David Opderbeck has another post up at the Biologos blog on the Kitzmiller decision and related issues. He makes some excellent points regarding Judge Jones’ misguided efforts to define science.
However, he repeats a common misunderstanding about “teaching the controversy”:
Supporters of Judge Jones’ approach in the Kitzmiller case suggest that a similar gatekeeping function is important with respect to public education. Without some demarcation of what can be taught as “science” in the public schools, aren’t we opening the floodgates to the teaching of all sorts of pseudo-science, such as astrology and young earth creationism? I think this is a valid concern. For this and other reasons, I personally don’t agree with the “teach the controversy” approach promoted by many ID advocates. If I were to serve on my local school board, I would not vote in favor of introducing ID materials into the science curriculum, primarily because I don’t believe the ID program has generated sufficient results to reach the public schools. Like the courts, the public schools lack the time and resources to address views that fall far outside the scientific mainstream.
My reply comment clarifying the facts was as follows:
Interesting post. You make some good points.
I find it quite interesting the beating you are taking for simply using the phrase “ID theory.” I find the comments attacking this phrase unhelpful and uncivil, as they do not respect thoughtful ID proponents, and they do not further the debate. They reflect a form of knee jerk fundamentalism. Does Biologos endorse this kind of rhetoric?
I wish I had more time to comment, but I will make one important point of fact: you seem to equate “teaching the controversy” with “introducing ID materials into the science curriculum.” That is not accurate, at least as far as the Discovery Institute is concerned. They are the leading advocates of teaching the controversy. Teaching the controversy means presenting evidence for evolution, and evidence that poses problems for evolution, such as the Cambrian Explosion and the fact that genetics and morphology present a mixed picture as to whether there is a single, consistent “tree of life.” Only solid mainstream evidence would be presented. Then students are encouraged to think critically about the evidence.
I don’t know why any good educator would oppose this, as long as the evidence is presented accurately. Judge Jones suggested that even this should be banned. The Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard clearly stated that teaching the controversy is permissible, if done the right way and with the right intent. Edwards trumps Kitzmiller, obviously.