Talk about missing the whole point...The court strategy is hopeless. A big part of it, I think, is that there is no deep, principled reason why teaching Intelligent Design should be unconstitutional. It's constitutional to teach Holocaust denial, constitutional to teach flat-earthism, constitutional to teach astrology, constitutional to teach phlogiston, constitutional to teach Aristotelian physics... Intelligent Design may not have much more merit than these ideas, but there's no obvious policy reason why school boards should be prevented from teaching it but not prevented from teaching those other things. If there's a legal reason, it's something of a fluke in our constitution and not much more.First, church-state separation is pretty much it so far as grounds to object to the continuing anti-science menace from the Discovery Institute. I’ve already discussed this point. If PZ disagrees, what I would like to find out is what legal grounds he thinks will serve better.That’s what I’m saying: about the only round you’ve got loaded is the church-state separation argument. It’s becoming increasingly untenable, as the creationists respond to their defeats by honing their material to avoid ideas that will conflict with the first amendment. You admit that this is your only strategy, and you’re asking me, a non-lawyer, what other legal approaches we should take. Your myopia is apparent.I am also not arguing that we should purge our side of theists. I am stating a plain and obvious fact: the DI is striving for an increasingly secular front, while our side keeps trotting out its favorite Christian scientists. You guys are blurring the association of religion and science, while the bad guys are being more scrupulous about it. The DI may be totally fake about it and are hiding their motives, but they’re doing so with greater and greater skill; meanwhile, you’re enabling the blending of religious reasoning with science. The courtroom approach is looking doomed to me. They only have to win one, we have to win them all, and they are changing their tactics to get that victory, while all signs suggest that you guys aren’t planning to change your approach at all. And you really don’t see the problem with that?
The final objection to Intelligent Design must always be that it's claims are false, not that it is religiously inspired. I fear that many of the self-appointed shrewd tacticians of the defenders of science are losing sight of that fact. Meanwhile, Intelligent Design proponents have made it central to their case that their claims are true, even if their true motives lie elsewhere. This does not bode well for the future of science in America.