Creationists accuse evolutionists of promoting religion!

Creationists accuse evolutionists of promoting religion! November 20, 2007

“If you can’t beat em, join em” is the latest tactic from the Discovery Institute in its war on science. In a recent press release, they’ve accused the US public sector broadcaster PBS of promoting religion (and so breaching the First Amendment) in an “Educational Briefing Packet” they’ve sent out to teachers to accompany the NOVA programme, Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.

The alleged crime? The briefing package makes a simple, factual observation: evolution is not inherently antireligious. The Discovery Institute’s gripe is that this is actually promoting religious viewpoints that don’t conflict with reality… and they don’t like it:

Because the Briefing Packet only promotes religious viewpoints that are friendly towards evolution, this is not neutral, and PBS is encouraging teachers to violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause

This is desperate stuff. Evolution is not inherently antireligious: some religions have accomodated at least this aspect of reality. Others have not. By pointing out that evolution is true and real, then you inevitably point out that deniers of evolution are a little unhinged.

Anytime you point out the difference between fantasy and fact, you are going to be upsetting somebody’s religious beliefs (there are a lot of crazy beliefs out there). Is this really the Discovery Institute’s hidden agenda – to ban the teaching of all facts, on First Amendment grounds?

They go on to say:

Discovery Institute has enlisted over a dozen attorneys and legal scholars, including Wenger, to review the PBS teaching guide with an eye to its constitutionality.

The New Scientist calls it a “bizarre twist”. It’s worse than that. It’s cynical attempt to silence critics by recourse to spurious lawsuits.

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