Friday, October 14, 2005

Intelligent Design and the Constitution

The Washington University Law Quarterly has a review of the Constitutional issues involved in the teaching of Intelligent Design. (Hat tip to Leiter Reports). They conclude with:

There is little question that intelligent design proponents have a serious dispute with the scientific community’s virtually unanimous support for the proposition that evolution happens—in both micro and macro forms. But this dispute is at bottom a religious, not a scientific dispute. Both scientists and the government must respect the rights of private individuals to reject scientific conclusions on religious grounds in favor of intelligent design and other theocentric approaches to humanity’s origins. But at the same time scientists must be allowed to do science and science teachers must be allowed to teach it—unconstrained by the objections of those who find science inconsistent with their religious beliefs. As Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo noted, “the sum total of the angles in a triangle can’t be changed to suit the requirements of the curia.” The Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence makes it clear that modern governments can’t alter basic scientific conclusions to suit the requirements of politically powerful religious groups, either.


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