Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Bush Backs "Intelligent Design"

Bush has said that he wants Intelligent Design, a thinly veiled attempt to promote creationist theory, taught in public schools alongside evolution.

Didn't we go through this years ago? The Christian Conservatives, normally quite happy to censor speech when it's "indecent" or "offensive," cry foul when sensible rationalists try to deny them the right to use taxpayer dollars to promote a particular religious message. It's not about freedom of speech. Nobody is saying to these Christians "hey, you can't teach your kid about creationism in your own home."

America is about freedom of religion--the freedom to believe what you want and discuss it freely. But it is also about freedom from religion--the freedom not to spend your tax dollars to promote someone else's religious agenda, the freedom not to have your kids subjected officially to someone else's religious agenda in a public school.

Science isn't religion. Evolution isn't religion, isn't a "belief" and isn't a "theory" that is on par with Creationism. Evolution is a scientific theory, one that has been subjected to analytical scrutiny and the scientific method, and one which is pretty close to the truth of how life develops on this planet. Therefore, it should be taught as fact in public schools.

Intelligent design is a "theory" in that someone said "hey, I think the world is this way, and that's my theory" and then was done with it. It hasn't been subject to the same kind of analytical scrutiny as evolution--because it can't be. It's not a theory that can be tested because it relies entirely on supposition and conjecture. Therefore, it has no place in the public schools.

I really wish we had paid attention to the Enlightenment a little bit more -- maybe we'd have learned something about the importance of reason and logic in interpreting science and the nature of existence. Maybe we wouldn't be slipping back into a Dark Ages of superstition and theocratic idiocy.