Thursday, January 19, 2006


ID's Desperate Cry for Help

Robert Crowther, a staff member at the Discovery Institutes's Center for Science and Culture, has posted back-to-back entries on the Evolution News and Views blog so contradictory in nature they can only be interpreted as a desperate cry for help.

The first, posted Jan. 17 at 1:29 pm is titled, "Then Americans United Okay With Intelligent Design in Philosophy, Now Americans United Seeking To Stamp It Out Across The Board."

Here, Crowther claims that a negotiated settlement to withdraw an elective course titled “Philosophy of Design,” reached by a group of 11 parents, represented by Americans United, and the El Tejon Unified School District, in California, reflects a change of position by AU.

During the Dover trial, writes Crowther, the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said he believed matters of religion and philosophy including, presumably, intelligent design, could be discussed objectively in public schools, but not in biology class.

Now, according to Crowther, with a highly favorable Dover ruling safely tucked in AU's coat pocket, the crafty devils, want to ban the teaching of intelligent design not just in biology class, but in every venue -- even philosophy classes, as the El Tejon suit clearly demonstrates.

Roughly five hours later, at 6:35 pm, Crowther published a second post titled, "Discovery Institute Praises School District for Withdrawing Class Misrepresenting Intelligent Design."

We'll set aside for now whether or not the El Tejon settlement violates Lynn's stipulation that AU doesn't oppose objective discussion of religious concepts, such as ID, in public schools as long as it happens in venues other than biology classes.

We'll refrain from posing this question: Can a class that, according to Crowther, misrepresents ID be considered objective?

We won't even quote Casey Luskin, who was parachuted in by Discovery to tell the El Tejon school board to cancel the class, because, "From what I can tell, this course was originally formulated as if it would promote young earth or Biblical creationism as scientific fact."

What really interests us about these two posts -- and here, we feel compelled to admit to something of a morbid fascination -- is how two wildly contradictory points of view can co-exist inside one person without doing lasting psychological damage.

We have never looked on Crowther or the Discovery Institute as models of consistency, but even for them, the juxtaposition of Crowther's posts must be seen as reflection of extreme duress. A desperate cry for help.

Perhaps an intervention is in order.


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