Wednesday, October 11, 2006


The Patient Will Survive

Not long ago it seemed the intelligent design pandemic was on the march everywhere.

In Dover, Pa. the local school board mandated a statement be read to students from the ID playbook calling into question evolution. Cheered on by the Discovery Institute, the Cobb County, Ga. school board pasted stickers on biology textbooks that none too subtly encouraged students to ignore what they learned about evolution in their biology classes.

The Kansas school board had approved an ID-inspired science curriculum that dredged up criticisms of evolution from creationism's antediluvian past. There was a template in place for teaching ID in Ohio schools. Teachers in Michigan, it was found, were indoctrinating school kids in the fine points of ID apologetics.

Local school boards in California, New Mexico, and elsewhere welcomed the ID Trojan Horse into their classrooms. Right-wing legislators rushed to microphones from Utah to North Carolina to demand the door be opened intelligent design, divine design, and, most ludicrously, critical thinking in public school curriculums.

Today, we learn that the ID infestation in Ohio and Michigan has now been officially declared over. In Kansas, the formal certification of the pandemic's end will be issued in January when newly elected moderates on the school board are sworn in. Court rulings in Dover and Cobb County inoculated public schools there and helped prevent ID's spread elsewhere. School boards across the country now look upon ID with the same horror as they do a plate of spinach. Legislators, sensing the shift in wind direction, are increasing showing voters their proof of inoculation against the ID bug in order to win their support.

This is not to say that creationism, in one or another of its strains, will not be around like some hard to treat viral infection for some time to come, but the crisis, for now, has been averted. The patient will survive.


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