As weâve discussed many times, the ID movement has changed its strategy regarding the policies they are advocating to be adopted by school boards and legislatures. They know that any hint of the phrase âintelligent designâ is going to be struck down by the courts, especially in light of the Dover ruling. In fact, they knew this before the Dover ruling ever came down. The big switch really began in Ohio in 2002 in an attempt to make the target too small for our side to attack successfully. Thus, you now have them advocating policies that would not teach ID explicitly.
In one place they may advocate that schools âteach the controversyâ over evolution; in another they may advocate that schools teach âthe arguments for and against evolutionâ or âthe scientific evidence for and against evolutionâ; in a third, they may want schools to encourage âcritical analysisâ or âcritical evaluationâ of evolution; in a fourth, they may be pushing the idea of teaching âall scientific views about evolution.â All of these phrases mean essentially the same thing - they want the basic arguments that they make against evolution (which is the form that all of their arguments take) taught as valid, they just donât want them labelled âintelligent designâ so as to avoid the scrutiny of the courts.
Another key aspect of their rhetorical strategy is to pretend that their opponents are engaging in crazy conspiracy theories or, to use Casey Luskinâs amusing phrase, suffering from âfalse fear syndromeâ, and seeing the ID boogeyman where it doesnât exist. They have to say this, of course, whether itâs true or not; to say anything else would give up the game. Thus, we get statements like this from the sponsor of the bill in the Michigan legislature that invokes two of the four variations of the new strategy (âcritical analysisâ and âarguments for and againstâ):
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