Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Intelligent design followers: they just don't get it

At the Kansas Science Standards public hearing last night, I watched John Calvert, a leader of the Intelligent Design Network and co-author of Intelligent Design: The Scientific Alternative to Evolution. He sat by himself, off to the side of the auditorium, staring off into space, seemingly lost in thought.
It's impossible for me to know exactly what was going through his mind, but I couldn't help wondering if he was troubled by the failure of his followers to understand the ID strategy he has laid out for them.
ID "theorists," such as Calvert, see intelligent design as a Trojan horse that they can drag past the courts -- who have ruled that creation science may not be taught -- and into science classrooms where the soldiers of biblical literalism will leap out and vanquish Darwin, evolution, materialism, and naturalism.
The problem for men like Calvert is that their followers just don't get it. Hardly anyone who spoke against evolution addressed the carefully crafted revisions to the science standards proposed by the ID minority on the committee or seemed to understand the strategy. Many explained that they were Bible-believing Christians, that's what they want their children to learn, and that's it. End of story.
It's hardly surprising, that the biblical literalists who are the backbone of the movement haven't mastered the fine points of ID "theory" since they haven't bothered to learn the difference between a fact, a theory, or a hypothesis either. Most repeat mechanically the talking points on the handouts they get at the door.
For them, it is simply enough that they believe.
It's impossible to predict what the Kansas State Board of Education will do with the minority proposals, but, if they should use their majority to open the door to ID, the record of the biblical literalists at these hearing should make a court challenge easier to win.


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