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On Martin Luther King Day, Consider This About Intelligent Design

David Klinghoffer


I’ve observed here before that intelligent design poses not only a scientific challenge to Darwinism but also a challenge to think a little more broadly about civil rights:

As we were reminded in the final and likewise shameful resolution of the David Coppedge matter, evolution is a civil-rights issue as much as it is a scientific one. Coppedge’s right to dissent from Darwinian orthodoxy was crushed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the judge in the case accepted NASA’s slickly constructed defense, rubber-stamped it, denying him the justice of what should have been total vindication.

Coppedge and his attorney cast the case in terms of religious-viewpoint discrimination. That was because JPL, like Americans United, can’t make the proper distinction between intelligent design and religion. The government-funded lab demoted and then terminated Coppedge for advocating his scientific views and for protesting when his rights were trampled on.

Did Americans United have anything to say about that? No.

For every Cecil Phillips, for every David Coppedge, there are countless other people who share their scientific doubts about Darwin, their openness to seeing evidence of design in nature, but who keep their views to themselves in a strategy of self-defense. They are teachers, professors, students, and other thoughtful open-minded citizens, who can’t exercise their right to advocate a particular scientific view. They reasonably fear censorship and bullying.

When folks like the National Center for Science Education tell you there’s “no controversy,” “no debate” about Darwinian evolution, that’s true only insofar as the controversy and the debate are deliberately suppressed through intimidation. Civil-liberties organizations like AU and the ACLU ought to be in the thick of the fight to protect free-expression rights for Darwin doubters. Instead, they stand firmly with the censors and the bullies.

See here for the rest, “On MLK Day, Remember that Intelligent Design Is a Civil Rights Issue.” Enjoy your holiday weekend, thoughtfully.

Photo source: Wikicommons.

I’m on Twitter. Follow me @d_klinghoffer.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.