Friday, December 22

First Freedom First: Academic Integrity

Last night Mr. Blue Gal read a science book to Young Master Blue Gal called What Makes Day and Night. (BTW the book is part of a children's science series...highly recommended by the Blue Gal clan if you have a child in grades 1-3.) Mr. Blue Gal was so impressed with this book he looked through the whole thing, and exclaimed, "Wow! This book is part of a series! We need to get more of them!"

So I looked at the list and in my best June Cleaver impersonation, said, "But honey, there isn't a book here on Intelligent Design."

Mr. Blue Gal: "Of course not. These books are written by actual scientists."

It is not up to the courts to convince individual Americans that intelligent design isn't intelligent. Freedom means, in part, freedom to be wrong. You don't have the freedom to ACT on wrong information if you're just being bull-headed, especially about big things like traffic laws or invading sovereign nations.

But back to ID: Those of us who treasure the separation of Church and State fight intelligent design in the courts because it is only the latest not-too-subtle attempt to inject Christian theology into the public school curriculum.


The court cases have nothing to do with the fact that intelligent design isn't intelligent. Although it isn't.

I'm no Karl Rove, folks, but the talking points here are important. Don't get into a debate with an ID'er about whether or not it is good science. ID'ers clearly don't give a monkey's thumb whether it's good science or not. They wouldn't follow it if they cared about empirical evidence.

Intelligent Design is religion
. It is a perfectly acceptable subject for debate in a philosophy class, an (elective!) comparative religion class, or a political science/sociology class. Issues of religious faith must not be taught as empirical fact in a public school science classroom.

More on the issue of academic integrity, of which ID is only a part, here. Class dismissed.


  1. Anonymous11:43 PM

    I 100% agree with you hun!

    When I was taking Biology in high school and we were going over evolution and what not, my teacher, in the beginning of the lecture, mentioned that there was the theory of Intelligent Design, but this wasn't the place for it. She mentioned that, if they wanted to learn about it, they would need to go to church or consult a religious teacher ie Pastor, Priest.

    I thought that was the best way to go about it. I was impressed.

  2. Anonymous12:10 AM

    Back when I was in high school, intelligent design was called Creation Science and there were a couple of universities that gave out a degree in it (so you could teach it at fundamentalist Christian schools).

    You can't have it half way... separation of church and state was intentional. If I want to say 'God Bless America' at a private gathering or in church, then I should be able to. I just don't want my teachers or politicians to tell me about it. A politician commenting about religion, to me, is like a howler monkey trying to explain to me his position on Franco-English relations in the 14th century. Neither are exactly experts (though what is an 'expert' is loosely defined in this country) and both should know better.

  3. Anonymous12:29 AM

    I agree. (Big surprise, eh?) But I have one question. You wrote: "It is a perfectly acceptable subject for debate in a philosophy class, an (elective!) comparative religion class, or a political science/sociology class."

    We didn't have comparative religion in my high school (and I doubt I'd have taken it if we did), but when you say "debate" I wonder if that's ok. For example, is it ok in a comparative religion class to look at the differences between Judaism and Christianity and argue that one is correct and the other wrong about Jesus?

    It just leaves me wondering how much debate is acceptable in a class where debates are going to involve issues of faith.

  4. Thanks Qwerty, maybe I mistyped with the "debate" word. though I think in most universities philosophy students would debate Intelligent Design, rather than Judaism v. Christianity. The fact that it is religion does not let it off the hook that it's bad science, too.

    And yeah, Alabama has started elective religion classes in the older high school grades to soothe the fundies. They are elective, and it's kinda funny because the teachers rushing to teach these courses are the History/Philosophy First Freedom First types. bwa ha ha.

  5. Anonymous4:51 PM

    A lot of history teachers do have training in religious history (especially if they have studied medieval or ancient history, though religion permeates history so much, any time period would work I suppose). I would teach a class like that, focusing more on the history than the philosophy, but that's jut me..

    btw, have a Merry Christmas and great holiday :)

  6. Blue Gal, this is why you are the Greatest. Thumpers handed my once proud state to the fearful and ignorant '04. Mr. Blue Gal is right; put 'em back in the closet.

  7. Blessings to you and yours BG

  8. a very merry to you and yours.

  9. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Have you ever noticed that people who believe in creationism look really unevolved?

    Eye real close together. Big furry hands and feet.

    I believe the Lord created me in one day!

    Well, looks like he rushed it.

    -Bill Hicks.

  10. Anonymous8:01 PM

    I don't know anyone who talks about Creationism or Intelligent Design. Maybe that's because I'm north of our border. As I sit here in my new hand knit slippers, an early Christmas gift, I wish you a very merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

  11. Funny. Up here in Canada we do not have a principle separating church and state, but we don't have anyone trying to make their own beliefs an entrenched position either. We must just be lucky. (if I were superstitious this is where I would put 'knock on wood.')


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