Below are two emails forwarded to me from a friend of mine along with his commentary. To protect my friend, I’ve given all the individuals here pseudonyms. My friend here is “Kevin Nichols.” He’s a Ph.D. high school biology teacher who supports ID. His principal is “Lauren Long.” And the parent opposing ID is “Serge Abrams” (with son “Ryan”).
Subject: FW: A concern…
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 17:53:22
From: “Kevin Nichols”
To: William A. Dembski
Obviously, I couldn’t slip one by that goalie!
When the “Designer Science” class got axed, I instead got approval for a class called Adventures in Advanced Science – AAS. (Also shot down was “Adventures in Superlative Science.”) 🙂
So in the AAS class syllabus I included a possible topic called “Intelligent Design” among a list of two dozen other choices from which the students would pick. The next day the e-mail below hit the principal’s office [Lauren Long]. Funny thing was the guy’s kid is not even in the class, but I know he’s good friends and of like mind with another dad whose kid is. This was quite a betrayal because I know the second dad very well (that’s why his surrogate had to do the dirty deed), and I know I have helped his son get lots of sound science education the last two years. This shows primordial soup is thicker than blood. So there it is, a parent of a kid not even in an elective class, with a list of topics that students are free to select or reject, and we get the letter below. My principal told me to drop it or else, but kindly suggested I could go seek board approval to have it added to the curriculum. (Shouldn’t take but a few minutes to accomplish that.)
How’s it going with you? Got any good battles underway yourself?
From: Lauren Long
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 3:32 PM
To: Kevin Nichols
Subject: FW: A concern…
KEVIN, SEE ME ON MONDAY ABOUT THIS…THIS IS THE SECOND PARENT I HAVE HEARD FROM.
BECAUSE OF MY MEETING ON MONDAY AT THE [snip], I WILL NEED TO MEET WITH YOU AT 8:00 SHARP. I WILL ASK SOMEONE TO COVER YOUR CLASS. PLEASE COME DOWN ASAP WHEN YOU ARRIVE.
From: Serge Abrams
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 2:28 PM
To: Lauren Long
Cc: Kevin Nichols
Subject: A concern…
Mr. Lauren Long,
I just wanted to pass on concern I had for a topic which appeared in RyanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s list of suggested research topics for Dr. NicholÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s exploratory. I am familiar with the agenda behind the Intelligent Design movement and am very uncomfortable seeing this in the curriculum. I would not want to get into any arguments about the scientific validity of this as I am in agreement with the scientific community that this does not muster as any sort of real science.
I do understand that this is an elective topic but if it is specifically identified in a list that students must choose from then I think other faith based topics would have to be offered as well (which clearly would not be allowed). Particularly important here is that I understand that students would be lectured (by their peers) and tested on the topic. While I certainly respect others religious beliefs I prefer to be responsible for my children’s religious education which we do through our church.