Saturday, December 23, 2006

What Intelligent Design Can Achieve

Intelligent Design advocates are getting desperate. They have no research; they have no data; they have no hypotheses; they have nothing to do with science. As I have said before, the best intelligent design can currently achieve is front runner of a prima donna popularity contest among the scientifically illiterate. However, when they start to loose even that avenue, anything apparently goes. They seem very capable of resorting to personal attacks quite effectively, as the examples here, here, and here demonstrate. They are also pretty good at creating martyrs.

John Lynch and Ed Brayton sum up the "Year in Review" for intelligent design advocates. It consists largely of court defeats and political campaign losses. Ed has a good overview:

A. The one state where they had actually been successful in getting their "critical analysis" strategy into the curriculum, Ohio, has completely reversed itself, and it did so explicitly as a result of the Dover ruling. Gov. Taft asked the state board of education to reconsider the policy in light of the Dover ruling and they voted it out.

B. On top of that, the voters then voted out the most prominent ID advocates on the board of education, including the DI's most reliable mouthpiece, Deborah Owens Fink.

C. The only other state where the IDers had managed to take control of a board of education, Kansas, again voted out the ID advocates, and will now reverse the changes in the science standards before they could even be implemented.

D. The Cobb County case got settled, again because of the Dover ruling. Once Eric Rothschild and the legal team from the Dover case got involved, the school board quickly decided to cut their losses and settle the case.

E. Attempts to get ID into schools in one form or another failed all across the country, including here in Michigan where the IDers tried about 3 different ways to do it. And their pro-ID governor candidate lost badly.

So, everywhere Intelligent Design or Creationism was introduced at the local level, the efforts were eventually defeated. As in the case with Dover, this usually came at a huge cost to school districts that can ill afford such expensive forays into non-science simply to appease a small proportion of the population that wants to win the popularity contest. Now, ID/Creationist advocates are nothing if not persistent, so this will not be the last time we have to confront such illogical efforts to change the nature of science as it is taught in schools. Small, rural communities in particular often seem to think they are culturally monolithic and can get away with such shenanigans unscathed. They can't.

I'll just let that hang in the air around here....

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