Thursday, January 15, 2009


Before Breakfast

Anika Smith is bucking for the job of White Queen at the Discovery Institute (against very stiff competition, as you might imagine) with her latest posting about the guidelines adopted by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education concerning what "supplementary materials" can be used in teaching "controversial" scientific theories such as evolution. A provision prohibiting the teaching of Intelligent Design or (other) creationism had been removed, however, before they were adopted, supposedly because the assurance of Superintendent of Education, Paul Pastorek, that, because of other language in the guidelines: "I'm satisfied that you cannot teach creationism or intelligent design." According to Smith:

The legally redundant provision would have gone beyond the intent of the legislation ...

Huh? How's that? If the provision was "legally redundant" that would mean that banning ID is already in the guidelines. If banning ID is against the intent of the legislation, removing the "legally redundant" provision wouldn't restore the legislature's intent. Conversely, keeping the explicit (and redundant) ban couldn't go beyond the legislature's intent, unless the intent was not to ban ID at all, in which case, why isn't the DI protesting that effect of the guidelines?

It makes no sense at all ... unless the legislature's intent, happily adopted by the DI, was to keep the whole thing as fuzzy as possible, in hopes that some creationism will slip by the courts and others who have actual respect for our Constitution.

I'd like to believe that one of the impossible things the DI stalwarts believe is that anyone would be fooled by such transparent disingenuousness. Unfortunately, I find that impossible.

It's simple, really, the IDeists won't push for ID. They'll push for "critical evaluation of evolution" or other puzzword of the month. They know that pure ID has zero chance of survival.
You have to give the Discovery Institute credit though, they had this fallback position in place even before Dover. If things had gone well there, they would have taken the credit because it was their witnesses who were (or were supposed to be) the big guns for the defense. If things went badly (or, as it turned out, disasterously) they could claim they always were for "academic freedom" rather than "mandating" the teaching of ID.
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