Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Stumbling on the Truth

When last we left beautiful downtown Butteville, California, trustees of the Union Elementary School District had agreed to seek legal counsel regarding the "information/action agenda item" entitled "Evolution versus Intelligent Design Taught in the Classroom." Furthermore, the board president, Stephen Darger, was encouraging the move because:

I think this will be a big issue in the Supreme Court before long. Maybe it will be with this school.
Some overly suspicious and cynical people might have thought that members of the board were religious fanatics intent on teaching creationism and turning the children into test cases for another try by Intelligent Design Creationism to pass Constitutional muster. Not so!, says Darger.

Darger said that there was a misconception about the board's intentions regarding Intelligent Design.

"There was never any action planned" on the topic, he said, but instead the intent was "just to investigate the status of intelligent design in terms of education. We simply did our job."
And how did they go about that?

Darger said that the board sought counsel from an attorney on the subject, and found that Intelligent Design is not an acceptable scientific theory, and therefore they decided not to pursue the topic.
I assume that Darger means something like "a theory that is sufficiently scientific to be legally acceptable under the Constitution." It would be pretty remiss of a school board to consult a lawyer about what is or is not scientifically acceptable. But at least they got good legal advice.

Did I mention that Darger is himself a practicing lawyer? It seems strange that he would think himself familiar enough with the legalities surrounding IDC to declare that it "will be a big issue in the Supreme Court before long" but was so uninformed that he didn't know that it is not a legally acceptable scientific theory. But, hey! ...

Board member Steve Hart said that there was a motion made at the meeting by board member Craig Dilley to not teach anything of a religious nature at Butteville, including Intelligent Design, and that "the board voted unanimously" to drop the subject.
No matter what circuitous route they took, at least the board reached the right result: IDC is religion and their duty to the children was to drop the whole bad idea.

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