Thursday, February 16, 2006

On February 14, the Ohio Board of Education removed a mandate that high school biology classes present a critical analysis of evolution. From the New York Times article:

"Darwin's defenders celebrated the reversal as a sign of a backlash against the inroads made last year by critics of evolution. But leaders of the Discovery Institute, the intellectual home of intelligent design, warned that Ohio's move would create a backlash of its own.

'It's an outrageous slap in the face to the citizens of Ohio,' said John G. West, associate director of the Center for Science and Culture at the institute, referring to several polls that show public support for criticism of evolution in science classes.

'The effort to try to suppress ideas that you dislike, to use the government to suppress ideas you dislike, has a failed history,' Mr. West said. 'Do they really want to be on the side of the people who didn't want to let John Scopes talk or who tried to censor Galileo?'"

This quote is an example of the absolute ignorance shown by most intelligent design supporters. John Scopes was charged with a crime because he taught evolution in school. West is on the side of the people who didn't want to let Scopes talk. Galileo was silenced by the Catholic church for suggesting that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Yet again, West is on the side of the people who tried to censor Galileo, people who wanted to suppress science because it contradicts their religious beliefs.

Mr. West says "suppressing ideas that you dislike... has a failed history," yet, isn't that exactly what intelligent design promoters are trying to do to evolution? They aren't trying to eradicate evolution, but they are trying to diminish its signifigance and to debase 150 years of scientific study.

The reason that ID supporters can get away with this kind of statement is because most American people don't know who John Scopes was, or what Galileo did. Most people would read this as "'Do they really want to be on the side of the people who didn't want to let so-and-so talk or who tried to censor that-one-guy?'" Then they would think, "No! In America, we have freedom of speech and censoring is wrong, of course we don't want to be on their side!" But the American people are on the side of the very people who are supporting censorship!

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