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Discovery Institute Sends Letter Opposing ID Legislation in PA

John G. West

Since the newsmedia have frequently misreported Discovery Institute’s position on the teaching of intelligent design, I thought I would highlight a letter Seth Cooper and I just sent to the Pennsylvania State Legislature opposing a pro-ID bill under discussion there. The Pennsylvania bill would authorize local school boards in the state to require intelligent design as part of their standard curriculum if they so choose. While well-intentioned, we think this proposal is unhelpful for a variety of reasons.

As Seth and I explain,

intelligent design is a relatively new theory, and it is important to allow scientific discussion of the theory to proceed unhampered by political or legal disputes. In our judgment, attempts to mandate teaching about intelligent design only politicize the theory and will hinder fair and open discussion of the merits of the theory among scholars and within the scientific community. Furthermore, most teachers at the present time do not know enough about intelligent design to teach about it accurately and objectively. We therefore do not think it is appropriate to mandate the theory of intelligent design in public schools.

The full text of our letter can be read here.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

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