The ACLU is against thinking

To Mr. Cartwright’s excellent rebuttal of the DI’s spin on the Cobb County case, allow me to add the following:

Seth Cooper has a post up on DI’s blog also trying spinning the Cobb County decision. In it he clings to the libel that defenders of evolution are just mindless robots reciting a party line as programmed: “it remains constitutional for students to critically analyze aspects of chemical and biological evolutionary theories,” he says. Well, that’s certainly a relief, eh?

The fact, of course, is that nobody on any side has ever suggested otherwise. Indeed, I’m sure all science teachers desperately long for students to critically analyze chemical and biological evolutionary theories, rather than staring at the ceiling or at the bra strap of the girl sitting in the front row. The notion that “[t]his freedom was put at risk by the arguments made by the ACLU in the Cobb County case” is just the sort of mischaracterization that ought to embarrass anyone seriously interested in understanding the issues involved in this case.

But Mr. Cooper goes on to say that “critical thinking is itself a contested issue these days.” Again, this is absurd. If that were true, why would scientists spend so much of their time and energy trying patiently to explain science to people? And why would the Panda’s Thumb crew take time to carefully respond to–and even link to–the DI’s blog (a standard courtesy they never extend to us, lest their readers see the facts of the matter). Again, all that can be advanced by Mr. Cooper’s ludicrous hyperbole is the personal emotional need of the person writing it. But those interested in understanding the Cobb County caseeven those who may be sympathetic to ID–need to understand what the case is and is not about. The case was about the state putting an arguably religious statement on school textbooks. Suggesting that the case was somehow a showdown over the continuing validity of “critical thinking” is childish and unhelpful.

Finally, Mr. Cooper latches on to “there is a scientific controversy over aspects of evolutionary theory.” But read more carefully. The judge found that there is controversy over certain aspects of the theory–not about the theory itself.

We all would love to see more critical thinking. That’s what makes science such a wonderful thing. But it must be fully-informed critical thinking, and thinking about facts, not about emotions and mischaracterizations masquerading as facts, which is what the ID movement offers. We all welcome critical thinkers to read about evolution, study the facts, investigate the misrepresentations promulgated by the ID movement. Seth Cooper’s post plays fast and loose with the details–that ought to let you know how that side treats the facts.