Re: Viewpoint discrimination or careless reading.

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Thu Oct 06 2005 - 07:39:10 EDT

In the reference Pim gave there is a cracking reference to a quotation by

"Why couldn't a scientist think as follows? God has created the world, and
of course has created everything in it directly or indirectly. After a great
deal of study, we can't see how he created some phenomenon P (life, for
example) indirectly; thus probably he has created it directly. "return to

I followed this up in a Leaderu article.

This raises several questions , First at what point in a detailed study does
one say that God must have created it directly?

Second, is this just a cop-out?

Third is this not simply God of the Gaps put in an unsophisticated
philosophical form? A carefully worded comment.

Many IDers get annoyed that they have been charged with God of the Gaps, and
that was my conclusion years ago on reading Darwin's Black Box. We are now
back to Van Til's Punctuated Naturalism as a description of ID.

Surely this viewpoint must be discriminated against as it is simply a
science stopper.

In reference to Janice's concern that Pim actually can use infidel sites,
there is a case for co-belligerence on many issues. The tragedy is that both
YEC and ID with their wrong-headed ideas which need opposing force
intelligent Christians to work with "infidels" on this particular issue and
also to oppose fellow-Christians


----- Original Message -----
From: "Pim van Meurs" <>
To: "Pim van Meurs" <>
Cc: "asa" <>
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 5:03 AM
Subject: Re: Viewpoint discrimination or careless reading.

> More on the issue of viewpoint discrimination, the following expresses my
> position quite well
> <quote>It is conveniently forgotten that science IS viewpoint
> discrimination because scientific explanations generally must meet certain
> common sense criteria. Scientists routinely reject certain hypotheses from
> immediate consideration if they have not been framed in a way that allows
> them to be empirically tested. For example, the notion of continental
> drift was generally rejected until data suggested a testable explanation
> of how the continents might move.
> </quote>
> Interestingly de Wolf has a book on ARN in which he clearly describes a
> contrary position namely that Intelligent Design (alternative "theories")
> should be allowed to be taught under the claim of 'viewpoint
> discrimination'. Thus the legal Amicus brief departs from letting
> scientific venues decide if ID is scientific or not.
> <quote>
> The Court's position on viewpoint discrimination allows two exceptions.
> First, the government may control access to a non-public forum based "on
> subject matter and speaker identity" if the government's action is
> reasonable given the forum's purpose and if the action is viewpoint
> neutral.134 This means that the government can suppress speech in a
> non-public forum if the speaker wants to discuss "a topic not encompassed
> within the purpose of the forum,"135 or the speaker is outside of the
> special class for whom the forum was created.136 Second, if the government
> is charged with viewpoint discrimination, it can clear itself of that
> charge by showing that to permit the speech in question would violate the
> Establishment Clause.137
> Neither of these exceptions applies to the teaching of design theory. The
> overwhelming majority of public schools address the subject of biological
> origins in their science curricula. Thus, for public schools or other
> governmental agencies to bar the teaching of design theory-which clearly
> addresses that topic-undermines the right to free speech.138 While it is
> true that the courts have limited the free speech rights of teachers in
> the public school context,139 the Constitution's free speech provisions
> still apply behind school doors.140 When public schools censor a
> scientific theory like design theory, they discriminate against both
> students and teachers by unfairly depriving them of the opportunity to
> examine the full range of scientific theories about biological origins.
> </quote>
> So in order for their viewpoint discrimination argument to stand, they
> have to show that ID 'theory', and so far there is really no such theory,
> makes ID vulnerable to being rejected in a scientific setting. So in other
> words, based on the subject matter, ID can so far be excluded, after all
> it has yet to present itself as a scientifically relevant explanation.
> <quote>
> The Court found that the First Amendment's guarantees apply to our school
> systems, where it is "essential to safeguard the fundamental values of
> freedom of speech and inquiry and of belief."149 Quoting /Keyishian v.
> Board of Regents,/ the Court made clear that "the First Amendment 'does
> not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom.'"150
> Most significantly, the Court found that the government's power to
> determine school curricula does not give it the power to prevent "the
> teaching of a scientific theory or doctrine where the prohibition is based
> upon reasons that violate the First Amendment."151 The same freedoms that
> apply to teaching students about Darwinian evolution apply with equal
> force to teaching them about design theory.
> </quote>
> But there is no Design theory....
> So if the forum is to discuss science, then by all means one can exclude
> scientifically vacuous or irrelevant ideas without a claim of viewpoint
> discrimination.
Received on Thu Oct 6 07:52:10 2005

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