by Gordy Slack
Chicago Sun-Times (Illinois), page 2B
November 18, 2007
Two years ago, Pennsylvania federal Judge John Jones III handed down a stunning decision that many said would take down the intelligent design movement. But American creationism doesn’t die. It just adapts.
Decades earlier, when the courts deemed creation science — proto intelligent design — a religious view and not constitutionally teachable as science in public schools, it adapted by cutting God off its letterhead and calling itself “intelligent design.” The argument for I.D., and for “scientific creation theory” before it, is that evolution isn’t up to the task of accounting for life. Given biology’s complexity, and natural selection’s inability to explain it, I.D. thinking goes, life must be designed by a, well, designer. I.D.ers skirted any mention of God, hoping to avoid getting snagged on the First Amendment’s prohibition against promoting religion by arguing that I.D. was just a young and outlying science.
In the Pennsylvania case, Kitzmiller vs. Dover, Judge Jones ruled that if you want to teach intelligent design in science class, first you have to show that it is a distinct species from its earlier, creationist form, not just a modified type. You’ve got to show us the science part, he said. Besides, Jones declared, your intelligent designer is obviously God.