Saturday, January 30, 2010


Religious Science

Casey Luskin is at it again.

He is putting up bits and pieces of his law review article in the Hamline University Law Review, about "teaching biological origins," at the Discoveryless Institute's Ministry of Misinformation. Timothy Sandefur has already commented on one such snippet. If you want to subject yourself to 64 pages of tedious tapdancing around the law, you can see the whole thing in a pdf file here.

This time Luskin is featuring the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision in LeVake v. Independent School District. What Luskin mentions but fails to follow up on is that LeVake's main claim was that he was being denied his right under the Constitution to freely exercise his religion by not being allowed, while on the public payroll, to spout such creationist bafflegab (taken from a "white paper" LeVake wrote at the request of the school district on what he intended to teach) as:

"[N]either evolution or creation can be considered a science because neither are [sic] observable at the present."

"[P]roponents of either interpretation must accept it as a matter of faith."

"The process of evolution itself is not only impossible from a biochemical, anatomical, and physiological standpoint, but the theory of evolution has no evidence to show that it actually occurred."

"the amazing lack of transitional forms in the fossil record."

"the mutation changing a leg into a wing could [not] be beneficial for the creature who possessed it."

"The theory of evolution is in clear violation of [the Second Law of Thermodynamics]."

"Natural selection occurs, but it is inadequate to produce 'macroevolution'"
LeVake also included more standard ID claims, including a list of things exhibiting "incredible complexity" that supposedly cannot be explained by evolution, such as:

"The structure of the microscopic bacterial flagella [sic]."

"The woodpecker's tongue and shock absorber."

"The complete metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly."
But remember folks (say it all together now!) ID has nothing to do with religion!

Amazingly, Luskin says, with a straight face: "There was no indication that Mr. LeVake intended to teach creationism or intelligent design." No indication but his own words, that is.

Luskin does make the point that "the Minnesota Court of Appeals did NOT find it was illegal to offer scientific critiques of evolution" but, instead, found "that administrators may exercise tight control over the curriculum." This, according to Luskin is good and sufficient reason "for clear legislative protection of academic freedom for teachers to assert such rights [to teach scientific critiques of evolution]." But then you have to accept that what LeVake was trying to inflict on the innocent minds of his students were "scientific critiques of evolution" and that state legislators and Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers are better able to decide what scientific critiques are than the scientific community is.

The consensus of biologists is that Rodney LeVake is full of shit. Why should government employees be allowed to pour intellectual feces into the minds of children because of the teacher's religious beliefs?


"[N]either evolution or creation can be considered a science because neither are [sic] observable at the present."

"The process of evolution itself is not only impossible ... "

So, he's saying that not only can't we know whether evolution occurred, but also that we know that it can't have occurred?

(And I can't resist pointing out that these sweeping negations of knowledge only serve to show to what extremes people are driven in their desires to deny evolution. They must realize just how powerful the evidence is.)

Tom S.
They must realize just how powerful the evidence is.

Maybe not. They may just be vicims of Morton's Demon. Of course, the demon has to slam their minds shut to so much evidence that it winds up being the same thing.
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