The mainstream press has finally caught onto the ID scam and its underhanded tactics with the phony "academic freedom" bills. Here's a nice article in the Washington Post that pretty much nails it:
"What's insidious about these measures is that at first blush they appear so harmless. Isn't everyone in favor of academic freedom? What's so wrong about allowing all sides of an issue to be heard? Why should teachers be punished for speaking their minds? Those arguments might have standing if there were any doubt about the reality of evolution, but, as an official with the National Academy of Sciences told the Wall Street Journal, 'There's no controversy.' Consider, also, that there really is no such thing as academic freedom in elementary and secondary education. A teacher can't deviate from the accepted curriculum to present alternative lesson plans or to offer his or her own notions. The Florida teachers association opposed the bills, though ostensibly they are meant to benefit educators. Clearly, the strategy is to devise an end run around legal decisions -- going all the way to the Supreme Court -- that restrict the teaching of creationism in public classrooms."
Right on the money. Yet John West of The Discovery Institute, keeps up the con and whines that the Post reporter just wasn't interested in the facts and that it's all just pro-Darwinist spin:
"Predictably, the Post asserts that the academic freedom bills are about “inviting creationism back into the classroom.” Except that they aren’t. In fact, the bills repeatedly and explicitly state that they only protect the presentation of scientific information, and that they don’t authorize the promotion of any religious doctrine."
Of course they don't, because the creationists lost that fight, so now they try to pretend that what they are pushing is the "science of Intelligent Design". Since ID is not religion, they would argue, it can properly be a part of the science curriculum, right next to evolution. And since Intelligent Design is creationism by a different name, dressed up in new legally palatable tux (they hoped), these bills do in fact invite creationism back into the classroom.
"I pointed this out to Ms. Armao in some detail. But it now turns out that the actual language of the bills didn’t matter to Ms. Armao. She already had the line she was going to take, and if the facts didn’t substantiate it, she obviously didn’t care."
Oh but the facts do substantiate it. The fact is that the people promoting these bills are creationists, and the only subject they seem to be concerned about is evolution. The fact is when asked if these bills would allow the discussion of ID in science classes, the backers of these bills are strangely silent. The fact is these people have associated themselves with Ben Stein's Expelled, which argues for Intelligent Design. And as that dying slagheap of a crockumentary, their behavior at the Dover trial, and most any other engagement with the ID crew demonstrates, they are not above misdirection and outright lying to accomplish their goals. If the only evidence you have on your side is your word, and your word has proven worthless, you don't have much of a case.
West is so desperate at being exposed that he even drags out that tired old "700 dissenting scientists against Darwin" canard, which research has revealed exaggerates the academic accomplishments and current positions of the listees, most of which are not educated in biology (the largest group is computer programmers). Further, many of them do not think they should be on the list, and felt very misled, and have actually asked to be removed from the list! And West wonders why "the actual language" the IDers use is not too relevant to people interested in reality.
And in a final indication of just how drained the DI crew is of substance, and revealing their creationist roots the just a few moments ago they were denying, West whines about the reporter being unimpressed by his:
"...list of scientific controversies involving key aspects of biological and chemical evolution, including the origin of the first life, the role of mutations, the limits of natural selection, and the origination of animal body plans during the Cambrian Explosion some 500 million years ago".
That should look familiar. It is a nice summary of all the standard creationist fallacies: how did abiogenesis happen, mutations are bad, selection only destroys, Cambrian creatures appear fully formed. Same old shit.
So far, the creationists have lost the battle of the "Academic Freedom Bills" in Florida, Alabama, and Missouri, with one dying in South Carolina. The wording of these bills is almost identical. Clearly there is a group behind the scenes behind this effort, and it shouldn't take one long to discern who it is. The guilty dog barks the loudest. So does the frustrated defeated one.