Peter Ward imagines he is offering a devastating argument against teaching ID by asking us to consider the pedagogical value of teaching a flat earth (“Advocates of Intelligent Design Would Dumb Down Students”). Question: Is it possible to teach Darwin’s Origin of Species without considering ID as Darwin’s proper foil and counterpart? Answer: NO. Question: Is it possible to teach Newtonian mechanics without considering the flat earth as Newton’s proper foil and counterpart? Answer: YES.
Indeed, Newton never took seriously a flat earth. Nor for that matter did the ancients, who knew that the earth was spherical. As evidence, the ancients took the moon’s varying crescent shape to indicate that the earth was throwing a round shadow onto the moon from the sun. Additionally, they recognized that the earth being round would explain why the mast of a ship would appear on the horizon before the ship’s hull. The flat earth myth is just that, a 19th century myth in fact concocted by despisers of Christianity to discredit it (for the details, read Jeffrey Burton Russell’s INVENTING THE FLAT EARTH).
Ward and his fellow ID-phobes are scraping the bottom of the barrel.