Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

Evolution News and Views

Chapman and Scott play Hardball

Yesterday "Hardball with Chris Matthews" featured a short debate between Discovery president Bruce Chapman and NCSE director Eugenie Scott about intelligent design and whether it should be required instruction in science classes.

More interesting than that question though was the debates diversion into the issue of whether or not intelligent design is religion --it's not-- and if it inherently invokes "God." Guest host David Gregory raised the issue in a question:

GREGORY: Mr. Chapman, let me pull back for just a minute. Isn`t this just a way to get religion to be taught in the schools?

CHAPMAN: No, it is not just a way to put religion in the schools, not from our standpoint. We have expressly said, we didn`t want religion to be brought into this at any point.

But if you want to know who is bringing religion into the -- this whole argument over evolution, it is the National Center For Science Education, because I have right here an example from a Web site that they helped put together with taxpayers` money, federal taxpayers` money, to teach teachers how to teach evolution.

And, in this, they give examples of how to bring religious people and their views into the classroom to instruct children that evolution and religion are perfectly compatible, and not only that, but evolution will help enrich your faith.

Now, I don`t have any opposition to people having those views.


CHAPMAN: But I do have an opposition to somebody criticizing anybody who says that evolution is flawed as being implicitly religious, ...

Who's injecting religion into the debate? Not proponents of intelligent design. It's the dogmatic defenders of Darwinism that insist on bringing up religion, primarily as a way of avoiding talking about the scientific problems with Darwin's theory.

Not surprisingly then, Scott's reaction was to defend the Understanding Evolution website's approach to religion as merely "descriptive" not "proscriptive." The Understanding Evolution site is quite obviously geared to instruct teachers how to defend and teach solely Darwinian evolution. Especially in regards to religion where it attempts to use religion to bolster credibility of evolution.


I -- I welcome anybody to go to the Understanding Evolution Web site and see if that is true. What you will find is descriptive statements, not proscriptive statements. There is nothing that says, you should do it this way. It just describes a variety of religious views, most of which the intelligent design people do not accept.

(Just as an aside, how does she pretend to know which --if any-- religious views "intelligent design people do not accept"?)

So, Scott's position seems to be that religion shouldn't be mandated in science classes, but it should be permissable -- granted the religion is supportive or and defending the teaching of Darwinism.

Sound Familair? Our position on ID in the classroom has always been that it should not be mandated, but teachers certainly should be allowed to discuss it without fear of reprisal if it comes up. Discussion of ID in classes would then be descriptive, not proscriptive. Somebody at the NCSE has some 'splainin to do.