But This is About Science, Right?
From today's New York Times:
Science teachers at the high school in Dover repeatedly resisted the school board's efforts to force them to teach creationism on equal footing with evolution in biology class, according to a former teacher who is among those challenging the board in a landmark trial.
The conflict in Dover grew so heated that in public meetings board members called opponents “atheists,” threatened to fire the science teachers and invoked Jesus' crucifixion as a reason to change the curriculum, two witnesses testified on Tuesday.
“We are not teaching intelligent design,” Mr. Bonsell said. “I've said that a million times and the news media just doesn't get it. I challenge everybody to read the statement and show me what was religious in the statement.”
But Aralene Callahan, a former board member, testified that Mr. Bonsell, the chairman of the curriculum committee, said at a school board retreat in 2003 that he did not believe in evolution and wanted “50-50” treatment in biology class for creationism and evolution.
The board wanted the science teachers to use a textbook that promotes intelligent design, “Of Pandas and People,” but the teachers balked at that too, Mr. Rehm said.
For about a year, Mrs. Callahan said, the school board refused to order new biology textbooks. Mrs. Callahan said that when she protested the delay at a meeting, another board member, Bill Buckingham, responded that the biology textbook was “laced with Darwinism.”
Golly! Throwing around the A word. That is heated.
A few posts back I was asked by a commenter why I get so angry with ID proponents. This article provides a good explanation of why I react that way.
Introducing ID into science classes is purely a device for using the public schools to promote religious propaganda. Everyone knows that. In their unguarded moments, the Dover School Board makes that explicit. The lawyers on both sides of the case know it, all of the witnesses know it, the judge knows it. Every blogger commenting on this case, from either side, knows it.
The legal issue being adjudicated here is whether the crazy people have managed to be sufficiently dishonest about their religious motivations. That is all. Have they buried their brain-dead religious twaddle under enough balderdash to sneak past a constitutional challenge?
The only mystery I see is this: How did a school district that managed to elect an anti-science majority to their school board manage to attract such a stellar group of science teachers?