Old-fashioned liberals who believed in free speech and open debate are sparsely represented in public life today. Their place is taken by woke indoctrinators. If you push back a little against those folks, you’re accused of spreading “misinformation” or, now, of “book banning.” Why not go all the way and equate resisting wokeness with Nazi-style “book burning”? That smear is already being cast around.
The combined media-tech-government axis drives the struggle to mold public opinion to fit woke preferences. It might feel like this is something new, but as geologist Casey Luskin writes at The Daily Wire, the censors have been practicing for years on us — proponents of intelligent design. Even as the science behind ID has been increasingly vindicated — most recently passing a test set by atheist Richard Dawkins himself — the control mechanisms remain firmly in place against sharing this news with adults or students.
If you believe the Legacy media, a craze for banning books and curricula in schools is sweeping across the United States. One publication called it an “American Inquisition,” with parents and officials seeking to ban anything that mentions homosexuality, racial injustice, or evolution.
The supposed inquisitors are conservatives.
But many forget that progressives in the U.S. have a recent history of banning ideas they don’t like. One topic they have repeatedly sought to ban from the classroom is intelligent design.
Intelligent design, or ID, is a scientific theory which holds that many aspects of life and the universe are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected one like natural selection. It is not “creationism.” It’s endorsed by scientists from top institutions and in papers published in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Yet many enlightened elites think ID-friendly arguments should never reach the ears of students.
In November 2004, for example, the Dover Area School District in central Pennsylvania adopted a policy that required biology teachers to read a short, four-paragraph statement that briefly mentioned ID. The most offensive language said the following:
“Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book ‘Of Pandas and People’ is available for students to see if they would like to explore this view in an effort to gain an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves.”
Those 49 words — suggesting that students consult a library book if they wanted to learn more about a scientific idea — were too much for the thought police.
Twenty-five days later, the ACLU helped file a lawsuit against the Dover Area School District, Kitzmiller v. Dover, seeking an order requiring the removal of the reference to the book in question from the school curriculum. With the ACLU’s backing, the lawsuit successfully removed any mention of ID and the reference to “Of Pandas and People” from public schools in Dover.
Following this success, anti-ID forces rallied to ban the study of ID not just from high schools but also from universities.
Read the rest at The Daily Wire. The article is behind a paywall — which is a good reason to get yourself a subscription.