Science & Faith
2/25/13 at 10:52 PM 19 Comments

The Agenda: Academic Freedom, not Pushing Intelligent Design

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Missouri Capitol

You may have heard of a bill in the Missouri State Legislature that would require equal treatment for evolution and intelligent design. Discovery Institute, the leading think-tank for intelligent design, opposes this sort of legislation. As a senior fellow of Discovery Institute I can testify that it has been our longstanding policy to oppose requiring intelligent design in public science courses. Academic freedom bills are well worth supporting (as I explained earlier), but the current Missouri bill under discussion is not one of those.

Why does Discovery Institute oppose policy proposals like the current Missouri bill? Our Science Education Policy Page explains why we oppose mandating ID in public schools:

As a matter of public policy, Discovery Institute opposes any effort to require the teaching of intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education. Attempts to mandate teaching about intelligent design only politicize the theory and will hinder fair and open discussion of the merits of the theory among scholars and within the scientific community. Furthermore, most teachers at the present time do not know enough about intelligent design to teach about it accurately and objectively. Read more.

Often reporters don't understand or deliberately distort this policy stance of Discovery Institute. Here is a recent example:

The Washington Post's Valerie Strauss is a prime example of an agenda-driven reporter who isn't very scrupulous about the facts when reporting on controversies over evolution in education. Back in 2004, Strauss wrote an article falsely implying that Discovery Institute favored requiring the teaching of intelligent design. More recently, Strauss has abandoned all pretense of impartiality, using her platform at the Post to disseminate propaganda from the lobbying group Media Matters. Read more.

People are free to disagree with Discovery Institute's policy recommendations, but one would at least hope for the common decency of honest reporting.

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