Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Dover: Implicit Irony

Johnathan West is keenly attuned to the irony he believes implicit in biologist Ken Miller's testimony in the Dover intelligent design case. In a blog posting on the Discovery Institute's Evolution News and Views blog he writes:

Under questioning from the defense, Miller said that in his biology classes he directs students to his website for additional resources, which includes material written by him about intelligent design. He said that he felt it was good pedagogy to offer his students resources for answering questions they might have about intelligent design.

The defense attorney questioning Miller left the irony of this implicit: The Dover school district’s policy calls for administrators to read a brief statement to biology students indicating that if students want to learn about intelligent design, they can find a supplementary science textbook, Of Pandas and People, in the school library. This is the policy that Miller and the ACLU oppose.

Perhaps Red State Rabble really is merely the humorless skeptic we are sometimes accused of being. We are painfully aware, after all, that we are now very old, and resigned to the fact that the zeitgeist no longer speaks to us in quite the same effortless way it once did. Our daughters now help us to program our cell phones. Perhaps most telling, we watched the film "Napoleon Dynamite" -- to our oldest daughter's utter dismay -- quite unmoved.

Taking all these painful admissions into consideration, we still find it singularly un-ironic that a university professor might contemplate presenting a different -- and perhaps more advanced -- curriculum to his students than a high school biology teacher would present to students getting their first exposure to the science of biology.

Red State Rabble can't help wondering why it is that creationists and intelligent design activists choose only the youngest, the most impressionable -- those least able to discern the difference between science and pseudoscience -- as their target audience. If their ideas truly represented the advanced science they claim, wouldn't they take it to our institutions of higher learning first?

Are we missing something here? Let us know, will you. As the rather elderly father of young girls, we are quite used to finding ourselves out of touch. We can take it.


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