Sunday, October 09, 2005

The "intelligent design" circus, #1

The Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District trial is still playing in the center ring (also known as Dover, PA) -- to the uproarious amusement of the entire civilized world. So enthralled is the crowd of laughing, incredulous spectators that the clowns desperately vying for attention in the outside rings (currently located in such places as Kansas and Rio Rancho, New Mexico) have been all but forgotten.

And meanwhile, outside the main tent, there are almost endless sideshows going on, featuring an astounding cast of creationist freaks, grotesqueries, and lesser oddities.

So step right up. It's more than the mind can boggle!

In order to help you make sense of this incredible extravaganza, we've invited a team of very experienced docents to give a blow-by-blow explanation of the nonstop action as it unfolds. At irregular, uncertain, and unpredictable intervals we'll issue reports like this with summaries of the best analysis and insight available.



First up, Pat Shipman, from American Scientist (and introduced by Evolving Thoughts) explains in Being Stalked by Intelligent Design how ID is nothing but "religious prejudice disguised as intellectual freedom" and needs to be taken very seriously, just in case it escapes fron the Discovery Institute Zoo in Seattle, where it normally resides.

Next, New Scientist reports on testimony in the Dover trial: Book thrown at proponents of Intelligent Design. The testimony by Barbara Forrest demonstrates how authors of the ID propaganda tract, Pandas and People, have stealthily replaced the term "creationism" with "intelligent design" in hopes of making the book acceptable for use as a science text. (Without changing the claims made in the book, of course.)

Dr. Forrest is a political scientist and an expert on ID propaganda tactics. She understands perfectly well that ID is not in the least a scientfic theory, and only partly a religious viewpoint. What it is mostly is a political scheme to advance the U. S. "culture wars" on behalf of conservative activists, as explained in her book Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design.

And then we have the Campaign to Defend the Constitution stepping up with their map of current Islands of Ignorance: Top 10 Places Where Science Education is Under Threat in the U. S. There are links to information on exactly what is currently going on in these creationist hot spots.

OK, that's it for now. Go buy yourself a hot dog and some cotton candy, then come back and enjoy the greatest clown show on Earth.

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