Law Review supports teaching of ID
In their never-ending push to get ID into the public classroom, the DI put out a press release stating that it's ok and constitutional to teach intelligent design. Arnold Loewy (according to the article a liberal first amendment lawyer) wrote:
I believe that teaching intelligent design in public schools is constitutional (outside of the unusual context of the Kitzmiller situation). First, under Establishment Clause doctrine, States may not disapprove of religion. And, a fortiori, courts cannot disapprove of religion. Of course, I am not arguing that a State must teach intelligent design. States are free within quite broad parameters to set their own curricula. As important as the question of intelligent design is, failure to teach it hardly constitutes disapproval of religion. But when the Court invalidates teaching a theory of origin because of its partial congruence with religion, that is disapproval.The ID folks are, naturally claiming this a victory and noting that this is precisely what they tried to argue in the Dover case. I'm not a lawyer (though I have played one in local theatre) and so I followed the Dover case as an interested spectator. Here's why I think Loewy maybe legally correct, but his opinion on the matter has too narrow of focus and completely irrelevant to the real underlying arguments. Loewy goes on to say
[I]nvalidating the teaching of intelligent design in public schools is flatly inconsistent with free speech principles. … If the Supreme Court ever gets a case, unlike Kitzmiller, where the School Board or Legislature's apparent motive for integrating intelligent design into the curriculum is to maximize student exposure to different ideas about the origin of the species, and not to indoctrinate religion, the Court should uphold the provision.This is where the spin comes in. The reason that ID changed its name (and appearance) was to skirt the issues that arose in previous Supreme Court cases. In self-proclaiming intelligent design a scientific theory, the ID folk hoped that they could leverage free speech laws. What Dover did for us was to show that ID was creationism's Trojan Horse. Furthermore, the very notion that one can simply purchase equal time in the classroom for any wacko idea is absurd. Yet, this is exactly what the ID folk are doing. They conduct no/very little science and work as a well-funded political action committee. I'd also like to ask the ID folk the following. "What's the big deal?". If ID is good science, it will eventually find its way into the classroom the same way that all good science finds its way into the classroom. It will have earned a place in the textbooks by building up a strong scientific base. Whatever happened to patience and hard work?
If ID really wants to be science, then the battle should not be taken to K-12 level. The fight should be taken to other scientists. Instead of battling for a legal precedence to be taught in high school, they should be battling Nature and Science reviewers with their testable hypotheses. Instead of arguing about the nuances of first amendment rights, they should be arguing about first authorship on the scientific papers. Instead of lobbying the halls of congress, they should be lobbying the IVY-covered halls of academia.
This is not a first amendment issue and the Wedge document gave us a taste that ID was a new 'broad tent' religion. Their unscientific actions thus far have confirmed their true agenda. Someone should tell them that in order to drive a wedge, you need a hammer. That hammer is solid science, not legal opinion.