From yesterday's Albuquerque Tribune:
"The Creationists aren’t going away. They’re just getting sneakier".
Thus Dave Thomas ended his commentary in The Tribune ("Intelligent design supporters find new, creative ways to get their message out", Insight & Opinion, March 13) which warned of yet another assault on evolutionary theory by the creationist, this time in the form of academic freedom legislation.
The principle objectives of this legislation are to "give teachers the right and freedom, when a theory of biological origins is taught, to objectively inform students of scientific information relevant to the strengths and weaknesses of that theory and protect teachers from reassignment, termination, discipline or other discrimination for doing so," and give students the "right and freedom to reach their own conclusions about biological origins".
Thomas warns that while the bill is about academic freedom, its intent is to teach creationism in the science classroom.
Having assisted in the drafting of this legislation, I can say that it says what it means and means what it says -- nothing different, nothing more and nothing less.
There is a lawyer’s adage that says "If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If the law is on your side, argue the law. If neither are on your side, change the subject and go after the motives of your opponent." Bingo! Right out of the Darwinist playbook.
This business of going after your opponent's motives can be tricky. While your objective may be to expose your opponent's hidden agenda, there is a real risk that instead, you will expose your own worst fears.
Thomas reads a lot into the language of these measures and what he "reads in" is a reflection of his own paranoia. His worst nightmare is not that biblical creationism will be taught in public schools -- that is not going to happen -- but that the evidentiary weakness of Darwin's theory will be exposed.
But the truth is that Darwinists have much more to be concerned about than academic freedom legislation and the distribution of science documentaries to science teachers. The greatest threat to the Darwinian dogma today is science itself.
There is a revolution underway in the biological sciences. A whole new field of biology called systems biology has emerged during the past 10 or 15 years. This revolution is just as profound for the biological sciences today as the transition in physics was from classical physics to quantum physics and relativity in the early part of the 20th century.
In this exciting new field, research is guided not by Darwinian principles but by design principles, because design principles are needed to explain design-like features.
The teaching of evolution today in public schools is frozen in the past where it is based largely on a mid-20th century understanding of biology. Research in the biological sciences has moved far beyond that understanding because of the hopeless inability of Darwinian principles to explain the complexity observed in living things.
Public education has a quandary. How do we teach evolution so that it reflects our current understanding of biology rather than a mid-twentieth century understanding?
Modern science arose in Christian Europe -- there and nowhere else -- and it was rational Christian theology that gave it its birth. The commonly accepted wisdom that the war between science and religion started with Galileo is mythology. There never has been such a war and the actual conflict between Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church is far more interesting than the simple one-dimensional mythological portrayal of a humble scientist pitted against a powerful and dogmatic church.
The so-called war between science and religion exists today as a mythology created in the nineteenth century as a political maneuver to aid the cause of materialism. That mythology has been preserved through the twentieth century and is broadly regarded as true.
The success of this strategy can be attributed largely to Thomas Huxley, Darwin's bulldog, who saw relatively little scientific value in Darwin’s theory but saw great value in its ability to provide the foundation for a new secular religion to replace Christianity, which he judged was no longer adequate to meet the needs of late 19th century England.
And he saw public schools as the means for spreading this new faith.
It is academic freedom the Darwinists fear because it will expose the weakness of the evolutionary theory. And if that weakness is exposed, then suddenly, public education becomes not the vehicle for propagation of their materialistic religious faith as envisioned by Huxley but the instrument of its demise.
By Joe Renick, an engineer with a research firm in Albuquerque, is executive director of the Intelligent Design Network’s New Mexico Division.