We have many times noted (one example) disingenuous claims by creationists that their attacks on teaching about evolution in public school science classrooms have nothing to do with religion. Now anti-evolution pooh-bah William Dembski offers more evidence that those claims are little more than misleading propaganda.
Writing on his blog Cultural Noise, Paul Murray notes descriptions offered for courses Dembski teaches at the North Carolina-based Southern Evangelical Seminary. (Dembski is listed as a non-resident faculty member there. He is a full-time faculty member at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.) The courses on “Intelligent Design” (creationism dressed up in a lab coat) have some interesting requirements:
– One course requires “a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 30% of your grade).”
– The same course also requires students to “develop a Sunday-school lesson plan based on the book Understanding Intelligent Design (worth 20% of your grade).”
– At least two courses require students to make “at least 10 posts defending ID” on “hostile” Web sites (worth 20 percent of the students’ grades).
So a significant requirement to pass Dembski’s classes is to engage in a propaganda campaign to “prove” that “intelligent design” is based in science and not religion. Never mind that Dembski’s classes themselves prove that this propaganda campaign is simply a lie.
These are courses in Christian apologetics, a term which means the philosophical defense of a religious viewpoint. Here is perhaps the most blatant admission you will ever see (by one of the preeminent “scientific” thinkers on ID) that Intelligent Design is, in fact, a religious concept and NOT a scientific one. Why else would it be taught in a class on apologetics? Why are there no other courses in apologetics that have an (allegedly) scientific idea as the core concept of the course?
We say it again: everyone has the right to his or her own religious beliefs about creation and any other topic, and Texas Freedom Network will continue to defend the right of all people to practice their faith as they see fit. But public schools have no business deciding whose religious beliefs to teach in science classrooms. Dembski and his fellow travelers don’t agree. They want to use public schools as tools to promote their religious beliefs over those of everyone else. TFN will continue to stand firmly against that.