Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Focus on the Family: Inheriting the wind as we speak.

Focus on the Family’s Citizenlink had a teaser article entitled: “Intelligent Design Belongs with Darwin in Classrooms; Political Correctness Does Not”
by Candi Cushman, an education analyst for Focus on the Family.

They then link to the full online opinion piece in US News & World Report. I was under the impression that they were a legitimate news source, apparently not.

She begins by referring to the movie “Inherit the Wind,” describing it as “an eloquent protest against attacks on freedom of thought.”

I recently watched that movie, and the title comes from the Biblical passage Proverbs 11:29 - “He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.”

Meaning that those who unnecessarily stir up trouble with their families, communities, society, will eventually be abandoned and left alone. They will “inherit” only the air that surrounds them.

And true to Focus on the Family persecution-complex form, Ms. Cushman states the following:
But if the film were reproduced to reflect today's events, there'd have to be a role reversal. This time the person sitting in the prosecution box would be an educator who dared to challenge any part of Darwin's theory.
And again with the whole “tolerance” meme, AKA those who tout the merits of tolerance should also be tolerant of intolerance:
Those leading our public education systems constantly proclaim their love of diversity, tolerance and academic freedom. But actions speak louder than words.
She then dismisses any concern that “secularists” may have about the teaching of religion in schools, and that even people of faith wouldn’t want this.

And finally, the plot point: “The majority of parents do, however, want their kids to examine all the scientific evidence…both information for and against Darwinian evolution to be presented.”

And what would that information against “Darwinian evolution” be? Intelligent Design. She concludes that not teaching ID along side evolution is a “double standard.”

This is called teach the controversy -- if you can’t win your argument on merit, you might be able to convince people that the arguments are equal, and thus, fair and balanced to teach both. In some cases this is appropriate, but evolution is based on science, Intelligent Design is not. The real “controversy” attempting to be taught here is that science itself is equal to religious belief, despite Candi Cushman’s denials that this is the case.

She claims “Students should be allowed to hear all the evidence” and “They [evolutionists] claim there is no room for new evidence.” Problem is, there is no scientific evidence to back up ID.

Here’s an informative yet very easy to read Q & A from the ACLU on ID.

I should say here that I believe in an intelligent designer, a created evolution if you will, but I’m not about to call that scientific evidence, nor especially intelligent design, for fear of being associated with these buffoons.

And I love this next part:
More than 700 scientists have signed their names on a petition (launched by The Discovery Institute in 2001) stating their skepticism that natural selection can sufficiently account for the complexity of life.
If you’re not familiar with the Discovery Institute, they are one of, if not the main players in this “teach the controversy” Intelligent Design charade.

Secondly, I canvassed that site a couple years ago looking for anything even remotely scientific, and found nothing. No experiments, no scientific theories, nothing. However, I did find this little gem called “The Wedge Document.”:
The Wedge Document is an internal memorandum from the Discovery Institute (the leading proponent of Intelligent Designer "Theory") that was leaked to the Internet in 1999. The Discovery Institute later admitted to its authenticity. Since then, Discovery Institute hasn't talked very much about the document, or the strategy it outlines. The reason is crushingly obvious, since the Wedge Document makes it readily apparent that the Discovery Institute is flat-out lying to us when it claims that its Intelligent Designer campaign is concerned only with science and does not have any religious aims, purpose or effect.

The Wedge Document is
reproduced here, in full.
She goes on:
Shouldn't students have the opportunity to investigate what…may point to evidence of design?
Again, I believe in an intelligent designer, but the word “design” used in this context, is a euphemism for consciousness. And if anyone is going to prove the consciousness responsible for designing matter itself, it’s going to be the quantum physicists.

We then get more persecution complex, oh woe is me, won’t somebody please think about the children, etc.
They are simply protecting educators' and students' First Amendment rights to have a free and open dialogue.
The very fact these protections are necessary, should send a wake-up call to those who truly do care about tolerance and academic freedom in this country.
“First Amendment,” “Tolerance,” and “Freedom.”

Here’s how the ACLU describes it:
Q: Why not "teach both sides"?
A: This would be like teaching astrology in an astronomy course or alchemy in a chemistry class. There are not "two sides" to the science.

Clearly this woman is not very learned, or she would know about the PBS program called “Intelligent Design on Trial,” which can be watched online for free, along with tons of resources. It also provides the transcript of the show, the most striking part of was this:
NARRATOR: Barbara Forrest's testimony would make a strong case that the Dover school board was thrusting religion into the classroom. And in comparing the Of Pandas and People drafts, Forrest discovered that the authors had apparently made their revisions in haste.

BARBARA FORREST: In cleansing this manuscript, they failed to replace every word properly. I found the word "creationists." And instead of replacing the entire word, they just kind of did this, and got "design proponents" with the "c" in front and the "ists" in the back from the original word.

NICK MATZKE: So the correct term for this transitional form is "Cdesign proponentsists." And everyone now refers to this as the "missing link" between creationism and intelligent design. You've got the direct physical evidence there of a transitional fossil.
The whole point of Intelligent Design is to undermine scientific inquiry, and thus the need to educate our youth on the importance of rational thought. Thus they confuse the issue by making it sound like evolution and ID are scientifically equal, hence “teach the controversy.”

It’s just another veiled theocratic ploy to wrest power from the government and anyone who disagrees with them.

But since when was Focus on the Family known for its integrity? It’s mostly their absence of embarrassment that baffles me. Unless they actually think they’re right, in light of the evidence, in which case I would ask how it’s possible to be that stupid?

She didn’t even make an argument, she didn’t even try. It was little more than a whiney diatribe on how science isn’t catering to their redefinition of it.

1 comment:

libhom said...

I love how the militant, Christian fundamentalists went on about "political correctness." Whenever anyone mentions "political correctness," you know they are full of it.