Several commenters on the previous post noticed something that went over my head (I plead lack of coffee), but which deserves the permanence of a full post. In yesterday’s article about the Hedin affair in the Muncie Star-Press, Discovery Institute Vice-President John West was quoted as follows (my emphasis):
“Ball State ought to be careful,” West said. “I think their mishandling of this could turn into a much bigger deal. Certainly, we are not going away. The speech code against intelligent design is vague and too broad and may not be being applied evenhandedly. We determined through public documents one science class is covering intelligent design in order to bash it. If they allow that, it’s tantamount to state endorsement of an anti-religious view.”
As those readers pointed out, this is an explicit admission by the Discovery Institute that Intelligent Design (ID) is a religious point of view, for “bashing it” is “tantamount” to being “anti-religious.” That’s an admission that they’ve avoided making, as they claim that ID is not religion, but pure science.
I know, however, that Discovery Institute folks like William Dembski have admitted privately or semi-publicly that Intelligent Design is religious. As Wikipedia notes,
William Dembski states in his book Design Inference that the nature of the intelligent designer cannot be inferred from intelligent design and suggests that the designer, if one is even necessary for design inference, may or may not be “the God of Scripture.” In December 2007 Dembski told Focus on the Family, “I believe God created the world for a purpose. The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God.”
. . . Highlighting these mutually exclusive claims about the designer, Dembski, despite having said that the intelligent designer or designers could be any god or gods, or even space aliens, has also said that “intelligent design should be understood as the evidence that God has placed in nature to show that the physical world is the product of intelligence and not simply the result of mindless material forces” and that “Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.”
This should be all the information that Ball State needs to keep intelligent design out of science classes and from being presented as a one-sided view in any class. The Discovery Institute, in its zeal to vindicate Hedin, screwed up here. They basically confirmed what Judge Jones ruled in the Dover Case: Intelligent Design is an extension of religion.
Thanks to the readers who caught this. I’m wondering how the folks at the DI are going to get out of this one.
On a related note, the first signatory of the letter to Ball State from the Fatuous Four, state senator Dennis Kruse, chairman of the Education and Career Development committee, has twice introduced bills into the Indiana legislature that would allow the teaching of creationism in public schools. According to the HuffPo article, Kruse did this while working closely with the “Discovery Center” of Seattle, which I take to be the Discovery Institute. Kruse also introduced a bill last year that would allow public schools the option of starting each day with the Lord’s Prayer. That one, like Kruse’s first creationism bill, died in the legislature, which will likely be the fate of any creationism bill he introduces. Even our conservative Supreme Court would strike those down.
Kruse is not so dumb (I hope) that he’s unaware that such bills are blatantly unconstitutional. He’s just pandering to his religious Republican constituency. But what an embarrassment that man is to the Hoosier State! Is is a stain on that state, where I spent much of my childhood, that so many members of the state legislature are in bed with creationists.