And Monkey Lung cross-fires! The following is posted by proxy:
Our student newspaper [at University of Florida -- ed.] has been running a series of editorials for and against the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Here is the latest one, which happens to be against, but raises some good points:
I think this is a fascinating topic, particularly given the recent court decision for intelligent design in Kansas. Arguments about the validity of either theory or about separation of church and state aside, what I find interesting is the mere question of whether intelligent design should be taught based on what it is. One argument claims intelligent design should not be taught because it is not science, inherently. It is outside of the realm of science and therefore outside of the realm of the classroom (or the science classroom, at least). On the other hand, if one is to grant separation of church and state jurisdiction here, is teaching of evolution in public schools also tantamount to advancing a religious agenda, namely atheism? Does this not represent a violation of the separation of church and state? I tend to agree with those who would exclude intelligent design from the classroom mainly because it doesn't need to be there. Christians already do far too much dressing their religion up in socially acceptable clothes as it is. Why spend so much effort justifying something so far above science with limited scientific principles that will inevitably fail to capture your point in a meaningful way? Placing God alongside science as if the two are equal players borders on sacreligious. However, I think the question raises some interesting points and I figure you would be in a better position than I to reference some good information on the matter (not the crumby UF newspaper). I do find it interesting how vehement defenders of evolution have become on this matter. Some of the editorials in response to pro-creationist viewpoints are outright slanderous and angry. It is as if this decision in Kansas represents the beginning of a movement viewed as threatening by most scientists. If supporters of evolution really belive it is such a logical theory, why do they not also believe it will stand on its own merits? The tone of some of their defenses is reminescent of the tone with which members of the Christian right speak about legalized gay marriage; as if the first domino is about to fall in a cascade that threatens their belief system or even their very way of life.
Interestingly the same issue of the newspaper also features an article about a UF student arrested for stealing a sign from a local minister preaching on campus. The sign read "Beware Queer University!" The student was apparently so enraged by the sign that she grabbed it from him and ran off. Ironically the minister himself was arrested only a week earlier for disturbing the peace (disrupting class with his yelling). He is protesting a policy in the dorms on campus that RA's (student hall leaders) are instructed to direct students who express homosexual feelings to one of the campuses Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trangendered student groups or to counseling centers for homosexual students. In his mind this promotes the expansion of homosexuality on college campuses. While the minister is obviously a little off-base in his methods he raises an interesting point. What should a public institution like UF (or public high schools for that matter) do with students who maybe expressing to peers, teachers, or administrators homosexual sentiments for the first time? Or what should we do as Chirstians? Should we make attempts to discourage these feelings? Should we listen with an aim to help the student understand such feelings, knowing this may lead to their justification? Should we do as UF has done and direct them to homosexual support groups that can help them solidify or reject these feelings?