[asa] Anti-Creationist Psychobabble On the Web

From: David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Apr 02 2009 - 01:56:08 EDT

Dear ASA members,

I have never advocated teaching ID in public schools. Nonetheless John
Pieret has written that I have advocated this. John Pieret is a liar.

But there is an interesting quote elsewhere from John Pieret's blog where I
might possibly agree with him (but only somewhat as I'll soon explain):

 Taking a Constitutional .
Jay D. Wexler, Associate Professor, Boston University School of Law, has had
a running battle with Baylor University professor Francis J. Beckwith over
the constitutionality of teaching ID in public school science classes.
The *Panda’s
Thumb* has an account
<http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000974.html>of a debate they
had at the Harvard Federalist Society.
Wexler has an article coming out soon in the Washington University Law
Quarterly. A copy of the working paper can be previewed (in pdf format) from
The Boston University School of Law Working Paper
Series<http://www.bu.edu/law/faculty/papers>or The Social Science
Research Network Electronic
Paper Collection <http://ssrn.com/abstract_id=815604>.
"It appears to be a good article and not just because Wexler agrees with my
position often stated on talk.origins:

All this wrangling over whether ID constitutes "religion" may, however, be
beside the point. After all, although public schools cannot promote or
advance or endorse or teach the truth of any religion, they are perfectly
free to teach about religion as much as they want. They can teach
*about *Judaism, *about* Zoroastrianism, and *about* Raelianism. Not only
can they teach about religion, but they should teach about religion, and
they do not teach about religion nearly enough. So, if public schools can
teach about religion, why shouldn’t they be able to teach about ID? To some
degree they certainly can. For example, if a public school chose to teach
about the ID movement in a current affairs class, or about the philosophical
claims of ID in a philosophy of science class, or about the truth claims of
ID in a comparative religion class, most likely these choices would pose no
constitutional problem at all. (p. 9)


I would agree comparative religion classes can teach what zoratrianism
versus some other religion possess as tenets. I would not agree schools can
teach about religion in science class. And I never have. I would not agree
that government schools can have any preference about religion in its
science class. In fact, I don't think schools can prefer "religion over
non-religion or non-religion over religion, or one religion over another".
Preference *is* *not* *allowed*. I get this from a US Supreme Court case.

This is why I oppose George Murphy's views on methodological naturalism.
To me it's religion and I want that religion separated from school as far as
the east is from the west.
I don't mind if George Murphy holds his view personally because he is
entitled to his religion. I just don't want a public school to base its
science curriculum on George's religion.

 I do happen to be on public record as disagreeing with Minnetonka,
Minnesota's school board voting to defend materialism against Christianity
in science classes. Why? because it violates constitutional neutrality. It's
a lemon test excessive entanglement problem for a school district to choose
between one religion and another. It's wrong for a school district to
defend materialism -or- for it to defend Christianity. It's an
establishment clause issue.

And I am very consistent in telling you ASA members that your views on
religion must not be taught in the classroom or endorsed by schools. Is
this not true? Have you not noticed?

So my position has always been to advocate constitutional neutrality.

I am very much AGAINST teaching any sort of TE in any public school. It
should be the subject of lawsuits. You can teach TE in church if you want.
Not in government schools.

So why is John Pieret going around the world writing that I advocate
teaching religion in government schools? He is an idiot, or a deceiver, or

Now, about ID. I don't think design is religion any more than I think
calculus is religion. Those who think these are religions are lunatics in my
estimation. But, hey, each to his own.
If you want to believe that calculus is a religion, or statistical
thermodynamics is a religion, go right ahead. Just don't teach your
belief in public schools.

ASA lunatic proposition #1
I think those ASA members who think the design recognizer in the human brain
is a supernatural phenomena instead of a natural phenomena are also
lunatics. There is not one shred of evidence that a design recognizer takes
a supernatural force to operate. ASA members who really believe in this
should either put up some evidence or retract.

So, agree or disagree as you will; like me or don't like me as you will;
but be very clear on what I believe. Blame me for what I actually write,
but don't make stuff up out of the blue like John Pieret.

Did I say that science has not disproven design? YES. Because if on a
scientific basis you can say that design does not exist THEN YOU ARE NOT
DOING RELIGION you are doing science. By definition. But my point was
no such thing has ever taken place. Science has not shown that design does
not exist.

But does this amount to me wanting to teach religion in science class? NO.
Thats a non-sequitor committed by an idiot.

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Received on Thu Apr 2 01:56:49 2009

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