Monday, October 03, 2005

Where does ID belong? (Besides in church)

In an op-ed in Sunday's (Harrisburg) Patriot News, Michael Silberstein, a professor of philosophy of science at Elizabethtown College and the University of Maryland, discussed the place for worldviews, including intelligent design, in public education. It's an excellent piece and includes one mention of the ACLU in reference to our defense of religious liberty.

The essay included this quote, though:

(M)any on the Enlightenment side of the culture wars are so rabidly concerned about the separation of church and state that they reflexively reject religious and theological discourse in public education for fear of indoctrination.

While this writer likes the idea of being enlightened, let's be clear. In the beginning (if you will), we consistently said that teaching ID in philosophy class or comparative religion class or world cultures class is fine, and we have said that up to this day. In fact, for sound education, it is important to teach it in these classes because religion plays such an important role in the life of our culture and cultures the world over.

A local law student commented on our "creative solution" in an American Bar Association publication this summer:

The ACLU representative stated that they had no objection to the teaching of intelligent design in public school, as long as it was taught in the context of a history or social studies class. The ACLU was recognizing and accommodating one of the interests of the opposition, namely their desire to expose public school students to intelligent design. They were taking a step toward a creative solution by opening the door to a possible compromise that, while it may not by fully satisfying to each group, could at least be the beginning of a discussion of other options.

But ID does not belong in science class because it is not science. Period.

Unfortunately, there are many out there in the public discourse who decry the ACLU for trying to remove religion "from the public square". In fact, we have been defending religious liberty for decades. If we posted the links to examples, this blog would be pages long. But here's one from Jersey:

"ACLU aids Frenchtown elementary pupil in religious-rights suit"

When theocratic authoritarians or squawk-radio talking heads try to claim that we want religion completely out of public view, don't believe the hype.

Silberstein finishes his piece with this:

(A) theology course would be an excellent place to critically teach about the ID world view, as ID is natural theology and not natural science.

We agree.

Submitted by Andy Hoover, community education organizer, ACLU of PA


Anonymous John P said...

Well, then there's this:

Letter to Patriot-News

Apples and oranges?

12:06 PM  
Blogger FishyFred said...

Yeah, apples and oranges. More or less, any comparison that ID proponents care to make in such a vein will be viewed as such. It's NOT an everyday occurrence that a group tries to force something into schools that actually takes us backwards.

Specifically, students need to know that there are other contraceptive options because if they don't know, they will be more susceptible to having unprotected sex and contracting STDs. If you look at ID the same way, you end up justifying it as "students need to know that this religious option exists."

Geez, I am so sick of IDiots claiming that this isn't religious.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Engineer-Poet said...

Lying is the trademark of the creationist movement.

It's also morally corrosive.  Perhaps that's the best way to fight them:  point out their falsehoods and ask them what kind of Christians they think they are.

10:16 PM  
Blogger The Central Pennsylvania Abolitionist said...

I read this letter over breakfast and couldn't even figure out where to begin. I continue to be amazed at the letters that get in to some of our local fish wraps.

A) Intelligent design is an attempt to inject religion into science class. It's the age old battle against evolution that fundies have fought for 80 years.

B) Advocating for comprehensive sex ed is about reproductive freedom. Studies show that ab-only ed actually leads to earlier sex and more unsafe sex.

A) and B) are not related, despite this lady's twisted logic.

As soon as the ID theorists come up with research that follows the scientific method and publishes some peer-reviewed articles, they are more than welcome in science class.

12:12 AM  
Blogger usmarine1975 said...

I am a United States Marine with 2 tours in Iraq under my belt I have seen 6 marine's not come home and countless others wounded. I have also stood in countless memorials to Marine's lost on the battlefield. I will say I support the war in Iraq because it is the spread of freedom. And freedom is exactly why I joined the Marine Corps. You say that you stand for freedom separation of church and state I say that you feel that anyone that feels differently, you would like to see them disappear. As far as ID in schools if i had my way public school wouldn't even exist its another form of welfare and basically has been proven again and again to be ineffective. I say that you should think about freedom and what it means to be free. When you limit someone's freedom you lessen the honor of the men and women who have died defending that freedom. Consider once not what you think but what someone else might think put yourself in their shoes then move forward with your legislation and with your harsh words. You can call me many things but when it all comes down to it Me and my fellow Marine's will stand on that wall again and again so you can sit here and call other americans names and act like a bunch of idiots yourself. I believe in creation if that makes me a creationist or whatever it is you called me so be it. I could sit and argue the whole darwin creation thing with you, one key point I think you might want to consider is that Darwin on his death bed announced that he had made his theory's up. Just food for thought and again I say Let Freedom Ring out in our land and may it spread to the far ends of the earth. And any man who stands in the way of freedom may he die at the hands of the men who protect it or by the Lord almighty's or most prefered would he realize his wrongs and join the side for freedom.

Brian R Mummau

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darwin did NOT renounce or denounce his theory, on his deathbed or anywhere else.

This is another lie of the fundamentalists who would be well-served in re-reading the Ten Commandments.

Anyway, he could not "make it up" -- it is supported by so much evidence; when he initiated and and even more so know.

7:25 PM  
Blogger usmarine1975 said...

I did a paper in highschool on the issue of Darwin and Creation and Darwin did renounce Evolution on his bed I do not believe a secular text book would lie to say that. As far as being a fundamentalist I am not that either. I believe in freedom period and I do read the Ten Commandments over and over but then also I read the words of Jesus Christ who said that any man who wants to enter into the kingdom of heaven must go through him there is no other way. As far as evolution being supported by so much evidence I find it funny that continually those in support have yet to find a way to discount the words of the bible. And evidence for evolution there is none. Unless you count carbon dating which even with scientist can be off by a million years not to reliable if you ask me.

11:24 PM  

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