Thursday, March 01, 2007


Silly Walks

The Discovery Institute's Ministry of Misinformation, right down the hall from that other famous ministry, is trying to take you for a ... er ... ride again.

They are now touting a law review article by Arnold H. Loewy, Graham Kenan professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, as supporting the constitutionality of teaching Intelligent Design in Public schools.

Now, I haven't read the article, which is not, as far as I can tell, on the web, but there is an opinion piece written by Professor Loewy that was published shortly before the symposium that the article arose out of. Some of the points Professor Loewy makes there:

Perhaps [high school students] shouldn't study [ID] in science, but they ought to study it somewhere. ...

Religion is about indoctrination. Education is about exploration. Indeed, for that reason, I wonder whether religious conservatives should push I.D. into the crucible of debate, where their children will be exposed to all of the arguments against I.D. as well as all of the arguments in its favor.
Nothing about that is controversial or contrary to the result in Kitzmiller. There is no question that ID can be taught in a philosophy course or a comparative religion course in public schools, as long as it is not presented either as science or an "alternative theory" to evolutionary biology. Indeed, that method of introducing ID would be far more permissible than trying to hide it away, free from criticism itself, in science classes as "teaching the controversy" in the form of bogus "scientific" objections to evolutionary theory.

By the way, it's one pound for a five minute argument ...
Update: Joe Meert at Science, Antiscience and Geology takes this more seriously than I do but that doesn't seem to help the Disco Boys any at all.

Oh, sorry, this is abuse. Arguement is two doors down on the left.

Stupid git!!

I don't have access to the "First Amendment Law Review", but there is a website for it which gives the table of contents for that issue

There are another couple of articles in the same issue which may be of interest:

Kitzmiller and the "Is It Science?” Question
Jay D. Wexler

Why It Mattered to Dover that Intelligent Design Isn’t Science
Richard B. Katskee
Yeah, the DI has already been touting the Wexler article.

One of these days I'll have to check the local law library to see if it has this review (budgets prevent them from having as many as they used to) and get copies of the articles if I can.
I've just found the issue of the First Amendment Law Review and read the three articles.

I recommend reading the article by Katskee, which is a long rebuttal to the articles by Loewy and Wexler. Katskee is with the Americans United for the Separation for Church and State, and was one of the lawyers for the Plaintiffs.

IMHO, his essay is an overwhelming refutation of the points made by the other two.

For example, Loewy says that he didn't see anything unscientific in "Pandas and People". Katskee points out that that is one reason why Judge Jones had to address the issue - it puts on the trappings of being science. And, of course, that ID is science was a major point of the defense. If the judge didn't answer that, the defense could feel that their arguments weren't given a fair hearing.
I've ordered a copy of that issue and will post something on it when I can.
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