Sunday, April 05, 2009


Go Up Upon the Mountain

Eric Rothschild is a prophet.

But before we get to that, let's hear from some people who have become experts in Intelligent Design Creationism about their take on the new Texas science standards:

Steve Stough was one of 11 parents who sued the Dover Area School District in 2004 after it required that ID be mentioned in high school biology class as "an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view" and recommending the cdesign proponentsists "textbook," Of Pandas and People.

He had just heard a passage from Texas' new public school science standards, and was processing.


"Oh ----," he said. "That's intelligent design without using the nomenclature. It really, truly is."

Tammy Kitzmiller, the plaintiff whose name was listed first on the Dover lawsuit, noted:

"It just seems to be the next way to bring creationism back in, but they're not so blunt about it" ...

"It's definitely a backdoor approach. It's understated. It's re-worded. It's going to fly under the radar for a lot of people."

Ken Miller is the co-author of the most widely used biology textbook in Texas, and was one of the plaintiffs' expert witnesses in the Dover trial. Noting that the creationist members of the Texas State Board of education claimed that all they wanted really wanted to do is propose critical analysis of evolution.

"But then you look at their critical set of arguments, it's the same thing they were saying about intelligent design."

The standard requiring students to critique "explanations concerning complexity of the cell," Miller said, parrots the concept of "irreducible complexity," one of intelligent design's main tenets.

Another standard says students must analyze scientific explanations concerning any data of "sudden appearance," which Miller called an element of intelligent design. In the Dover trial, the plaintiffs showed manuscripts for an unreleased textbook in which the phrase replaced "intelligent design."

Angie Yingling was a school board member in Dover who voted in favor of intelligent design but then changed her mind and voted against it. She wound up resigning over the pressure and acrimony.

When told of the new Texas standards, she had words of caution for the state board based on what happened in Dover.

"Look at the outcome," Yingling said. "Look at what happened. A whole bunch of taxpayer money spent and (they) lost."

Now, what makes Rothschild, the lead attorney for the parents in Dover, a prophet?

During the trial, the plaintiffs showed manuscripts of two editions of the book, "Of People and Pandas," and a manuscript of a then unpublished book, "The Design of Life."

The first edition included the phrase: "Creation means that various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator, with their distinctive features already intact -- fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc."

The second, published after a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision that forbade the teaching of creationism in public schools, included: "Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact -- fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, etc."

The third, from "The Design of Life" included: "Sudden appearance means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact -- fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, and mammals with fur and mammary glands, etc."

After unveiling the evidence, Eric Rothschild, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers asked, "Will we be back in a couple of years for the 'sudden appearance' trial?"

The presiding judge, John E. Jones III, replied, "Not on my docket."

No, it will likely be on some other poor Federal judge's docket who, if he or she upholds the Constitution, the way Judge Jones did, will also wind up getting death threats from the allegedly God-fearing segment of the populace who insist on using the government to proselytize everyone else's children.

Have I mentioned that it has (so far; it's still going on) cost my local school district in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, over $250K just to terminate a fundamentalist Christian middle school "science" teacher? It's not the State Board of Education that will pay, it's some poor little district that can't even afford chalk, say nothing of a million-dollar lawsuit.

My wife teaches in that same district, and we spend several hundred dollars a year for teaching materials the school can't afford to buy. Meanwhile $250K has gone down the drain.
Ouch! While I wouldn't want school boards to be able to fire teachers on a whim (think of that atheist teacher recently), it does seem like Freshwater has been able to "game" the system to an excessive degree.

I suppose that's why the school board in Rodney LeVake's case just reassigned him instead of firing him.

It doesn't solve the problem of the insubordination but it at least get the person out of science classes.

Oh, and thanks to you and your wife for your dedication to the children.

Your blog has been recommended to us as a interviewee's favorite blog!

We would like to do an interview with you about your blog for . We'd like to give you the opportunity to
give us some insight on the "person behind the blog."

It would just take a few minutes of your time. The interview form can
be submitted online at

Best regards,

Mike Thomas
The YDR article generated a lot of comments, mostly from a Creationist who says he believes in evolution, but is "simply saying evolution leaves MANY unanswered questions. We simply fill in the uncertainty with the possibility of ID," and a lot of others who say he is fullocrap. Right now, the Letters-to-the-Editor are having an exchange between the atheist and the religionists, but perhaps this article will bring the conversation back to Creationism.
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