Recently, Evolution News & Views has been discussing the decade-old Dover case that, in my view, cleared the decks for serious discussions about Darwinism. No surprise, lots more people express doubts, now that the failing American school system is no longer an issue.
West, a director at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (ID Central), writes,
It was during the bleak months following Dover that I made one of the biggest decisions of my professional life. Rather than cut and run, I decided to risk everything. Convinced of the critical importance of the intelligent design debate, I gave up my tenured position as a university professor to devote my full energies to Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, which I had co-founded with Stephen Meyer in 1996.
When an atheist professor discovered I had left my university post, he started harassing me, gleefully informing me I would soon be out of a job because the Dover decision would destroy both Discovery Institute and intelligent design. That atheist professor had not counted on courageous people like the readers of Evolution News.
That professor seems not to have counted on evidence-based reasoning either—the main reason why West and his Center are still here.
Years earlier, I too had given up better-paying, less controversial opportunities in Canada in order to cover the growing ID story.
I had got stuck with a science desk. And soon discovered one thing: The stranglehold that naturalism has on science was becoming more apparent. Wars on falsifiability, the acceptance of crackpot cosmology, crackpot biology, and crackpot psychology, and many other trends, seemed based on a single principle:
That the best available naturalist thesis (nature is all there is)—even if it is untestable, unfalsifiable, doesn’t make any sense, or is contradicted by evidence—is to be preferred to any finding of fact that shows design in nature.
So, if there is design in nature, science wouldn’t allow us to know it or to know what difference it would make.
Science then becomes the propaganda tool of naturalist atheists, and everyone else pays. What a clever way of establishing a religion! Claiming that it is a “non-religion” or “anti-religion”!
Like most Canadians, I pay little attention to the American public education system. It spends more and results in less than most Western systems. The Darwin-in-the-schools lobby is only a minuscule part of that gargantuan ripoff. It’s not my business apart from the fact that, say, the Pants in Knot Bayou puppet theatre has sorta been charming on a dull afternoon.
But as I said before, the main business for ID now is research and evaluation of research. I’m glad if the American public education scandal is no longer a big part of the ID community’s issues. When Americans are required to pay more and more for less and less, West and his colleagues can just say, “We have nothing to do with that.”
Still—now that West recalls those times—I do remember one thing: Shortly after Dover, I got collared into appearing on some awful local TV show (government-funded, I fear). I found my way to the studio over a bleak landscape. There, I was confronted by a famous progressive journalist who wanted to know what I thought of the “wonderful!, wonderful!” Dover decision.
Which I had hardly noticed. But SHE had. Presumably, she wanted to import that bundle of waste products into as many (separately and better run) Canadian systems as she could. Maybe she has already done so.
Her interests were large, varied, and cosmopolitan. All she and hers need is control over what people are allowed to know. All I need is that they don’t have it.
If you agree, please be nice to John West at Christmas.
See also: Dover is over
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