Federal Judge John E. Jones III casts but a dim glow compared to the candescent brilliance of James Madison, yet just more than two years ago he found the Klieg lights of media-driven stardom sufficient to subvert the Bill of Rights into a Bull of Wrongs. Wielding Madison’s magnificent contribution to freedom and the American way as a club, Jones dispensed with subtlety or nuance as he flogged a local Pennsylvania school board for establishing a religion in violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Overreacting to teachers informing students of a library book on intelligent design, Jones not only found an egregious establishment of religion, he indignantly made it a violation of the Constitution to require so much as critical analysis of evolution in the science classroom. Let freedom ring.
Yes, what you thought was science is now constitutionally protected dogma in William Penn’s back woods, federally sheltered as untouchable and immune from criticism. In delivering his opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Jones became a hero to beleaguered Darwinists who, unable to hold off scientific criticism much longer, gladly traded freedom’s ring for a protective ring of federal marshals. Turning the bench into a pulpit and the Constitution into a papal decree, Jones preached:
To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment … we will enter an order permanently enjoining [the school board] from … requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution. …
Denigrate? Disparage? Compare Jones’ words with the First Vatican Counsel’s, and decide for yourself who established a religion:
But since in this very age when the salutary effectiveness of the apostolic office is most especially needed, not a few are to be found who disparage its authority, we judge it absolutely necessary to affirm solemnly the prerogative … to teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma …
Jones’ salutary effectiveness, technically binding only in his little Vatican, chilled freedom nationwide. Now any talk of “critical analysis of evolution” is heard as “disparaging revealed dogma,” with theophobic evolutionists alleging religious motives behind every attempt to educate rather than indoctrinate. Threatening more million-dollar lawsuits to “keep religion out of the classroom,” Darwinists derail every effort to show the growing scientific evidence against Darwinism. Cash-strapped school boards, unable to challenge the supreme apostolic authority Galileo-style, have no option but to succumb.
But, thankfully, there is a Galileo in the house. Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal ignored the pleas of would-be inquisitors and recently signed into law legislation allowing teachers to freely teach scientific criticisms of evolution, as well as global warming and other controversial topics. Described by the Washington Times as a “battle over science education that could soon spill over into the courts,” Louisiana’s act is merely an attempt to permit teachers to teach science objectively. Should we expect anything less?
Apparently, yes. Louisiana’s decision to no longer keep up with the religion-baiting Joneses drew out the usual suspects of professional anti-anti-evolutionists who live to ensure Darwinism remains free of all denigration and disparagement. Such perpetual antagonism to any opposition to evolution has created a lucrative cottage industry of atheists, Darwinists and even a few “religious folk,” each ready to mobilize loudly with truth-suppressing religious fervor against any exposé of their naked emperor.
This time the Darwin-only lobby failed. Professor Barbara Forrest, an unflagging mouthpiece for Darwinian hegemony, tried to mobilize a “huge network of e-mails” to Gov. Jindal’s office to stop the act’s supporters from “boldly introducing religion into public education.” Alan Leshner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, proclaimed the act “would unleash an assault against scientific integrity.” And, of course, the sky would fall.
The most intriguing comment came from Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education, or NCSE, an organization whose sole purpose is to “defend the teaching of evolution in the public schools.” According to the Washington Spectator, Scott fears that legislation like Louisiana’s might result in science standards that require students to – brace yourself – “explain why the Cambrian explosion is a serious problem for evolution.” Referring to the well-documented “explosion” of life forms having no Darwinian lineage found in the Cambrian fossil record, Scott’s statement makes the case for critical analysis in science education. As she knows, there is no evolutionary explanation for the Cambrian explosion, described by educator and author David Berlinski as “signaled by what I imagine a spectral puff of smoke and a deafening ta-da!, an astonishing number of novel biological structures come into creation, and they come into creation at once.” Even Darwin admitted that the Cambrian explosion presented a severe “difficulty” to his theory.
Darwin is not the problem; Darwinists are. Darwinists’ tactics stem from a visceral fear of what might happen if today’s students are asked to do what today’s Darwinists have never done: critically analyze evidence challenging Darwinism. Zealots know that if students critically consider Darwin’s 19th-century theory in light of 21st-century evidence the “difficulties” would start, but not end, with the Cambrian explosion. This is not the kind of teaching Scott or any of her cohorts is equipped to do, so “teaching the controversy” must be avoided by pretending there is no controversy.
But there is another option, a brilliant solution if evolution’s defenders have any integrity. Put forth by author William Dembski, “Teaching the Non-Controversy – An Immodest Proposal” sets out an ACLU-proof way to teach evolution honestly. Because the AAAS, the NCSE and other champions of Darwin-only education claim there is no scientific controversy (evolution, they claim, is as well established as gravity!), why not let students simply explain why evolutionary theory is one of the few areas in science where no controversy exists? To further help students gain total understanding of the non-controversy, Dembski recommends further science standards like the following:
- Explain in detail how evolutionary theory explains the Cambrian Explosion.
- Describe in detail how evolution made complex biological structures such as the human eye.
- Explain how evolutionary theory solves the problem that DNA cannot exist without protein and protein cannot exist without DNA.
Such science standards would meet everyone’s needs. Dogmatists would have students engaged in the study of how and why evolution is a proven fact, explaining every important question in biology. And those who desire critical analysis of evolution would get it by default, because the standards above cannot be achieved otherwise. Moreover, successfully satisfying Dembski’s suggested standards should be easy if Forrest, Leshner and Scott are to be believed. But don’t expect these standards to be adopted, because in attempting to meet them students would find, as Dembski says, “that evolutionary theory is bankrupt and intelligent design is a live scientific option.”
Louisiana may see the next court battle over the teaching of evolution. But making white lab coats subservient to black law robes is the business of scientific cowards – mainstream science has become sadly dependent upon federally protected and subsidized truth. But history shows that science-by-robed-decree, whether by Papal Bull or judicial bunk, is rarely sustainable against contrary evidence. The fine citizens of Louisiana sense this, and simply wish for their children to have science taught fully and honestly in an environment of academic freedom.
Why, of all areas of life, should it be such a struggle to put academic adjacent freedom in the same sentence, much less in practice?