You may recall a little blip of an event from your American History class called the Scopes Monkey Trial. The basic situation was that in 1925 a Tennessee high school science teacher was fired and prosecuted for teaching about evolution in violation of state law forbidding it in the school curriculum. The trial caused a national sensation and inspired one of the great, although historically inaccurate, plays and movies of all time, Inherit the Wind.
This being the 21st century you’d think we would past all that but evidently not. In Texas several groups are pushing to include in the biology textbooks a new theory called "intelligent design" (the issue is covered by the Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle). According to the concept of "intelligent design" life did not evolve randomly, as in the theory of evolution, but instead progressed according to a plan or design. Sound a little like creationism?
The groups pushing school systems and textbook publishers to include "intelligent design" as a theory to be taught as equal to the theory of evolution say that their concepts have nothing to do with religion.
Raymond Bohlin, an employee of the Discovery Institute, a nonprofit Seattle-based think tank that has led the intelligent design movement, said the theory has no religious foundation. "There is scientific dissent concerning Darwinism," Bohlin said. "There are weaknesses to the theory and those are not being represented."
Let’s apply a little bit of good old fashioned logic to the statement that "the theory has no religious foundation". If you accept the basic concept of this pseudo-science, that life evolves as part of a plan, then the next question must be "Who the hell created the plan?". The answers to that question sends us off into areas which can only be classified as religious and it becomes necessary to decide which of the many all-powerful invisible guys (to paraphrase George Carlin) worshiped around the world and in this country is the creator. I think I know which one the people behind "intelligent design" would say (God®, © 4004 BC Pat Robertson, all rights reserved*) but other US citizens, and even some in Texas, might disagree.
All of this might be just another humorous piece of modern life except for the fact that adopting "intelligent design" into the curriculum of Texas schools will affect far more than their students. Textbook publishers create their materials to fit the requirements of their largest customers. If Texas, California (where the same attempt to corrupt science is going on) and other large states say that biology textbooks must include "intelligent design", the same crap will show up in the materials used states.
* It’s a joke; pleeeeeeeese don’t flame me.