Re: [asa] Altruism and ID

From: PvM <>
Date: Thu Jun 14 2007 - 01:04:38 EDT

Barbara Forrest (of Kitzmiller fame) has released an excellent
position paper on ID

As this paper demonstrates, the ID movement is nothing more than
barely camouflaged
creationism. Seeking to convince the public that ID is something
different, ID proponents avoid
open debate on the least defensible elements of earlier creationism
such as the young age of the
earth and "flood geology" based on the biblical story of Noah's flood.
Their attempt to
manufacture a "scientific" controversy and their sanitizing of ID
terminology reflect their effort
to tailor their strategy to the current legal landscape and to the
current attitudes of the American
public. Hoping to appeal to Americans' instinctive notions of
fairness, which would allow "both
sides" to be heard, ID creationists have tried to exploit this alleged
scientific controversy by
pushing public schools to "teach the controversy" or "teach the full
range of scientific views."
However, the only real controversy is the one that the ID creationists
have fabricated for
the precise purpose of advancing their agenda. There is no legitimate
scientific debate between
ID and evolution, and there is no controversy within the scientific
community concerning the
status of evolutionary theory. Accordingly, we recommend that
educators, local and state boards
of education, and all responsible government officials at every level
reject any attempt to insert
ID into the classroom, whether by expressly teaching ID or by more
subtle means, such as
"disclaimers" read in biology classes, stickers placed in biology
textbooks, or euphemistic
proposals to teach the "strengths and weaknesses of evolution," etc.
Because ID is a religious
belief, allowing it to be inserted into the public school science
classroom violates the
constitutionally protected separation of church and state. Just as
significantly, introducing ID into
the classroom is detrimental to the teaching of real science. The
methodology of modern science
has consistently produced notable scientific achievements for more
than three centuries. To
ensure that American scientific progress continues—especially if
American students are to
contribute to it as scientists—we must ensure that our children have a
proper understanding of

"Understanding the intelligent design creationist movement"

The Center for Inquiry released a new position paper, "Understanding
the intelligent design creationist movement: Its true nature and
goals," on May 29, 2007. Written by Barbara Forrest, the paper (PDF)
examines "the ID movement's organization, its historical and legal
background, its strategy and aims, and its public policy
implications," arguing that, "In promoting 'intelligent design theory'
-- a term that is essentially code for the religious belief in a
supernatural creator -- as a purported scientific alternative to
evolutionary theory, the ID movement continues the decades-long
attempt by creationists either to minimize the teaching of evolution
or to gain equal time for yet another form of creationism in American
public schools. Accordingly, the ID creationist movement threatens
both the education of the nation's children and the constitutional
separation of church and state, which protects the religious freedom
of every American."

Barbara Forrest is a professor of philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana
University and a member of NCSE's board of directors; with Paul R.
Gross she wrote Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent
Design (Oxford University Press, 2004), the definitive exposé of the
"intelligent design" movement's so-called Wedge strategy, recently
published in paperback with a new chapter about Kitzmiller v. Dover.
Forrest testified for the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller trial, and
Judge Jones wrote in his ruling, "Dr. Barbara Forrest ... has
thoroughly and exhaustively chronicled the history of ID in her book
and other writings for her testimony in this case. Her testimony, and
the exhibits ... admitted with it, provide a wealth of statements by
ID leaders that reveal ID's religious, philosophical, and cultural
content." The Center for Inquiry seeks "to promote and defend reason,
science, and freedom of inquiry in all areas of human endeavor."

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Received on Thu Jun 14 01:05:26 2007

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