Derek Davis, the head of church-state studies at Baylor, is cited in today’s NYTimes story as a critic of ID (I blogged this NYTimes story here). Since Baylor was my previous employer, I have some interest in Davis’s comments about ID, especially since in the past he has published articles supporting the teaching of creationism in public schools. If the NYTimes reporter had done a minimal google of him, she would have found the piece. Here is what Davis says in the Journal of Church and State in 1999:
In short, creationism can be presented in public school settings, provided it is presented objectively and not as truth, thus eliminating religious purpose. What is required is pedagogical neutrality. Many public schools offer outstanding courses in anthropology, comparative religion, history, literature, and philosophy in which religious ideas, including creationist accounts of the origin of life, are presented legally. Traditionally, most schools avoid presenting creationism in science classes because the courts have said that religion is not science. But there is no reason that a science class, like a history, anthropology, comparative religion, or literature class, cannot address subjects interrelated to its discipline, creationism among them. Such is the nature of interdisciplinary education. If science teachers, acting either with or without a mandate from legislatures or school boards, objectively, neutrally, and fairly present creationism without seeking to achieve a religious purpose but as an alternative explanation to life’s origin and development, the presentation should not only satisfy constitutional restraints but might also help to diffuse the creationism-evolution controversy that has raged since the Scopes trial of 1925. [emphasis added]
The article is available here: http://www3.baylor.edu/Church_State/journ99autumn.html#Editorial.
It’s also worth noting that Davis is legal counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee, a group that lobbies heavily against the teaching of ID.