ID is “unscientific” — Dinesh D’Souza

In an astonishing post on Townhall.com, Dinesh D’Souza admits that evolution is scientific and ID isn’t.

The problem with evolution is not that it is unscientific but that it is routinely taught in textbooks and in the classroom in an atheist way…Instead of trying to get unscientific ID theories included in the classroom, a better strategy would be to get the unscientific atheist propaganda out.

Hmm, wonder how this is going to go over with the fine folks at Expelled?

What D’Souza objects to is statements by evolutionists that imply God is not necessary as an explanation for life. For example,

Douglas Futuyma asserts in his textbook Evolutionary Biology: “By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous.”

D’Souza’s response to this is to propose a policy against such statements on constitutional grounds.

[T]he First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits public schools from teaching or promoting atheism in any way… If you are fired from your government job because you are an atheist, your First Amendment rights have been violated. In other words, the term “religion” means not only “religion” but also “atheism.”

Yet if the free exercise clause defines religion in a way that includes atheism, then the no-establishment clause must define religion in the same way… This means that just as a public school teacher cannot advocate Christianity or hand out Bibles to his students, so too public school textbooks and science teachers cannot advocate atheism.

I agree, with one slight caveat: if you point out that God is superfluous to a scientific understanding of origins, you are simply stating a fact. “In the beginning God created…” is no longer the sole available option. If an atheist professor in the public school system states tells his students science has proven that God does not exist, then he’s promoting atheism, and has crossed the line into territory forbidden by the First Amendment. If, however, he merely points out that God is not the only possible explanation, he’s only stating objective, verifiable fact, and has not crossed the line.

So I agree with D’Souza to a point. Public school classrooms should, in fact, not be venues for promoting atheism, though if your religion is such that merely stating the facts counts as an argument against it, well, you need a better religion. The educational mission of the public schools includes giving students access to real-world facts about the world around them, and respect for the First Amendment should not involve censoring these facts so as to create a false impression that a Creator is still needed.

 
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Posted in Current Events, Science, Society, Unapologetics. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “ID is “unscientific” — Dinesh D’Souza”

  1. ausyoyo Says:

    Just a minor quibble, saying that something is superfluous is not the same as saying that there is more than one option. It is, to my understanding, saying that “it” is unneccesary. Yes, I agree that god is unneccessary to an understanding of the origins of species, (I would add that it is unhelpful and innacurate to the study as well). However, Diness D’Souza is such a weasel with words that I think we have to be very careful not to give him any opportunity to latch onto a minor point and use it to recast the truth.

  2. jorgaba Says:

    From D’Souza:

    “In his essay on “Darwin’s Revolution” in the book Creative Evolution, Francisco Ayala credits Darwin with proving that life is “the result of a natural process…without any need to resort to a Creator.”

    Did D’Souza even read this essay by Ayala? Ayala is drawing a parallel between Darwin and Copernicus, and arguing that just as the Copernican revolution freed us from relying on gods to explain the workings of the solar system, so did the “darwinin revolution” free us from relying on gods to explain the workings of biological systems. He is making the opposite point D’Souza is trying to pin on him: that science has nothing to say about whether there is a creator, and, done properly, shouldn’t be expected to. Ayala is Catholic, and writes about the reconciliation of Science and Religious faith often. He most certainly does not “teach atheism”, nor is he advocating such a thing, and he could hardly be clearer about this. (for example, see http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/religion/faith/statement_01.html ).

    To misrepresent Ayala’s essay as conflating atheism with evolutionary is so profoundly dishonest and back-asswards, it boggles the mind.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/religion/faith/statement_01.html