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Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy: Why is anyone surprised by this news?

Academic Freedom Update: California Science Center Engaged in Illegal Cover-Up

This episode of ID the Future features an academic freedom update on the California Science Center’s cancellation last October of a screening of a pro-ID film, Darwin’s Dilemma, by a private group. How does a government agency try to evade its obligations to the First Amendment? By suppressing information. Listen in to learn about the evidence that the Discovery Institute has uncovered in its lawsuit against the Science Center.

Go here to listen.

Well, of course they cancelled it. I cannot imagine why anyone would doubt that outcome.

Look, when I first started blogging – the only real news media today – I had to deal with the controversy over the Smithsonian withdrawing support for the screening of Privileged Planet. Go here for more.

But the Smithsonian was the famed institution where Walcott basically did nothing for decades about the critical evidence from the Cambrian evolution that showed that Darwinism is wrong.

If that’s the science we want, fine. Our taxes pay for it.

Another podcast:

Rodney LeVake: Expelled Science Teacher, Part 1

On this episode of ID The Future, CSC’s Casey Luskin interviews Rodney LeVake, the plaintiff in the Academic Freedom court case LeVake vs. Independent School District #656. LeVake, a former high school biology teacher, informally expressed doubts about evolution to a colleague who then reported him to the principal. LeVake ended up losing his biology position, not because he taught creationism or intelligent design, but merely because he expressed reservations about evolution to a colleague. Listen as he tells his story of clear academic persecution.

Go here to listen.

But what else is new? If LeVake had expressed doubts about the decline of bears* in Canada, he would have run into the same problem. Once a supposed “science” theory has become a big time theory-a-rama, you don’t need evidence. You just need to keep inciting the base of people who are either paid or pay to support you. And administration is easily cowed.

So why don’t they all seek work in the dairy industry?

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22 Responses to Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy: Why is anyone surprised by this news?

  1. Creationists are evolving. The new MO is to sue over free speech.
    The problem is that Creation/ID is not Science. And has no place in a science class or a science museum.
    I’m not the only one who says that. Two major court losses for the Discovery Institute drive home the point.

    This case allows the UC system to discriminate against students who are taught with a creationist biology txt book.
    http://ncse.com/news/2010/01/v.....ase-005282

    Even a GW Bush appointed, conservative, federal judge, (self proclaimed born again Christian), Ruled in the Dover Pa trail that ID is nothing more than creationism and is not science. He also said the DI people were fundamentally dishonest.
    Judge Jones said…
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/b.....trial.html

    “The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents. [...]
    The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy. With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.”

  2. Adam K

    I find it somewhat ironic that you would decry the use of the court system by the ID crowd but then reference the court system to bolster your position. On the one hand, we have a clear case of censorship in CA (which any reasonable person should be against irrespective of the specifics of the case). On the other hand (in the Dover case), we have a judge that clearly overstepped his role(not to mention his competency) in arrogantly deciding what is and isn’t science. The future of ID as science isn’t going to be decided in a courtroom.

    Your conflation of ID and Creationism displays either your ignorance or your dishonesty. I can’t know which. Anyone that has been paying attention (objectively) knows there’s a distinct and dramatic difference between the two. Heck, many of the Creationist crowd have significant problems with ID (but you would have to be paying attention to notice). And there are plenty of theistic evolutionists that have problems with ID as well. The bottom line: misrepresenting ID as Creationism in disguise is a tired, weak argument. Heck, you can find a good description of ID right on this web site. Let me know if it refers to God, religion, Christianity, etc. I think what *really* annoys those of your ilk is the potential implications of ID: that everything may not be the result of random, materialistic forces. For some reason, that feels bad to your crowd. Can’t figure out why it should be categorically rejected. Objective, reasonable folks should be willing to go wherever the evidence leads irrespective of personal preferences (or materialistic baggage).

  3. “The problem is that Creation/ID is not Science.”

    Three points

    First Creation and ID are not the same thing despite what anyone wants to designate either as.

    Second, Darwinian macro evolution is not science either under any definition of the word but it is allowed to be taught in science classes.

    Third, what is science is becoming more a political or power thing. Just witness the climate debate.

  4. Adam,

    Every time you comment here, it is as if you just awoke from a long sleep and you are not sure if anyone is caught up.

    You should consider putting aside your simpleton ideas, and perhaps reading a book.

    Now, certainly no one expects you to do so…I’m just saying…

  5. In my view, Jerry is quite right, that science has become so politicized as to be a scandal at this point.

    Of course, Darwinian macro-evolution is not science. It is merely a claim about the meaning of historical evidence, less believable in my experience than claims about the fall of the Roman empire. At least, there, we have massively more evidence to debate.

    Darwinian macro-evolution is fronted because it supports public atheism, and for no other reason.

    Few would actually care, from an education policy perspective, if we said that we do not know how life begins, why the trilobite died out, why the tyrannosaur died out, or anything else about which we really have no certain information. And may never have.

    Or, as I like to say, try it at a police station and see where you get.

    About life, the further we must go back into the past, the harder it is to get certain information. It’s not anybody’s fault. Students should be told this, not that Darwinism answers the questions.

  6. Another podcast:

    Rodney LeVake: Expelled Science Teacher, Part 1

    On this episode of ID The Future, CSC’s Casey Luskin interviews Rodney LeVake, the plaintiff in the Academic Freedom court case LeVake vs. Independent School District #656. LeVake, a former high school biology teacher, informally expressed doubts about evolution to a colleague who then reported him to the principal. LeVake ended up losing his biology position, not because he taught creationism or intelligent design, but merely because he expressed reservations about evolution to a colleague. Listen as he tells his story of clear academic persecution.

    But what else is new? If LeVake had expressed doubts about the decline of bears* in Canada, he would have run into the same problem. Once a supposed “science” theory has become a big time theory-a-rama, you don’t need evidence. You just need to keep inciting the base of people who are either paid or pay to support you. And administration is easily cowed.

    Rodney LeVake did not just express doubts informally to a colleague, he was found not to be teaching the prescribed biology carriculum and continued to refuse to teach it when confronted. Since teachers do not have the luxury of teaching only what they personally believe, the school had no choice but to move him from his position teaching biology to one teaching physics.

    As Ken Hubert, the teacher who reported him for not doing what he was payed to do, said in this interview:

    In fact, Rod lost his case and was reassigned because he refused to teach the curriculum that had been approved by the school board. It wasn’t that the topic was evolution; he simply refused to teach the approved curriculum. If he had refused to teach cell theory, we’d have been concerned about that, too.

    Nor was it just private doubts expressed informally. According to HUbert, it went a lot further:

    For example, Rod told students about biological features that Rod claimed evolution could not have produced. Also, I found out later that he gave at least one student extra credit for summarizing articles from creationist magazines.

    Teachers do not have the luxury of teaching only what they personally believe. They are bound by contract to teach the approved curriculum, free speech rights notwithstanding. As the Minnesota Appeals Court wrote in its decision in 2001:

    The classroom is a “marketplace of ideas,” and academic freedom should be safeguarded. But LeVake, in his role as a public school teacher rather than as a private citizen, wanted to discuss the criticisms of evolution. LeVake’s position paper established that he does not believe the theory of evolution is credible. Further, LeVake’s proposed method of teaching evolution is in direct conflict with respondents’ curriculum requirements. Accordingly, the established curriculum and LeVake’s responsibility as a public school teacher to teach evolution in the manner prescribed by the curriculum overrides his First Amendment rights as a public citizen.

    Properly-constituted educational authorities are entitled to set the curricula to be taught in their schools and to take appropriate action against any teacher who refuses to teach what he or she is contractually-bound to teach. In LeVake’s case, in spite of what has been implied, he was not fired, just moved to a different position because he gave the school board no alternative. Again, from the Minnesota Appeals Court decision:

    The school board may regulate a teacher’s speech in the classroom if it has provided the teacher with specific notice of what conduct is prohibited. LeVake’s due process claim is premised on his belief that respondents deprived him of his liberty interest to teach his class free “from state action which impinges upon and violated his constitutional rights to free speech and free exercise” by failing to provide him with adequate notice of what types of expression were prohibited before reassigning him. The cases LeVake relies on in making this argument involve the termination of teachers, but LeVake was not terminated. In fact, he was not even demoted. Further, before accepting the position to teach tenth-grade biology, LeVake understood that respondents’ prescribed curriculum included teaching students about evolution. LeVake was given sufficient notice about what he could and could not teach through the established curriculum and the syllabus.[My emphasis]

  7. jerry @ 3

    First Creation and ID are not the same thing despite what anyone wants to designate either as.

    First, they may not be exactly the same but the works of Phillip Johnson, the “Wedge document” and “cdesign proponentsists” are evidence of just how closely they are linked and that any differences appear to be devices by which previous legal decisions can be circumvented.

    Second, Darwinian macro evolution is not science either under any definition of the word but it is allowed to be taught in science classes.

    Second, neither you nor me get to decree what is or is not science.

    Third, what is science is becoming more a political or power thing. Just witness the climate debate.

    Third, there is currently a huge political debate about healthcare. That does not mean that people have stopped getting sick or that X-ray machines, MRI scanners or our best drugs have stopped working.

  8. Seversky,

    Darwin used the word “Creator” in a RELEASED version of “On The Origin of Species”

    So by your “logic” the theory of ebvolution is linked with Creationism.

    And if you are going say well Darwin explained that, well the authors and publishers of “Of Pandas and People” explained their terminology.

    And the DI has explained the wedege doc.

    IOW you don’t know what you are talking about.

  9. Seversky,

    Did you say anything that was logical or made sense.

  10. jerry,

    Second, Darwinian macro evolution is not science either under any definition of the word but it is allowed to be taught in science classes.

    Under what definition of the word science is ID to be filed?

  11. “Under what definition of the word science is ID to be filed?”

    I have answered that several times and once already today. Now here is your question. Explain to everyone here why Darwinian macro evolution should be in textbooks since it is not good science. And if you just say it is good science explain why it is since there are no examples of it so it can not be even be considered under processes that are replicable.

  12. jerry,

    There is very little of the past that can be recreated in our time. We have rely on the best science we can do to uncover and unravel the past, be it the origins of the universe, life, species, the Roman Empire or Aztec culture.

    Any ideas about how we could do better?

  13. Joseph,

    Darwin used the word “Creator” in a RELEASED version of “On The Origin of Species”

    Indeed, in a letter to J. D. Hooker, Darwin regretted having
    “truckled to public opinion & used Pentateuchal term of creation by which I really meant “appeared” by some wholly unknown process.”

    http://tinyurl.com/yet4kl8

  14. O’Leary,

    Darwinian macro-evolution is fronted because it supports public atheism, and for no other reason.
    Few would actually care, from an education policy perspective, if we said that we do not know how life begins, why the trilobite died out, why the tyrannosaur died out, or anything else about which we really have no certain information. And may never have.

    Is Darwinism both a religion and atheism at the same time? I hear both from ID proponents, but find it difficult to understand that it can be both.

    WRT things about which we really have no certain information I am afraid a lot of people would really care if we told them what we know about the Biblical myths: We have no reason to believe they are true.

  15. Cabal,

    Atheism is a religion. It’s certainly not a science. It’s a religion that gets special treatment so that you get classes that encourage students to become atheists at college, while classes that persuade students to be theists get banned. This is an unlevel playing field.

    History is not a science, but it is a legitimate scholarly endeavor. Even if ID were not a science, I contend that it is as legitimate an endeavor as history.

    Concerning the bible: there may or may not be scientific reasons to believe that it is true. But there are reasons beyond science to believe that they it is true. Science does not hold all truth. It is a limited method to get at true, but it cannot find it all.

  16. “at truth.” not “at true”

  17. Collin writes (15):

    Atheism is a religion.

    Is “bald” a hair color?

    (I love that response. I wish I knew who to credit when I use it.)

    Certainly some atheists make faith-based claims such as “There are definitely no gods.” Most I know, though, simply lack belief. If presented with evidence for the existence of a god, they would consider it fairly (some even eagerly).

  18. Pan Narrans

    Not believing in God is not a faith.

    Believing there is no God is a faith.

    So in the latter case the hair color is the color of whatever bad toupee the wearer chooses.

  19. Pan Narrans,

    Agnosticism may not be a religion then. If people who simply lack belief and call themselves atheists then they use the wrong word.

  20. http://originoflifefairness.org

    Mission Statement
    Educate the public that “Atheism is a religion” by explaining a recent Court ruling and the clear logic behind it. We ultimately seek to end to the unconstitutional establishment of atheist religious belief in U.S. public schools. In the future we will provide news links on relevant legislative developments in all 50 states.

  21. Collin writes (19):

    Agnosticism may not be a religion then. If people who simply lack belief and call themselves atheists then they use the wrong word.

    Actually, that’s exactly the right word. A-theism is literally “without gods”. Some people make the distinction between “strong” atheists who assert that there definitely are no gods and “weak” atheists who simply lack belief, but I don’t find that distinction interesting. If someone lacks a belief in gods, they are an atheist, just as if someone lacks hair they are bald.

    Agnosticism is an orthogonal concept. Where theism is about belief, gnosticism is about knowledge. There are some nuances, in that some agnostics claim to have no personal knowledge of gods while others claim that knowledge of gods is impossible in principle, but both cases are distinct from theism. It is possible to be a theist agnostic, for example.

    Given that, I don’t think the claim that atheism is a religion is reasonable, although the positive claim that no gods exist is typically faith-based.

  22. Collin,

    Atheism is a religion. It’s certainly not a science. It’s a religion that gets special treatment so that you get classes that encourage students to become atheists at college, while classes that persuade students to be theists get banned. This is an unlevel playing field.

    I used to think that religions primarily are about belief in a supernatural god, most often coupled with the belief of an afterlife.

    But now I learn that rejection of supernatural gods and afterlife is a religion too. That begs the question: What is not religion?

    But atheism as science, that one was news to me.

    WRT schools, I used to believe that religion was a subject not taught in school; that students are at liberty to adopt whichever religion they want? Or reject them all and adopt atheism or agnosticism.

    And to make it all a personal matter and nobody else’s business to know.

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