Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The case that scared the hell out of DI

Pharyngula points us to this statement by Casey Luskin, an attorney for that creationist tank, the Discovery Institute. Noting how Frazier Mountain High School's "Philosophy of Design" is going to teach young-earth creationism and how two decades ago the US Supreme Court had already explicitly ruled that teaching this is unconstitutional, Luskin insists the school board cancel the class:
[T]he fact of the matter is that even if this course has been changed and improved, its past history as originally having been formulated to promote Biblical creationism as scientific fact makes this case legally problematic. Unless you get a very sympathetic judge, this course will be struck down as unconstitutional because of its problematic history.

... The young earth creationist history of this course places it on extremely shaky legal ground. I’m not here to tell you that you should like the law, but this is what the law is, and this course is extremely problematic and is on shaky ground.

There is a legal train coming at you and we can see it coming down the tracks. Unfortunately this course was not formulated properly in the beginning, and students were told it would promote young earth creationism as fact. Thus, the only remedy at this point to avoid creating a dangerous legal precedent is to simply cancel the course.


[I]f you do not cancel this course, and if you let this lawsuit go forward, you are going to lose and there will be a dangerous legal precedent set which could threaten the teaching of intelligent design on the national level [emphasis added]. Such a decision would also threaten the scientific research of many scientists who support intelligent design.

Because of the young earth creationist history of this course, this course is not legally defensible and it should be cancelled.

"A dangerous legal precedent" eh? Guess that's the motive behind this forceful dissuasion.

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