Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Intelligent Design: Unconstitutional

Well, not the theory, only the teaching of it in schools.

The Commissar has a lengthy post on the topic, one of a long series of posts on evolution versus intelligent design, which he begins with a chuckle-worthy "This agnostic says 'Thank God!'"

This is, I believe, the first I've had occasion to mention the subject. Not because the creation doesn't interest me -- it does -- but because the place of its teaching doesn't interest me. I'm too old to have public school teachers teach me anything, and my kids are too young.

That said, even when the kids are in school, I still don't think I'll get very worked up over the topic. I say this as a person who believes that God created the Earth in seven "days" (whatever Moses meant when he used the word yown). As a person who lacks the tremendous faith it requires to believe that life as we know it is no more than coincidence.

This is for two reasons. First, I haven't read the judge's decision, but I assume as a matter of course that a judge can intelligently and reasonably write 139 pages (!) explaining why Intelligent Design is too much like Creationism to survive a First Amendment attack. Therefore it doesn't strike me as a particularly ground-breaking piece of jurisprudence.

Second, I also assume as a matter of course that my kids will be taught all kinds of bullcrap when they go to school. The proper solution, in my opinion, is not to force the school to teach exclusively to my personal preferencs (an impossible task), but to make all necessary corrections when the kids get home from school. When I was in junior high, for some reason, we had an assignment to rank certain public policy issues according to importance. The way the thing was set up, it indicated that I should vote Dukakis rather than Bush I. Well, what the heck did I know about politics at the time? As far as I knew, that was a perfectly reasonable result.

When I went home, I told my parents that, according to the quiz thing I had done, I was a Dukakis supporter. Now my parents never, ever talked politics when I was growing up, with this one exception. They both looked absolutely horrified, and then we discussed the quiz, the results, and the candidates. By the end of the discussion, it was pretty clear that Dukakis was a dimwit, and that I really supported Bush.

That's just one example of a bad case of misinformation fed to me in public schools. And because my parents took the time to work through things with me when I got home, it was quickly corrected. How hard is it, when my kid comes home and tells me how the world started with a big bang and a bunch of monkeys, to explain that some people believe that, but we don't, and here's why.

Anyway, congratulations to the Commissar, who gets far more worked up about this than I do, because I'm sure he'll sleep more soundly tonight knowing us Jesus-freaks were dealt a blow in our attempt to force some righteousness into him.