Reasonable Ministers to the Judiciarium Frown on ID in the Classroom
What a surprise! The ACLU strikes out against academic freedom in the name of separating Church and state. The Center for Science and Culture, a division of the Discovery Institute, emailed me the following action alert:
Academic Freedom Under Attack in Letter Seeking to Limit Teaching of Evolution
Letter to governors urges them to outlaw “teaching the controversy”that clearly exists in science over Darwinian Evolution
SEATTLE - “Once again, academic freedom is under attack and an attempt is being made to censor scientific thought,” Robert Crowther, Director of Communications for the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute said today in response to a letter from the National Center for Science Education and others urging all 50 state governors to restrict teaching the controversies of Darwinian evolution.
“We want students to learn more about evolution, not less, including the evidence for it as well as the scientific evidence against it,” added Crowther.
“Over 400 accredited scientists from renowned universities and National Academies of Science worldwide have signed a statement of dissent against
’s theory of evolution,” continued Crowther. “To try and censor their research and ideas is an outrageous violation of free speech and thought.” Darwin
The Scientific Dissent from Darwinism that scientists signed reads: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” It does not advocate any alternative theory.
This issue has been brought to the center of national attention this week as the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District opened in federal court in
on Monday. The ACLU is suing the school board of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for adopting a policy that requires students to listen to a three-paragraph statement about the theory of intelligent design. The ACLU alleges that the Dover, Pennsylvania policy violates the separation of church and state. Dover
Discovery Institute strongly disputes the ACLU‘s effort to make discussions of intelligent design illegal. At the same time, the Institute opposes on policy grounds the science education policy adopted by the
. Discovery holds that a curriculum that aims to provide students with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of neo-Darwinian and chemical evolutionary theories (rather than teaching an alternative theory, such as intelligent design) represents a common sense approach that all reasonable citizens can agree on. Dover School District
To speak with a Discovery Institute spokesperson, please contact Kristina Grabosky (703-683-5004 x132) or Robert Crowther (206-292-0401 x107), email@example.com.
For regular news and analysis on the Dover intelligent design trial be sure to visit www.evolutionnews.org.
Now, I've gone on the record as doubting the wisdom of presenting ID in High School science classrooms. My concern is not about whether or not ID is a trojan horse for bringing religion or creationism into public schools. No, I simply believe that the controversy is too micro an issue to be effectively addressed in a High School biology course. It belongs in higher education, where more mature students can consider the concepts in a more thorough manner. However, my opinion is just one teacher's opinion. Others in my profession may have a fact-based analysis that persuades them to include ID in the classroom. That's fine. After all, what do educators do but determine the most appropriate way to educate those entrusted to them?
That's why I find the ACLU's decision to be such a ridiculous one. An organization that purports to secure peoples' civil liberties will deny educators their fundamental right to academic freedom in the name of a twisted ideology. The "Separation of Church and State" argument could not be a more transparent wolf-in-sheep's-clothing. They want their Reasonable belief in the Absolute Individual passed on in school without any consideration of its appropriateness in a science classroom. They want their metaphysics annointed as science. When others raise legitimate questions concerning the science in which the ACLU conceals their philosophy, that Reasonable organization responds by initiating as frivolous a lawsuit as I can imagine.
Our Reasonable Judiciarium will most likely dance to the ACLU's tune. They should try showing some judicial integrity instead and throw their case the hell out! The ACLU must not be allowed to infringe on the freedom of teachers and their communities to educate their students and children. Let educators and education administrators, in concert with school boards and parents, make the important decisions on what our children learn. Subsidiarity, and human decency, demands no less.