Advocates need to prove at least one important point to even begin the debate on its inclusion into public school science curricula. They need to demonstrate that it is not a religious model. Advocates need to demonstrate that their theory is nonreligious because the Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that religion cannot be taught as fact in public schools.
To skirt this ruling, intelligent design theorists claim that their theory makes no overt mention of God. Instead they claim that life on Earth is the creation of some benevolent, all-powerful, unknowable intelligence that is not necessarily the biblical God but could be. Presumably, by that same logic, the swimming, quacking, feathered creature He designed isn't necessarily a duck, but could be. When Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, stood up this week and simultaneously proclaimed that intelligent design theory doesn't preach religion, but also that, the only people who will be upset about this are atheists, he nicely demonstrated what everyone already knows: Intelligent design theory is a pretty new package for old-fashioned creationism.
David W. Goldsmith
Assistant professor, geology
Salt Lake City