Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Giving away the store

The Discovery Inst. touts this IDNet press release. IDNet is the group pushing IDC in Kansas.

Delve into the foolish claims of attorney John Calvert:
The twisted decision of the court in Dover today effectively establishes a state sponsored ideology that is fundamental to non-theistic religions and religious beliefs. By outlawing the inference of design that arises from observation and analysis, the court has caused the state to endorse materialism and the various religions it supports.
All that's "outlawed" is a compulsion to present theism in science classes. As an attorney, I assume Mr. Calvert figured that out, and is simply lying for effect. The decision preserved individual choices to accept any of a range of metaphysical belief systems.
Thus the court actually inserted a religious bias into science, while purporting to remove one. The incorrect assumption implicit in the decision is that there is only one kind of “religion” - the kind that subscribes to God.
No. The judge made a very different claim. He argued that the only kind of thing that contemplates God is religion. It's a Venn Diagram, one circle inside another. All theistic things are religious, but not all religions are theistic. And IDC weighs in on one side of an explicitly religious issue.

Evolution neither requires nor forbids theism, or any other explicitly religious argument.

That's the difference between evolution and ID. There are theistic evolutionists who think that God influences the path of evolution, but don't treat that as a scientific proposition. They aren't "materialists" but their religious views conflict with IDC.

The court also failed to discuss the fact that the inference of design derives from an observation and analysis of the data, not from a religious text. Nor does he discuss or ask, from whence does a counter-intuitive inference of “no-design” arise?
Except that he explicitly evaluates the proposed lines of evidence for ID and finds them lacking logical support and scientific support. IDC is ill-defined, concepts meant to test it actually test evolution, and no adequate positive test for design has been proposed. It says that right in the ruling, if Calvert bothered reading it.
There is no issue in science that cries out more for competing hypotheses than highly subjective “historical narratives” about our origins. From where we come is inseparable from where we go. So long as only one answer to this question is allowed the story will necessarily be religious. We need the competition to make the explanations truly scientific.
No, what he needs is evidence, and that's what ID doesn't have, and may never have.

The important thing to take away from this is that Calvert is not interested in the fig leaf of presenting ID as non-religious. He accepts its religious status, and that's the end of the story.

How hard is it to extend that to the revisions he wrote, and the Board adopted? In this release, as in other public statements, Calvert has given away the store, making claims about the Board's changes that everyone else has been saying critically.

Furthermore, he essentially endorses the "equal time" approach which has been ruled unconstitutional before:
Unfortunately, the Court fails to recognize that the only way for the state to deal with the unavoidable religious problem entailed by any discussion of “Where do we come from?” is to objectively provide students with relevant scientific information on both sides of that controversy.
Actually, the only way the state can handle these personal issues is to let parents and students handle the religious implications on their own, while providing the available scientific evidence in a non-religious way.