Skip to comments.For the Science Room, No Free Speech
Posted on 01/04/2006 12:55:35 PM PST by A. Pole
Will the federal courts, and the people who rely on the federal courts to enforce secular ideals, ever get it? The anti-school-prayer decisions of the past 40 yearsnot unlike the pro-choice-in-abortion decisions, starting with Roe vs. Wadehavent driven pro-school-prayer, anti-choice Americans from the marketplace of ideas and activity.
Neither will U.S. Dist. Judge John Jones anti-intelligent-design ruling in Dover, Pa., just before Christmas choke off challenges to the public schools Darwinian monopoly.
Jones contempt for the breathtaking inanity of school-board members who wanted ninth-grade biology students to hear a brief statement regarding Darwinisms gaps/problems is unlikely to intimidate the millions who find evolution only partly persuasiveat best.
Millions? Scores of millions might be more like it. A 2004 Gallup Poll found that just 13 percent of Americans believe in evolution unaided by God. A Kansas newspaper poll last summer found 55 percent support for exposing public-school students to critiques of Darwinism.
This accounts for the widespread desire that children be able to factor in some alternatives to the notion that natural selection has brought us, humanly speaking, where we are. Well, maybe it has. But what if it hasnt? The science classroom cant take cognizance of such a possibility? Under the Jones ruling, it cant. Jones discerns a plot to establish a religious view of the question, though the religion he worries about exists only in the possibility that God, per Genesis 1, might intrude celestially into the discussion. (Intelligent-designers, for the record, say the power of a Creator God is just one of various possible counter-explanations.)
Not that Darwinism, as Jones acknowledges, is perfect. Still, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent scientific propositions.
Ah. We see now: Federal judges are the final word on good science. Who gave them the power to exclude even whispers of divinity from the classroom? Supposedly, the First Amendment to the Constitution: the odd part here being the assumption that the free speech amendment shuts down discussion of alternatives to an establishment-approved concept of Truth.
With energy and undisguised contempt for the critics of Darwinism, Jones thrusts out the back door of his courthouse the very possibility that any sustained critique of Darwinism should be admitted to public classrooms.
However, the writ of almighty federal judges runs only so far, as witness their ongoing failure to convince Americans that the Constitution requires almost unobstructed access to abortion. Pro-life voters and activists, who number in the millions, clearly arent buying it. Were to suppose efforts to smother intelligent design will bear larger, lusher fruit?
The meeting place of faith and reason is proverbially darkish and unstablea place to which the discussants bring sometimes violently different assumptions about truth and where to find it. Yet, the recent remarks of the philosopher-theologian Michael Novak make great sense: I dont understand why in the public schools we cannot have a day or two of discussion about the relative roles of science and religion. A discussion isnt a sermon or an altar call, is it?
Equally to the point, what does secular intolerance achieve in terms of revitalizing public schools, rendering them intellectually catalytic? As many religious folk see it, witch-hunts for Christian influences are an engrained part of present public-school curricula. Is this where they want the kids? Might private schoolsnot necessarily religious onesoffer a better alternative? Might home schooling?
Alienating bright, energized, intellectually alert customers is normally accounted bad business, but thats the direction in which Darwinian dogmatists point. Thanks to them and other such foes of free speech in the science classroomfederal judges includedwe seem likely to hear less and less about survival of the fittest and more and more about survival of the least curious, the least motivated, the most gullible.
Equine feces. If schoolteachers really feel the need to fill the heads of children with anti-Darwinian nonsense, they can legally teach Lysenkoism.
don't understand why we can't have a day or two of discussion about the relative roles of science and religion."
Should churches start examining criticisms made of them made by scientists? I don't see what one has to do with the other, at least not as far as requiring them to be taught together.
Also I think that the religion is more important than science and that this is reflected by the US Constitution. Attempts to import the Soviet Separation of Church and State by the former pro-Communst fellow travelers even if successful, will not bring more good than it did in Soviet Union.
The irrational fear of hearing the words "Creation" of "Intelligent Design", and that pure Evolution is not watertight, is science's PC anomaly. They want everything but the theory of evolution to be sidelined and call those who think otherwise "irrational" and "agenda-driven". However, all the folks who question evolution want is to have the other theories allowable. It seems so very left-wing somehow.
What is wrong with talking about Lysenko? Are the courts going to ban all theories which do not fit in the present canon of what students might be exposed to?
BTW, I read Lysenko out of curiosity and his writtings were superior to the popular and faulty beliefs in psudo-Darwinian theory. And Lysenko was certainly for the Separation of Church and state!
First, it's interesting that this article seems to cede that ID posits a deity. Secondly, by no means did this judge, or any other judge, seek to remove a discussion of possible supernatural causes or intervention in natural history. What they are saying, based on testimony by scientists (who ARE competent to judge what's science and what isn't) is that such a discussion should not be presented as science, but as philosophy.
Your argument has a few holes in it, ones you could comfortably put a stadium into and still have room.
Basically, you teach SCIENCE in a SCIENCE class. What the kids DESIRE is irrelevant. And claiming ID is science requires one or two basic rules of science to be ignored or dropped.
Or, in simpler terms, calling a hand a foot does NOT mean that Nike makes a sneaker that fits properly. . .
Many churches do, and it is not illegal yet. But you miss the point, the churches are owned by the believers. The public schools are owned by the public and not by the courts or by barking moonbats. It is school boards and local taxpayers/parents who should make decisions.
ID does not belong in a "science" room because it is not based in "science". Wouldn't want someone introducing French into a Calculus class either. However, I have no problem with ID being discussed in philosophy class or some other more appropriate class for non-scientific topics of discussion.
Beliefs are not science.
Yeah. And they have lots of people who watch the "haunted houses" shows on the travel channel too.
The school's curriculum should be determined by the elected school board, not some judge.
If you don't like what the local school board determines the curriculum should be, then go to a private school or move.
And that swings both ways.
"I don't see what one has to do with the other, at least not as far as requiring them to be taught together."
I would think that rather than any aspect of evolution, the confusion would lie at the fundamental root of biological science. Scientists can explain to their satisfaction the workings of an organism down to the cell, but cannot explain the last little bit that is life.
Should the courts supervise this separation between French and Calculus? What evil things will happen if some school board dares to violate this?
Beliefs are not science. There is belief content in science and the religion is not all mysticism and belief.
Also there are thing which are being taught is schools like human rights or justice which have religious origin. Science by itself amoral - it can find ways to cure diseases and the way to poison people.
Secularism was tried in Soviet Union and proved to disastrous. It was tried in France and it created vacuum for Muslim invasion. Why the former fellow travelers insist on repeating this failed experiment?
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