Rhetorical Excess of the Day [I]

The Berkshire Eagle newspaper in Massachusetts is running an absurd editorial with the histrionic title, “Ayatollahs in the classroom”. To get the full effect, you might want to turn on a CD of some suitably melodramatic music from a horror film before you start reading: A movement to drag the teaching of science in the United States back into the Dark Ages continues to gain momentum. So far, it’s a handful of judges — “activist judges” in the view of their critics — who are preventing the spread of Saudi-style religious dogma into more and more of America’s public-school classrooms. According to this Berkshire editorialist, discussing scientific criticisms of modern evolutionary theory in the classroom is tantamount to turning America Read More ›

A sensible critique of Cobb County decision

Constitutional attorney Brian Fahling has a sensible discussion of the Cobb County decision in the Union-Leader, here. Especially pertinent is his paragraph responding to the charge that it was illegitimate for the school district to single out evolution in its disclaimer. Fahling hits the proverbial nail on the head when he says: I suspect that evolution was singled out because it is the only scientific theory whose adherents are utterly intolerant of criticism, and it is the only scientific theory taught in public schools as the gospel truth that no reasonable person could question. This is not only troubling for parents whose religion rejects the theory, but it is equally troubling from an academic, scientific, and intellectual perspective for obvious Read More ›

Ken Miller, Con Law Expert? (Not)

Darwinian biologist Ken Miller ventures into the field of constitutional law and flops. In an op-ed in the Boston Globe, Miller mangles a key finding of the judge in the Cobb County case. According to Miller: The judge simply read the sticker and saw that it served no scientific or educational purpose. Once that was clear, he looked to the reasons for slapping it in the textbooks of thousands of students, and here the record was equally clear. The sticker was inserted to advance a particular set of religious beliefs… While the ACLU claimed that the Cobb County school board adopted its textbook sticker in order to advance religion, the judge rejected that claim. Instead, the judge found that the Read More ›