January 19, 2005

KEVIN DRUM:

I myself would not argue that Darwinism in biology classes is protected by the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. Rather, I would argue more narrowly that everything else is forbidden. If a school district decides not to teach biology at all, that’s fine. But if they do teach it, they aren’t allowed to include religious proselytizing in the curriculum.

The distinction here is this: creationism is Christian proselytizing, a no-no for government bureaucrats. Intelligent Design is so clearly a thinly veiled version of creationism that it’s forbidden too. Darwinism, however, is simply science. School districts are free to stop teaching science if they want, but if they do teach it, they have to teach Darwinism just as much as they have to teach Newtonian mechanics, Boyle’s law, and the theory of relativity.

Yes. I suppose there are atheistic Intelligent Design fans out there somewhere, but I don’t think I’ve met one. And I doubt that they really fit into the ID community.

UPDATE: Michael Barone emails:

You say you know of no atheist Intelligent Design believers. Well, I’m an agnostic, and I think (though I haven’t given much thought to it) that there might
be something to Intelligent Design. You could say I’m agnostic about it. Of course that’s not the same thing as an atheist believing in Intelligent
Design . . . .

Just thought I’d share that. There’s snow on the ground here in DC; I’m going to page back and look at some of your Knoxville photoblogging.

There’s no snow here, but it was 14 degrees when I took my daughter to school yesterday, and it’s not a whole lot more pleasant today. It is, indeed, a change from last week. Then there’s this scene, from last summer. . . . Sigh.