The recent Dover design/intelligent design federal court case (aka Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District) just got a little bit more interesting, with the Rutherford Institute filing a motion to intervene on behalf of several parents. If successful, the parents will be made a third party to the ACLU’s lawsuit.
The parents hope to vindicate the rights of students to be able to learn about scientific information concerning the scientific controversy surrounding neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, defending the marketplace of ideas from the ACLU’s efforts to suppress all scientific information that call neo-Darwinian theory into question.
Quoting U.S. Supreme Court precedents, Rutherford’s motion makes an important point:
The Constitution protects not just the right to express information and ideas but also the right to receive information and ideas.
Quite so. Our Constitution does not sanction a regime of state-sponsored censorship. Nor does it condone, for that matter, ACLU-driven, state-approved censorhip.
In their press release, Rutherford’s President, John Whitehead goes on to state:
Students’ access to knowledge and ideas should not be impeded simply because some persons do not agree with the content of those ideas. As the courts have ruled, students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding.
It will be interesting to see how the Judge responds to the motion. In any event, we at CSC have been arguing all along, students should be taught more about controversial scientific topics so as to learn both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of chemical and biological evolutionary theories. This “teach the controversy” approach was reiterated most recently in an excellent op-ed published in The San Francisco Chronicle, by Doctors Stephen Meyer and John Angus Campbell.
(Also see CSC’s press release concerning the Dover Board policy here.)