Intelligent Design was always intended to be a wedge in the American education system, intended as a cover for pushing religious belief into science lessons and pushing teaching of evolutionary biology to one side. Or so its opponents, and indeed the American judiciary say. Of course, ID proponents, such as the Discovery Institute disagree: their claim has been that ID is science. No matter that ID never makes testable hypotheses, they always claim it as science.
An article in New Scientist points out (Christians battle each other over evolution), a new website, probably launched in response to Francis Collins’ theistic but pro-evolution website BioLogos Foundation, appears to concede that ID is, at heart, a christian belief system. The Center for Science and Religion is Discovery Institute Program (see logo) have set up a website entitled Faith and Evolution. As the New Scientist article points out:
I think it’s interesting that the Discovery Institute – which has long argued that intelligent design qualifies as science – seems to have given up the game and acknowledged that their concerns are religious after all. It’s equally interesting that the catalyst doesn’t seem to be someone like Richard Dawkins pushing atheism, but Francis Collins pushing Christianity. Perhaps the Discovery folks realise that Dawkins’s followers are never going to be swayed by intelligent design; Collins, however, might very well cut into their target audience of scientifically-curious evangelicals.
The Discovery Institute has now made it crystal clear that they have no interest in reconciling science and religion – instead, they want their brand of religion to replace science. Which makes it all the more concerning when their new website includes resources and curricula for high-school biology classes, and promotes the pseudoscientific documentary film “Expelled” as part of their campaign to introduce non-scientific alternatives to evolution under the banner of “academic freedom“.
It’s a nice article, and worth reading. The Faith & Evolution site is a bit of a hoot, if you’re not too offended by repeated misrepresentation. But it does make it pretty clear they are working to a christian agenda. As PZ Myers points out,
I hope the NCSE and various lawyers have snapped an archival copy of the entire “Faith and Evolution” website — it will be so useful in the next ID trial.
And a Hat Tip to PZ for twittering this one, to New Scientist for covering it. I’m off on vacation for a couple of weeks, so don’t expect posts for a while…