Eugenie Scott's Strategy to Take
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"A self-styled form of Darwinian fundamentalism has risen to some prominence in a variety of fields, from the English biological heartland of John Maynard Smith to the uncompromising ideology (albeit in graceful prose) of his compatriot Richard Dawkins, to the equally narrow and more ponderous writing of the American philosopher Daniel Dennett . . . . - Stephen Jay Gould, "Darwinian Fundamentalism," The New York Review of Books.
This post can now be found here.
In a remarkable development, Timothy White, the president of the University of Idaho has declared "evolution" unique among scientific theories. As noted previously, he made this dramatic pronouncement:
At the University of Idaho, teaching of views that differ from evolution . . . is inappropriate in our life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula.
ScrappleFace notes that Bush failed to ask WWKD?
There is more on the Harriet Miers nomination in the Washington Post: first the Threat to the Dream, and then she keeps making her rounds in the Senate. Charles Krauthammer asks the President to Withdraw This Nominee.
In a strangely worded letter, Timothy P. White, the President of the University of Idaho has forbidden consideration of any theory but evolution in the school's "life, earth, and physical science courses." He said, in part:
I write to articulate the University of Idaho’s position with respect to evolution: This is the only curriculum that is appropriate to be taught in our bio-physical sciences. . . . At the University of Idaho, teaching of views that differ from evolution . . . is inappropriate in our life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula.
The Washington Post has this brief report on Barbara Forrest's testimony at the Kitzmiller trial. William Dembski's rebuttal to her witness report can be found here. The Discovery Institute comments are here.
This web page provides an overview of the Supreme Court's application of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Anthony Kennedy may soon be the swing vote in such cases (if Harriet Miers is confirmed). Here is an excerpt on how he may change the analysis:
Some justices propose allowing more government support for religion than the Lemon test allows. These justices support the adoption of a test outlined by Justice Anthony Kennedy in his dissent in County of Allegheny v. ACLU and known as the “coercion test.” Under this test the government does not violate the establishment clause unless it (1) provides direct aid to religion in a way that would tend to establish a state church, or (2) coerces people to support or participate in religion against their will. Under such a test, the government would be permitted to erect such religious symbols as a Nativity scene standing alone in a public school or other public building at Christmas. But even the coercion test is subject to varying interpretations, as illustrated in Lee v. Weisman, the 1992 Rhode Island graduation-prayer decision in which Justices Kennedy and Antonin Scalia, applying the same test, reached different results.
Harriet Miers and her views on church and state may have a bigger impact on the ultimate outcome of the Kitzmiller v. Dover case than anything that goes on in court this week. Background articles from the Washington Post and other sources are below.
In this battle, the White House has clearly sided with the churchgoing masses against the Republican Party's own whiny Beltway intellectuals. The Bushies have always mistrusted their own bow-tied secularists, but the rift has never before been so public. "This is classic elitism," says a senior administration official of the GOP opposition to the Miers nomination. "We often blame the left for it, but we have it in our own ranks. Just because she wasn't on a shortlist of conservatives who prepared their whole life for this moment doesn't make her any less conservative … and just because she hasn't penned op-eds for the Wall Street Journal doesn't mean she hasn't formed a judicial philosophy.
The Washington Post has this piece by Scott Keeter of the Pew Research Center in the Sunday Outlook section.
The Washington Post (and CNN, with photo) had this report on the testimony of Robert Pennock, an expert witness for the plaintiffs and the ACLU:
Pennock said intelligent design does not belong in a science class, but added that it could possibly be addressed in other types of courses.
Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book, "Of Pandas and People," is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves.
The reference book, "Of Pandas and People," is also available for members of the mainstream media who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves.