Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Intelligent Design In The Philosophy Classroom

Remember the many times when opponents of intelligent design said that including the concept in non-science classes would be acceptable? A high school in California has tried it, and Barry Lynn and Americans United For Separation Of Church And State are suing. An Associated Press article on the story suggests that the objection to the course is that it favors religious views over evolution. One part of the article says that all but one of the videos being used in the class advocate a religious position. But if the class is covering a variety of views of origins, won't the majority of views be religious? What sense would it make to expect non-religious views to make up half or more of the content?

Perhaps there's good reason for opposing this class. We'll have to see what further details come out. But none of the details I've read so far suggest that the class is inappropriate. And even if the class is problematic in some way I haven't yet heard about, my sense is that Evolution News & Views probably is correct in arguing that there's a lot of insincerity on the part of intelligent design opponents who claim that they'd be willing to accept the inclusion of the theory in non-science classes. Some may be willing to accept it, but I imagine that many wouldn't. Perhaps Barry Lynn and Americans United would be willing to accept the inclusion of intelligent design under some circumstances, but it looks as though those circumstances would be unreasonably narrow.