Re: Establishment Clause issues in the Dover case

From: Robert Schneider <>
Date: Sat Dec 31 2005 - 17:44:52 EST


Can we not distinguish between "evolution" and "evolutionism"? The two are not the same, despite ID and YEC claims to the contrary. What do you mean by an "evolutionist"? Do you mean "a person who accepts the biological evidence for common descent and the web of theories that explain it"? Or, do you mean "a person who espouses the philosophy of evolutionism"? To say "not all evolutionists are atheists" seems to imply that most or the great majority are, and that they are espousing the philosophy of evolutionism. Is that what you intend? Does one have to show "allegiance to evolution" in order to accept the biology? Isn't that what one might say about the "evolutionist" who espouses "evolutionism"? Speaking for myself and not for Pim, one religious doctrine that my acceptance of biological evolution does not demolish is the doctrine of creation.

So what if "materialism and atheism live on openly in the perspectives of well-known popular evolutionists." Are you implying that therefore, one should reject biological evolution? Help me here.

Bob Schneider
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Gregory Arago
  To: ;
  Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2005 4:01 PM
  Subject: Re: Establishment Clause issues in the Dover case

  Sooner or later Pim van Meurs will appear to be taking the side of 'secular' too much and too often to coincide with the goodness of Christian faith and Christian scientific efforts. Christian and secular do not converge or agree easily philosophically.

  When this happens Pim's anti-ID, pro-evolutionary stance will be revealed for what it actually is and what it is worth. C. Darwin is not absolutely infallible; evolutionism is not universalistic or invulnerable. Materialism and atheism live on openly in the perspecitves of well-known popular evolutionists, even if not all evolutionists are atheistic.

  Who is Pim after all: philosopher, armchair commentor, invested scientist, theologian? What religious doctrines does he speak for (i.e. represent) that his allegiance to evolution doesn't demolish?

  The law seems clear here.

  G. Arago

  Pim van Meurs <> wrote:
    David Opderbeck wrote:

> If anyone is still interested, read my blog post. Pim, you don't
> understand the law.

    Under my arguments, the court would follow precendent and establish if the primary purpose as stated is secular and sincere and not a sham.
    In Edwards, the secular purpose was found to be religious because the legislative history showed that the term "creation science" was religious, not science in nature.
    Since the defendants and plaintiffs agreed that the case should be
    decided under Lemon and since the defendants and plaintiffs disagreed on a very relevant issue of secular purpose, the court had to address if the primary purpose of the ID policy would still be secular.
    In order to address this issue, the court had to visit a new issue: Is
    ID's primary purpose secular or not?
    And additionally the court rejected Santa Fe's stated secular purpose, finding it to be a sham.
    The legislative history does not resolve this since the defendants argue that the board's purpose was secular because the primary purpose of the policy is secular since ID is a science.
    Given this, the conclusion that ruling on the stated secular purpose of
    the board, namely that ID is science was inevitable and essential.
    The law seems clear here.

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Received on Sat Dec 31 17:47:10 2005

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