Sunday, May 11, 2008


Monkey See

The Gofer General of the Discoveryless Institute, Casey Luskin, is holding forth on what he calls "a biased and error-filled post at the Chronicle of Higher Education by Richard Monastersky." As a sleight-of-hand artist, Luskin lacks all panache, so I'll refrain from chasing the weasel all the way 'round this mulberry bush. Suffice it to say that he is pumping the DI's bait-and-switch that the legislation isn't about injecting Intelligent Design Creationism into public schools because the DI is against mandating its teaching -- they're just in favor of mandating the freedom for teachers to teach it if they want.

Now, if after that you've gotten over your urgent desire to take a shower, this part is actually amusing. Luskin will have us believe the boilerplate inserted in these legislative two-steps to the effect that they "shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine" and cites, in support of that, the fact that "just last week, University of Missouri Professor of Medicine John Marshall testified in favor of an academic freedom bill before the Missouri House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education." That would be the same John Marshall who, not so long ago, was featured in the Columbia, Missouri Missourian:

[A]fter becoming a Christian, Marshall found it hard to reconcile evolutionary theory with Genesis, the biblical account of how God created the earth and everything on it in six days. Marshall has since become a proponent of the view that there are some natural systems that cannot be adequately explained by natural forces, and therefore must be the result of intelligent design, or ID. ...

Marshall said teachers should have the right to discuss both Darwinian evolution and intelligent design in the classroom. However, he said, teaching ID should not be required until it becomes better established in the scientific community.
Yup. ID has nothing to do with religion and nobody wants to see it treated on the same par with evolution in the public schools, least of all the sponsors and supporters of these bills.

Us Darwinists are all just imaginin' it.

-ID has nothing to do with religion and nobody wants to see it treated on the same par with evolution in the public schools, least of all the sponsors and supporters of these bills.-

Perish the thought! Pshaw and pish!

I just love Marshall's confidence that ID will somehow magically "become better established in the scientific community."

"It would have, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids and your pesky Establishment Clause!"

Somebody get me some hard alcohol and a jug of brain bleach, ASAP.
Careful with the brain bleach. After all the years I've been listening to these people, I've scrubbed all the wrinkly parts of my brain smooth.
Marshall could alleviate his cognitive dissonance by adopting a less conservative theology that doesn't require a literal reading of Genesis. If he doesn't go that route, he will have to try a strict NOMA compartmentalization of his beliefs and knowledge. I don't think this latter course will be sustainable for very long, given what I surmise he knows about evolution. If he continues to hold a literal, conservative theology, he'll have to water down his science. This appears to be the route he is taking: allowing some fuzzy, undefined room for ID and hoping it will eventually come up to snuff scientifically. If he and his fellow IDers are serious about wanting that to happen, they'll need to take some time away from practicing religion so that they can practice some science. Funny how that course of action doesn't seem to have occurred to them yet. :)

OT: have you heard about this controversy brewing in Maine? You may find it interesting.
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