ACLU: America's intellectual terrorists?

On UncommonDescent, DougMoran is upset with the ACLU calling it “America’s Intellectual Terrorists” for failing to “protect our children from being told that they are unplanned and have no purpose”. The irony of it all is that the term unguided was added by the ID minority in Kansas. Read on for the rest of the story.

Dougmoran wrote:

“… public schools should not be used by people to teach their personal religious beliefs to other people’s children…”

I agree. So when is the ACLU going to protect our children from being told they are unplanned and have no purpose and must believe the religion of Dawkin’s god?

First prizes in the worldwide competition for most hypocritical religious zealots and most vile intellectual terrorists go to the ACLU.

ACLU of Ohio Demands Schools Stop Teaching Intelligent Design as Science

The irony of this all is that the term unguided was added to the text by the ID minority in Kansas… If DougMoran considers that ACLU ‘intellectual terrorists’ for supposedly not opposing teaching that evolution is unguided, I wonder what words he has reserved for those in Kansas who insisted on including this into the science curriculum.

On UncommonDescent thread various people have responded

First Jack Krebs:

Jack Krebs wrote:

I don’t believe that students in schools are being taught that they are unplanned and there is no God. Dawkins et al may say that, but Dawkin’s metaphysics is not being taught as science. In fact, I recently heard an ACLU lawyer tell an audience that if there were a science teacher teaching that students were purposeless accidents and that science showed there were no God, the ACLU would be first in line to take them to court.

then DaveScot

Davescot wrote:

If that’s true then what is the meaning of this in the Kansas Science Standards: “Biological evolution postulates an unguided natural process that has no discernable direction or goal.” (G8-12,S3,B3,I1)”. -ds

DaveScot’s unfamiliarity with the history of the Kansas Science Standards is quickly explored by Egbooth

Egbooth wrote:

DS, you may want to point out in your response to Jack Krebs that the only reason the word “unguided” is in the new Kansas Science Standards is because of the pro-ID community, specifically committee member Kathy Martin, who explicity added it. In fact, if you read through the Kansas science hearings held last May, you would have found scientists such as Steve Case arguing against the use of the word unguided in the standards.

In other words, the term unguided came from the ID minority and the majority and scientists argued against the inclusion of this term.

Egbooth wrote:

Even though many Dawkins-esque scientists try to insert the word “unguided” in their discussions about evolution, it is abundantly clear that in this case the only reason they are in the science standards is to create a false duality between science and religion. This is how you pro-ID folks love to add fire to the “Darwin=religion” fire.

So the term unguided was added by the ID minority in Kansas and now ID activists are complaining that the ACLU does not stand up to protect out children? I am sure that the ACLU would be more than happy to join them in a lawsuit against the Kansas Board of Education.

Egbooth wrote:

You have to remember DS, this is the one thing that I, Jack Krebs, a vast majority of the scientific community, and you all agree on: Any mention of “unguided” (in the supernatural sense) within any science lesson is completely meaningless and should not be used. That’s good isn’t it? Agreement. How ‘bout a big group hug for that one? You’ve mentioned before in this blog that this is ID’s primary purpose (to remove any mention of “unguided” in science class) so why don’t you just take the troops off the line and call it a victory for everyone? We finally agre

Egbooth is correct, science cannot address the final issue of whether or not something is unguided. What science can do is show how natural processes can explain a particular phenomenon.

Confronted with the facts, DaveScot ‘responds’

DaveScot wrote:

Now if you’re quite through demonstrating to us how uninformed anti-ID knee-jerkers describe the “controversy” you can crawl back under whatever rock it was you came from. Or you can apologize and all will be forgiven. Your choice. -ds

Ouch, Egbooth must have touched a nerve here.

Jack Krebs, in a followup. addressed the comments made by Egbooth.

Jack Krebs wrote:

“We, the majority on the science committee, did not write that line - in fact we rejected it in committee by a 2:1 margin

Egbooth is right. The phrase about “unguided” was added by the ID Minority on the writing committee and adopted by the Board. It is an unwarranted metaphysical addition made by the ID Minority. The majority of the writing committee (of which I am a member) believe that evolutionary theory, or science in general, can only study the
physical world in a limited way, and that judging whether there is or isn’t divine guidance (as the word is meant to imply in the standards) is outside the scope of science.

And yes I know about the letter from the Nobel 38, and about Dawkins, etc. If the Nobel 38 meant to make a statement about metaphysical or divine guidance, then, despite what ever well-meaning intentions they had, they were not talking about science and not talking for science. More importantly, they are not teaching Kansas school

So, going back to the topic of the thread: if a teacher were to actually explicitly teach the position stated in the line added by the ID Minority (that evolution was a unguided process from a theological view, and that therefore students were accidents with no intrinsic purpose because there is no God), the ACLU would be first in line to support a suit against them, and Kansas Citizens for Science would support them.”

This topic probably deserves a blog - not the Uncommon Descent thread, but the issue of the inclusion of the word “unguided” by the ID Minority.

And there we are. On the one hand ID activists lament the use of terms like unguided or unplanned when discussing evolutionary science, on the other hand ID activists are adding the term to state standards. I wonder if those ID activists at Uncommon Descent who have spoken out so strongly against evolution being ‘unguided’ will join the ACLU in a legal challenge? Would that not be ironic…

Enough day dreaming, a more likely response will be to blame those darn Darwinists of insisting on the term ‘unguided’ and ‘unplanned’.

When asked the following question

“I would like to know why the ID minority insisted upon the language. Can anyone answer that without getting to overheated?”

Davescot wrote:

Evolution IS understood by the academy to be an unguided process. The academy after all is dominated by atheists. -ds

So the ID minority insists on changing the language to read unguided because the academy is dominated by atheists? Come on Davescot, how hard is it to admit that once again you may have been to hasty in expressing your opinions?

On the ASA reflector Keith Miller commented on the situation in Kansas and how creationists continue what he considers a misrepresentation of evolutionary science:

Keith Miller wrote:

The most frustrating aspect of this for me has been the rejection of TEs (evolutionary creationists, continuous creationists) by most in the ID community. The ID supporters state that the object of their critique is materialistic philosophy and the denial of design, purpose, and meaning. Yet they reject the arguments of those like myself who have consistently argued against just such a misrepresentation of evolutionary science. It is the ID proponents who insist on labelling evolutionary theory as “Darwinism” and on defining it as implying a purposeless and meaningless process that denies God. They did this precise redefinition in Kansas against the objections of the standards revision committee, and virtually every scientific and educational organization in the state. Ironically it is the ID supporters who are fighting for an atheistic definition of evolution against the science and educational community. The only reason for this that I can see is that it gives them political leverage to include ID in the science curriculum as the counter to this atheistic science (which they themselves have inserted into the standards).

For a good overview of the issues surrounding the Ohio Standards see PandasThumb.or Ohio Citizens for Science

So, let’s look at the ACLU’s press release of a letter sent to the Toledo Public Schools which caused DougMoran so much ‘pain’:

TOLEDO, OH – The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio today sent a letter to the Toledo Public Schools demanding that they cease allowing staff to teach intelligent design in science classrooms throughout the district.

“Intelligent design has been proven to be nothing more than a thin cover for those who wish to teach creationism, a faith-based idea of human origins endorsed by certain Christian denominations, in science classes,” said ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Jeffrey Gamso. “While people have a right to teach their religious beliefs to others in churches, mosques, synagogues and private schools, public schools should not be used by people to teach their personal religious beliefs to other people’s children.”

So far nothing too shocking, merely repeating the findings of so many, including Judge Jones.

Gamso added, “Proponents of intelligent design have been unable to provide any credible scientific evidence to support their theories. The scientific community has, time and again, largely refuted purported evidence supporting intelligent design. By continuing to allow teachers to implement intelligent design into the science curriculum, educators are misinforming Ohio’s children on the fundamental principles of science.”

Still no real problems. ID’s scientific vacuity makes it very ‘vulnerable’ as it is inherently unable to provide any credible evidence to support their theories. Evidence typically involves arguments that evolutionary theory, or Darwinism cannot explain ‘X’ and that ID can explain it much better. The latter statement is invariably made without any supporting evidence or calculations and when asked for specifics or details, the critic is often rebutted with an angry response the ID is not in the business of providing pathetic details.

Recently, a news article in the Toledo Blade featured teachers in the Toledo Public School system who admitted teaching intelligent design in science classrooms. In the article, teachers acknowledged they taught lessons on various pieces of evidence that seemed to refute evolutionary theory, despite the fact that all were proven to be hoaxes by the scientific community.

In other words, the teachers were teaching something which lacked a valid secular purpose, Combine this with the abuse by such examples by creationists and one has a likely establishment clause violation.

The battle over intelligent design in Ohio schools began in 2002 when the State Board of Education endorsed teaching “critical analysis of evolution,” which is no more than a way of slipping intelligent design, and therefore creationism, into the public schools through the back door, according to the ACLU.

And Judge Jones’s opinion was not much better

Judge Joes wrote:

… , we find that ID is not science and cannot be adjudged a valid, accepted scientific theory as it has failed to publish in peer-reviewed journals, engage in research and testing, and gain acceptance in the scientific community. ID, as noted, is grounded in theology, not science. Accepting for the sake of argument its proponents’, as well as Defendants’ argument that to introduce ID to students will encourage critical thinking, it still has utterly no place in a science curriculum. Moreover, ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.

Following a court ruling in Dover, Pennsylvania in late 2005 that the local school board’s decision to teach intelligent design was unconstitutional, many in Ohio called for the State Board of Education to reexamine its science standards.

And the recent developments have shown that the Ohion State Board of Education has finally listened.

“As Ohio students compete with people from other states and nations for jobs in science and technology, allowing the teaching of intelligent design as a science standard will diminish their ability to compete in the economy,” Gamso said.

So what about these Toledo teachers? The following article provides us with some insight

Michael Maveal wants his eighth-grade students at Jones Junior High to know the truth - as he sees it. So, the Toledo Public Schools science teacher tells them that evolution is an unproven theory, as is creation. He teaches them about Nebraska man, a creature rejected by science long ago, to demonstrate the fallibility of evolution. He teaches them that Pluto has never been seen. [It has.] He teaches them that humans are not animals. [We are.] He teaches them about the famous scientific hoax, Piltdown man, once purported to be an early human ancestor. “I’m not afraid of dealing with all the fakery that’s going on in all the science community,” Mr. Maveal said. “We have to present information to the kids so they can make an intelligent decision for themselves. “I tell them what the scientists won’t admit.”

Toledo Blade