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Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement Its True Nature and Goals (May 2007)

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Name:Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement Its True Nature and Goals (May 2007)

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Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement - Its True Nature and Goals (May 2007).pdf (Size: 746.69 KB) (Files: 1)

 Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement - Its True Nature and Goals (May 2007).pdf

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Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement - Its True Nature and Goals
by Barbara Forrest
(The Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy, May 2007)

This paper will examine the intelligent design (ID) movement (which, for the reasons set forth below, will be referred to as the intelligent design creationist movement). In particular, this paper will examine the ID movement's organization, its historical and legal background, its strategy and aims, and its public policy implications.

As this paper demonstrates, the ID movement is the most recent version of American creationism. In promoting "intelligent design theory" - a term that is essentially code for the religious belief in a supernatural creator - as a purported scientific alternative to evolutionary theory, the ID movement continues the decades-long attempt by creationists either to minimize the teaching of evolution or to gain equal time for yet another form of creationism in American public schools. Accordingly, the ID creationist movement threatens both the education of the nation's children and the constitutional separation of church and state, which protects the religious freedom of every American (Forrest and Gross, 2005). Despite political and legal setbacks (Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District, 2005), ID creationists continue their campaign to de-secularize public education and, ultimately, American culture and government, thereby undermining foundational elements of secular, constitutional democracy.

[...]

The consequences of allowing ID creationist theory to be taught in our public schools extend well beyond public education. A recent article in Science, one of the world's premier scientific journals, revealed the reason that among the thirty-four developed countries surveyed, the U.S. ranks second from last in the number of adults who accept the theory of evolution: "The acceptance of evolution is lower in the United States than in Japan or Europe, largely because of widespread fundamentalism and the politicization of science in the United States" (Miller et al., 2006). With science, especially biology, progressing at a record pace, providing the means to enhance the quality of life in every country in the world, the 21st century will be the century of biotechnology. As the leader of the scientific community, the U.S. can ill afford to allow the intelligent design creationist movement to further erode the already low level of scientific literacy among the American public.

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