New lawsuit against U Cal Berkeley
stcynic at crystalauto.com
Tue Oct 18 12:55:42 PDT 2005
Volokh, Eugene wrote:
> I would think that under existing Establishment Clause caselaw,
>the challengers have a pretty decent argument (not open-and-shut -- very
>little is open-and-shut under current Establishment Clause caselaw --
>but pretty decent).
> The site is not just conveying a secular viewpoint -- that the
>theory of evolution is scientifically persuasive. It is also, it seems
>to me, conveying a viewpoint on a religious controversy: whether the
>theory of evolution is consistent with (for instance) "the proper way to
>interpret Holy Scripture" (to quote the first excerpt posted in the
>compilation). It is thus endorsing a certain view about the proper
>interpretation of religious doctrine.
I think if the same website did not also acknowledge the opposite points
of view, and do so in both cases in purely descriptive language, this
would be more likely. But in fact it does describe multiple religious
points of view and does not endorse any of them, merely describes the
different viewpoints and which ones conflict with what we science has
found and which ones do not. If it did not also acknowledge that there
are religious viewpoints that are not compatible, their case would be
Bear in mind also that this is a website designed to help teachers not
only teach evolution more effectively but also deal with questions they
are likely to be asked by students (I am fortunate enough to have seen
the website as it was being developed and know the folks who put it
together and it was conceived as a tool for training teachers; it has
since been expanded and made publicly accessible). If a student asks
whether evolution contradicts with religion, what possible answer could
a teacher give other than something like, "Opinions vary. Some religious
views are incompatible with it and some are not, but the fact that there
are thousands of devoutly religious scientists who also work in the
field of evolution clearly means they aren't inherently at odds with one
another"? The link to the statements from various religious
organizations was put there for teachers to see what the range of
opinions are, not for them to give to students.
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