My blog is usually about art-related topics, but please allow me this brief diversion. A federal judge has just ruled that the theory of intelligent design cannot be discussed in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district. Why? Not because of it’s scientific merits (or lack thereof), but because it violates the so-called “separation of church and state”. Funny, I always thought scientific questions should be resolved in the labratory, not the courtroom.
Never mind the fact that the phrase “separation of church and state” appears nowhere in the constitution. The first amendment only states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The idea is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The same day Congress passed the First Amendment (Sept. 25, 1789) they approved a resolution requesting President George Washington to proclaim “…a day of public thanksgiving and prayer….”. Early American society was saturated with religious thought, and any honest student of history must admit that the Founders were hardly trying to forge a secular society.
But setting that debate aside, my real concern is that the courts are now censoring certain scientific theories not because of their merits, but because of the perceived ideology behind them. According to the AP news article, “Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause”, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said. Can anyone quote to me the part of the constitution that forbids the acknowledgment of God? I thought we were “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights”? After all, if our rights merely come from human governments then those same governments can take them away.
I know what some of you will respond by saying intelligent design is bad science. While I believe there are gaping holes in the theory of evolution, that is not my point. My concern is that the courts are overstepping their bounds. Intelligent design isn’t being censored because it is good science or bad science, but simply because it conflicts with a secular atheist worldview. It seems secularism must be defended at all costs, and any scientific evidence to the contrary must be squelched. I say let both theories be presented fairly and let them be judged on their own merits.
Thanks for listening to my rant. Feel free to post a comment. I welcome other opinons, but due to my busy schedule I may not be able to reply.