Monday, February 20, 2006


Suppress This!

After the Ohio School Board voted last week to save the taxpayers of that state from footing the bill for yet another effort to proselytize school children for fundamentalist Christianity through the medium of creation science and intelligent design theory -- now being passed off as "critical analysis" -- the Discovery Institute, fogbound up in Seattle, cried foul.

“The effort to try to suppress ideas that you dislike, to use the government to suppress ideas you dislike, has a failed history,” said John G. West, associate director of the institute’s Center for Science and Culture.

Of course these ideas, if you can call them that, aren't being suppressed. They're in the papers every day. You can find them on the web. Books are being published. ID proponents pop up all across the country to present their views on college campuses.

Moreover, creation science and intelligent design theory, far from being suppressed, are being taught with fanatical devotion to defenseless children every week at Sunday School classes in tiny, impoverished rural churches and glitzy suburban megachurches, alike.

The beliefs of the biblical literalists and their ultra-sophisticated city cousins, the intelligent design theorists -- like fencing, dance, French, debate, algebra, and the semiotics of the modern novel -- have been deemed not part of the high school biology curriculum.

Just as we wouldn't expect to find hamburger in the bread aisle, or boxed cereals in the freezer section with the frozen orange juice at our local supermarkets, we don't teach religious belief in science classes. Science is not unique in this respect. We pick and choose the appropriate elements of the curriculum taught in all elementary, middle, and high school classes.

When we were growing up, RSR's mother was fond of saying that people in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks. If Discovery Institute's John West truly believes what he says about suppressing ideas, he might want to urge that his colleagues on the religious right, as a first step to quieting the doubts of skeptics like RSR, put down their bricks just long enough to set their own affairs in order.

Missouri Citizens for Science reports that Dr. Carl Huser, a long-time biology professor at Southwest Baptist University has been forced to “retire” for not teaching creationism. Dr. Huser, you see, is one of those theistic evolutionists. A devout evangelical and a scientist, he believes in God, teaches evolution, and sees no contradiction between the two.

That makes him a dangerous radical.

You can read this story about the theocracy's touching fidelity to the ideals of free expression and academic freedom, here.


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