Friday, December 23, 2005

Darwin, God, and the Courts (oh my - here we go again…)

With the defeat of the Dover, PA school board members who supported intelligent design and a US court recently ruling the teaching of it in public schools illegal, it seems that once again common sense may, in the end, prevail.

I’m not implying that intelligent design in and of itself defies common sense; religion ultimately is rooted in faith more than reason anyway. Science, however, must be based on both reason and empirical evidence. While this should be cause enough not to teach intelligent design in a high school science classroom, in the end it is the Constitution that prevents this, and it was this document that led the court to its ruling. While there is room for legitimate debate concerning the establishment clause, few deny that evangelizing by representatives of the government, teachers included, in public schools is unconstitutional. Teaching intelligent design calls for teachers to do exactly that; “intelligent” implies some higher form of intelligence – something that ultimately requires an act of faith to believe in. It should be up to the churches to equip their believers with either a counter narrative or information on how the two theories are compatible. Personally, I look to science to answer the “how” question and my faith to answer “why.”

In our public schools, however, the teaching of intelligent design is both bad science AND bad law. Fortunately, the PA courts ignored the prophecy of fire and brimstone from Pat Robertson and made an - get ready, here it comes - "intelligent" decision.


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