Callahan on Intelligent Design: On Religion in Government Schools

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Gene Callahan has a good article on why intelligent design should be included in school curricula–presumably government schools–even though it is badly flawed. As someone who thinks ID is indeed not a genuine attempt at serious science, my first reaction is to disagree.

But, on second thought, here’s where I come down: government schools should teach Christian parents’ kids that Satan is Lord; and should teach secular parents’ kids that Jesus is Lord. If they want to use government schools, let ‘em suffer.

I can just hear Walter “let the smelly bum use the library” Block cheering me on in the background…. Yeah, usually I oppose the “worse is better” approach (the worse is usually, er, worse), but in this case, let ‘em suffer.

Update: Tibor Machan, in his recent column, Federal Judge Dictates Content of Biology Course, notes:

Here you have it, the result of government education: Academic freedom is dead—a federal judge decided what Pennsylvania teachers may teach in biology classes.

I am sympathetic to Tibor’s complaint, and certainly don’t think the federal government has any constitutional authority to meddle with state-run schools, but setting aside the federalism issue: I didn’t read the decision but I assume it was directed at government schools, not private ones. In that case, it seems you have one employee of the government specifying what is to be taught in the government schools. Isn’t this in general the way it has to be? What does it matter–for the libertarian–how the government goes about settings policies for the schools it runs? Whether it’s up to the teacher, his principal, the school board, or a judge–what does it matter–to the libertarian–what government employee sets the policy?

12:06 pm on December 20, 2005