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.