Why has the ID legal strategy proven to be such a failure, even at the hands of conservative judges? Imagine that a group of advocates challenged Einstein's theories of general and special relativity. Let's say that this group, made up of a law professor, a couple of physicists, several journalists, as well as some divinity school graduates, flatly denies Einstein's proposition that e=mc2.
How would a judge, who is not a physicist, resolve the group's demand for inclusion in the physics classroom? He would summon a wide cross-section of leading physicists. They would inform him that despite unresolved debates about relativity--for example, its unexplained relationship to quantum theory--Einstein's theories are supported by a wide body of data. They enjoy near-unanimous support in the physics community worldwide. There is no alternative scientific theory that comes close to explaining the facts at hand. In such a situation any judge would promptly show the dissenters the door and deny their demand for equal time in the classroom. This is precisely the predicament of the ID movement.
Well, he almost gets it.
If a single public school teacher handed out bibles to his students, this would constitute a violation of the "no establishment" clause because no organ of the state is permitted to advance religion even to a slight degree. By the same standard, any statements made by biology teachers or biology textbooks that advance atheism would constitute violations of the First Amendment because they would involve a state institution in the promotion of atheism.To which I don't think anyone would disagree. But what follows by Mr. D'Souza are not examples of atheistic proselytizing in textbooks (1). They are simply statements that, given the knowledge we have, the hypothesis of 'a god' is superfluous to understanding the origin of the diversity of life on this planet. And what do we do with superfluous theories in science? We discard them, and retain the better, and hopefully more parsimonious, ones.
Blogs on this:
Professor Smith's Weblog
(1) I would like to point out that some of these texts are college level, probably for more advanced courses. I would not consider them anymore proselytizing (and a far cry less) than requiring philosophy students to read the writings of Thomas Aquinas.