Intelligent Design in the Classroom

Following his coverage of the court decision in the case of the Pennsylvania school district that had decided to teach Intelligent Design (ID), Harry Binswanger said, “By virtue of the thoroughness of Judge Jones in laying bare the real meaning of ID and the inherent dishonesty of its attempt to pose as science and critical thinking (which he calls “a sham”), the ID movement may never recover.”

In reason, the decision seems a death blow to the ID movement, all right. In the anti-reason of ID’s proponents, however, the Judge’s exposure of the meaning of ID means only that they have lost again this time. The movement will go on in the hope that next time they will find the set of words that will allow them to sneak religion into the classroom.

Born-again columnist Chuck Colson was disappointed by the judge’s ruling, but not “disheartened” and certainly undeterred.

Colson cited Judge Jones’ ruling that the “claimed secular purpose for including ID in the curriculum — improving science education –” was “‘a pretext for the Board’s real purpose’: to promote religion in the public school classroom.” Of the ruling, Colson said, “Now I strongly disagree, but this tells us what has to be done in other cases if we are going to succeed.

He pointed to another part of the Judge’s ruling: “By way of anticipating the reaction to the ruling, Jones emphasized that he wasn’t saying the intelligent design concept shouldn’t be studied and discussed . . . And this is the key: In Kansas and other jurisdictions, the teaching is permitted, not mandated. Always seek an open forum, so all sides can be discussed, and science compared to science.”

So, Colson’s advice to ID supporters: don’t make it so obvious that we are trying to get religion into the classroom. Try to get ID discussed as one of the “sides” in an “open forum” where we can claim it as a scientific alternative to evolution. He does not clarify what he means by “open forum;” presumably it’s wider than simply inviting court action as happened in Pennsylvania.

Colson’s conclusion, directed at his religionist fans: “‘How can I be an optimist,’ you ask, ‘in the face of yesterday’s decision?’ Because I know that if we equip ourselves and do our job, truth will out. We should not despair. Our case is compelling if we frame it carefully, ask the right questions, and expose the claims of Darwinists.” This is an admission that the whole purpose of the ID form of creationism is to destroy scientific evolutionary theory so that faith can be reinstated.

He ends with a suggestion that the faithful call him at BreakPoint, “so we can tell you how to get your hands on material that will equip you well to make a case-a case that is strong and will withstand constitutional challenge.”


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