News & Views item - February 2006
Where Has Intelligent Design Gone... Where is it Going? (February 10, 2006)
According to Science this past January a rural southern California high school began a month long course on the "Philosophy of Design," exploring issues such as "why is intelligent design [ID] gaining momentum," despite the recent judgement in the Dover Pennsylvania school board case.
Then facing the prospect of a threatened law suit and projected legal costs of over US$100,000 the El Tejon Unified School District on 10 January agreed to a settlement, ending the course early and promising not to teach any course that "promotes or endorses creationism, creation science, or intelligent design."
The end of Intelligent Design? Not likely.
[T]he leaders of the ID movement prefer a more subtle approach to undermine the teaching of evolution: [They] urge schools to teach the "controversy" over evolution. "We oppose mandating the teaching of ID," says John West of the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Washington, the leading promoter of ID. "We opposed that [El Tejon] class," which was laden with young-Earth creationism as well as ID; the institute also opposed the Dover policy. Their latest video for school districts, entitled "How to Teach the Controversy Legally," does not mention ID.
For example in the draft Kansas Science Standards, teachers are advised to teach the evidence "for and against" evolution while a Michigan bill proposes that students "critically evaluate scientific theories including, but not limited to, the theories of global warming and evolution."
In the opinion of Alan
Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the
battle over teaching evolution "isn't over; these people are well-financed and
ideologues in the true sense, and they are not giving this up."