It’s worse than we thought. Yesterday we posted Discovery Institute — Casey Luskin News, in which we talked about a new article by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. It was published in the law review of Trinity Law School, which some might regard as, well, not the most prestigious or rigorously edited legal journal. Casey’s central thesis was that:
[C]ourts have struck down the teaching of alternatives to evolution because of their historical associations with religion. At the same time, he notes that courts typically ignore anti-religious historical associations with Darwinism. … The result is a double standard, as courts hold alternatives to evolution unconstitutional to teach, but evolution constitutional. … [H]e argues that religious associations of scientific views on origins science should not be constitutionally fatal, but rather should be considered an “incidental effect.”
Today at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog there’s a follow-up article on the same topic: Law Review Article Documents the Role of Anti-Religious Activism in Evolution Advocacy. Like the last one, it’s by Sarah Chaffee, whom we call “Savvy Sarah.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us.
Would an objective individual, familiar with the history of evolutionary theory, perceive the idea as religiously neutral? As I discussed [in yesterday’s blog post], this is a question that courts have not asked — even though they evaluate the religious associations of alternative scientific theories.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The courts haven’t asked that question because it’s absurd. Science is a totally different enterprise from religion. It’s based on: (1) a constantly growing body of knowledge acquired by verifiable observations of reality, much of which wasn’t available when religions originated; and (2) testable explanations thereof. Religion is based on the declarations of those who claim to have received revelations. The world’s various religions have each had different accounts of the world they saw, based on unobserved and untestable supernatural causes.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that science provides a view of the world that often differs from the conflicting teachings of various religions. Additionally, science is the one worldview that is truly global in its acceptance, at least among those who understand its methods. The reason for this concurrence is that science is completely independent of religious dogma. It is science, not religion, that provides the benefits of technology we all enjoy today. Let’s read on:
In the [law review article we discussed yesterday], Casey Luskin examines the way courts have struck down the teaching of alternatives to evolution in public schools because of their historical associations with religion.
Yes, that’s because the only alternatives (creationism and its love-child, intelligent design) are entirely rooted in religion and therefore have no place in science classes. But they can be — and are — freely taught in churches or in classes on world religions. Savvy Sarah continues:
In a section that spans an impressive 76 pages with 380+ footnotes, Luskin documents numerous historical associations between anti-religious thought and activism, on one hand, and evolution on the other.
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Casey has produced a truly massive compilation! It’s true that the theory of evolution is contrary to the declarations of various religious about the supernatural creation of life and humanity. So what? As we’ve pointed out before, science also disagrees with other religious dogmas — see The Earth Is Flat! and also The Earth Does Not Move!, and also How Old Is The Creationists’ Universe?. According to Casey’s argument, courts should be suspicious of not just evolution, but of every science that conflicts with the teachings of religion. Here’s more:
From the beginning of the idea’s history, evolution has been linked to atheism: [big quote from Casey’s article]. … Luskin writes, “innumerable other examples could be given of scientists and academics who similarly use evolution to oppose religion.”
Gasp! If Casey’s scholarship is accurate, that means the courts should be hostile to virtually all of science — especially astronomy. Atheists often mention Galileo’s conflict with the Church over the solar system, and they giggle at the idea that the universe was created 6,000 years ago.
Moving along, Savvy Sarah gives us an ark-load of quotes from Casey’s article, which we’ll skip. Then she says:
Douglas Futuyma notes in his college textbook Evolutionary Biology, “By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of life superfluous.” Luskin notes that one of Kenneth Miller’s textbooks leaves readers “with a starkly anti-theistic passage on the implications of evolution”: [alleged quote from Miller]. Furthermore, atheistic organizations openly advocate for evolution.
That certainly casts doubt on evolution! Another excerpt:
Popular media repeats these anti-religious associations with evolution — from the well-known Inherit the Wind to the TV series Cosmos, whose first edition featured Carl Sagan, and second Neil deGrasse Tyson. Millions of people watched these series, which promoted the public perception that an evolutionary viewpoint opposes religion.
Why have the courts refused to acknowledge this? Casey’s research has really uncovered something! On with the article:
Luskin goes into much more depth in his article, documenting links between evolution and atheistic advocacy. Since the inception of the theory, many have coupled evolution with anti-religious rhetoric. Yet courts ignore these connections — while at the same time declaring alternative theories are unconstitutional to teach because of their religious associations.
It’s so unfair! And now we come to the end:
In the next post, I will address how Luskin recommends courts respond to connections between atheism and evolution advocacy: not by declaring evolution unconstitutional to teach in public schools, but by reevaluating tests that examine the religious or anti-religious associations of origins science theories.
Keep ’em coming, Savvy Sarah! This is great stuff!
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