybe ID can be considered reasonable by some, but it most definitely is not science.


  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 27, 2007

    he fight should be only for the freedom of teachers to teach science as they see fit, independent of political or religious control.

    Maybe they should let Tom Cruise and John Travolta teach a class.

  4. #4 Jim RL
    March 27, 2007

    From Brett:

    “ID was designed by a minority of liberal Christians”

    Where did you get that idea? ID and Creationism is definitely the realm of fundamentalist very conservative Christians. Liberal Christians generally accept evolution and were responsible for things like the recent “Evolution Sunday” at churches all of the country.

  5. #5 Brett
    March 27, 2007

    Jim RL wrote: definitely the realm of fundamentalist very conservative Christians

    There may be some confusion over the definition of fundamentalist, conservative, and liberal. Fundamentalists tend to be more traditional and dont like the idea of changes. You will tend to find that they are more creationists than ID-ists. Liberal tends to be somewhat, well liberal, in their interpretations of the bible and span a wide range according to what they are comfortable believing. Ive been labeled as a conservative Christian, so that is what i use for defining such. I consider myself conservative because i use both biblical and secular evidences to support my positions. For instance, i believe that there is substantial evidence supporting the position that the first chapter of Genesis is more figurative than literal. Although i think that creationists have a few good questions, i think that the evidences outweigh those questions. At what point does following evidence become liberal? Either way, you can label me any way you prefer, the bottom line is that ID is definitely not in the realm of science nor should it ever be confused for science.


  6. #6 mark
    March 28, 2007

    Holy crap, that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard in my life.

    Letting every individual teacher decide what they think is science? This is the Baptist church model of scientific teaching and is nuts for anyone who’s ever seen what kind of Baptist minister Fred Phelps is.

    No, control over curriculum is not a bad thing. Crackpots are everywhere and you need to weed them out and keep them away from the kids. Just like pedophiles.

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