Someone better tell that to the plaintiffs in Dover:
Science teachers at the high school in Dover repeatedly resisted the school board’s efforts to force them to teach creationism on equal footing with evolution in biology class, according to a former teacher who is among those challenging the board in a landmark trial.
The conflict in Dover grew so heated that in public meetings board members called opponents “atheists,” threatened to fire the science teachers and invoked Jesus’ crucifixion as a reason to change the curriculum, two witnesses testified on Tuesday.
“We would repeatedly tell them, ‘We’re not going to balance evolution with creationism. It’s an inappropriate request,’ ” said Bryan Rehm, who once taught physics in Dover and is one of 11 plaintiffs in the suit.
And what do they want taught?
Outside the courtroom on Tuesday afternoon, Alan Bonsell, a board member who the plaintiffs said was leading the charge against evolution in the science curriculum, said the board wanted students to learn about competing theories only because it was “good education.”
The board ultimately abandoned the equal time idea, stopped using the term “creationism,” and instead required that ninth graders listen to a brief statement encouraging them to learn about intelligent design as an alternative to evolution.
“We are not teaching intelligent design,” Mr. Bonsell said. “I’ve said that a million times and the news media just doesn’t get it. I challenge everybody to read the statement and show me what was religious in the statement.”
But Aralene Callahan, a former board member, testified that Mr. Bonsell, the chairman of the curriculum committee, said at a school board retreat in 2003 that he did not believe in evolution and wanted “50-50” treatment in biology class for creationism and evolution.
My scientific theory isn’t scientific, isn;t a theory, and is instead based on 2000 year old writings, but it should be given equal time. And your book selection shows bias:
For about a year, Mrs. Callahan said, the school board refused to order new biology textbooks. Mrs. Callahan said that when she protested the delay at a meeting, another board member, Bill Buckingham, responded that the biology textbook was “laced with Darwinism.”
The textbook he was referring to was “Biology.” One of the book’s authors, Kenneth Miller, a cell biologist at Brown University, was in court here on Monday and Tuesday as the first witness against intelligent design.
I faced a similar problem in high school. My math book was riddled with arcane symbols. You could barely turn a page without seeing mystical igns and symbols like:
+ – * /
I don’t know how I got through it all. At least Mr. Buckingham is open as to what he wants:
At a board meeting in June 2004, the plaintiffs say that Mr. Buckingham declared from the podium: “Two thousand years ago, someone died on a cross. Can’t someone take a stand for him?”
Again, it is important to flashback to that Ted Koppel Nightline interview with George Will and Cal Thomas:
Cal Thomas: Well Ted, I think it could be if it was seen as a stand-alone issue. But taken together with school prayer, same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, the Terri Schiavo case, it is a general feeling that everything that a lot of God-fearing, tax-paying, flag-waving patriotic Americans care about is taken away — is being taken away by the courts and by the wider culture. So standing alone this might not have had the resonance that it does, but taken together with all of these other things, I think that’s where the problem lies.
Ted Koppel: So part of this, George, is about science, but most of it, really in the final analysis, is about politics.
George Will: It’s about cultural anxiety. It’s about a sense of being marginalized, and disrespected by certain groups. It’s a worry about the coarsening of the culture. All of these may be to varying degrees legitimate worries. They have absolutely nothing to do with the scientific puzzle of explaining the mechanism that produced us.
This isn’t about science. This isn’t about education. At least it isn’t for the ID/Creationist proponents. This is just another Quixotic rear-guard action in the culture wars.