More DI Misinformation

Yes, there’s another post at the Discovery Institute blog. This one is by Rob Crowther, and it seeks to reassure everyone that they aren’t pushing “intelligent design” anymore.

As for claims that we try to get intelligent design into the curriculum, that’s just not the case. Our science education policy is very clear. In November of 2003 Discovery Institute issued a Q&A that stated:

Does Discovery Institute advocate requiring intelligent design theory in textbooks as an alternative? Absolutely not. We are NOT seeking to have intelligent design included in textbooks or in classroom instruction. We only want factual errors corrected and legitimate scientific weaknesses of neo-Darwinism presented.

Darwinists are fond of trying to change the subject from teaching the case for and against Darwinian evolution, and make this a debate over whether or not to include intelligent design in the curriculum. That isn’t the issue.

News flash, Rob… this didn’t work in Ohio. Remember Ohio? In 2002, DI Fellows Stephen Meyer and Jonathan Wells, on the spot to tell the Ohio State Board of Education exactly what they proposed teaching students as “intelligent design”, offered a “compromise” instead, that being “critical analysis”. The Ohio SBOE went along with that. They shepherded a “critical analysis” lesson plan by an Ohio “intelligent design” advocate through the review process and rejected alternative lesson plans that actually implemented “critical analysis”. The poor reviews of the IDC “critical analysis” lesson plan were suppressed; the SBOE didn’t get to see those. Then “Coingate” happened in Ohio and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District happened in Pennsylvania. Requests for public records in pursuit of the shenanigans behind “Coingate” revealed the dirty political laundry of “intelligent design” advocacy behind the scenes, including political threats employed by one of the major IDC advocates on the SBOE. It also brought to light the internal reviews of the “critical analysis” lesson plan, where the education specialists from the Department of Education easily recognized the arguments in the “critical analysis” lesson plan as being the same as seen in “intelligent design” materials and “creation science” before that. The Kitzmiller case indicated that there was a significant liability risk to teaching religious antievolution. Given the clear evidence that the SBOE had been lied to on the issue of whether “intelligent design” was being advocated through the “critical analysis” language, the SBOE early in 2006 dropped the “critical analysis” language from the standards and the lesson plan from their website. Later, the voters dropped the high-profile IDC advocate on the SBOE who had threatened the governor politically to inject “critical analysis” AKA “intelligent design” into the curriculum.

The quote above does not say that the Discovery Institute won’t push for “intelligent design” arguments to be used in Texas classrooms. It just says that the Discovery Institute isn’t pushing for the “intelligent design” label for them to be required. But “intelligent design” isn’t anything in itself, it is simply a collection of objections to evolution that have been made by religious antievolutionists for decades or centuries. “Irreducible complexity”, “specified complexity”, and various “anthropic principle” arguments have explicit expression of the concepts in the work of the Reverend William Paley in “Natural Theology” from 1802. If you want to impress folks in Texas, Rob, tell them that the Discovery Institute has repudiated those arguments entirely and doesn’t want anyone to use them anymore. Teaching children falsehoods, like the arguments made under the “intelligent design” label, has no secular purpose. We’ll wait for your clarification that the Discovery Institute thinks that all the arguments that were made under the “intelligent design” label were wrong and teachers in Texas should not use those as bogus “weaknesses” of evolutionary science.

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Yeah, I didn’t think so.

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Rob, you must think that the folks in Texas are significantly more stupid than the folks in Ohio who the DI hoodwinked for almost four years. When the Discovery Institute says that they want “weaknesses” taught, they mean the same old arguments that they used to call “intelligent design”.

Texas, the DI is giving you an IQ test. Don’t flunk.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

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