Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lynn States it Plain

From Barry Lynn, of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, comes this Houston Chronicle op-ed about the merits, or lack thereof, of teaching ID in science classrooms. His op-ed is so blessedly clear, it should serve as a model for anyone else wading into this area. Here's an excerpt:

Intelligent design proponents say their idea is a serious challenge to Darwinism. Yet intelligent design has no mainstream scientific support. We do our children a disservice by pretending unconventional ideas are accepted in science when they are not.

As far as the mainstream scientific community is concerned, the issue is settled: Evolution is the basis for much of modern biology. Scientists readily acknowledge that debate continues on the details, as it does regarding gravity, plate tectonics and other scientific theories.

In public universities across the land, evolution is taught in science classes without controversy. Public schools in European and Asian nations teach evolution without pretending there is an equally valid view called “intelligent design” — and their youngsters will leave ours behind in an increasingly scientific age if we do otherwise.

Conservative religious activists have been unable to ban the teaching of evolution outright or give “equal time” to creationism in public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court slammed the door on those gambits in 1968 and 1987 decisions. Intelligent design is merely the latest effort to circumvent the Constitution and the courts.

This crusade operates mainly through political channels. Religious conservatives are pressuring local school boards around the country to water down instruction about evolution. They want the political system to give them what the scientific community won't.

Go read the whole thing. Right now!


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