John G. West Political Scientist and Cultural Critic

Darwin Thought-Police Pounce on NH Columnist

Published at Evolution News

Portsmouth, NH columnist D. Allan Kerr favors evolutionary theory and equates intelligent design with creationism. So you might think Darwin’s defenders would be pleased as punch with him. Think again. Mr. Kerr is being taken to task by the Darwinist thought-police. His crime? He had the audacity to suggest that students might actually benefit from hearing about intelligent design. Kerr was amazed by the swift reaction his proposal provoked from Darwinists:

I find myself surprised by the outright paranoia of some in the scientific community.

I had thought it was a good idea to bring some intelligent design proponents into the classroom so students could hear both sides of the debate. Apparently this was naive and downright asinine of me, because allowing creationists in our schools is just two steps away from exposing our kids to the Putrid Fiery HOWLING CHASMS OF HELL ITSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or something pretty close.

An organization called the National Center for Science Education circulated an e-mail regarding the column, wondering just “what is going on in biology classes at this high school.” Was the teacher promoting creationism? Was he caving in to parental demands? Were ritual sacrifices involved?

“It’s not as if we don’t have enough to do already here at NCSE dealing with anti-evolutionism around the country,” the e-mail declared.

“However, if there is a problem in this district, we would be glad to try to help local parents/citizens to deal with it.”

Thank God such resources were available during this trying ordeal.

Mr. Kerr indicates that since he wrote his original column he has received several over-the-top e-mails from Darwinist true-believers, sparking some cognitive dissonance on his part:

To be honest – and I’m a little embarrassed to admit it – these are the kinds of reactions I would’ve expected from creationists. Seriously. Aren’t creationists usually the wild-eyed, reactionary, Bible-pounding zealots? Aren’t scientists supposed to be the rational, objective, fair-minded, mannered types?

At the same time, Mr. Kerr has received a number of thoughtful e-mails from critics of Darwin’s theory. The result is that he continues to support teaching the controversy:

once my head was done spinning from all the complex analogies, numbers, theories, anecdotes, assertions and claims of evidence thrown my way in recent days, I became even more convinced of the necessity of hearing both sides of the debate. Whether kids grow up in a devout household or not, they are bound to learn there are alternative beliefs as to how the world came into being. We can only reach an informed decision if we hear the contrasting viewpoints. And if the intelligent design argument is so worthy of scientific contempt, then it shouldn’t be too difficult for evolutionists to shred it apart and maybe even win new converts.

Discovery Institute, of course, does not favor requiring the teaching of intelligent design. We think the emphasis should be on teaching about scientific criticisms of Darwin’s theory as well as presenting the arguments in favor of the theory. But we also think that any teacher who wants to mention intelligent design in a pedagogically responsible manner should not be forbidden from doing so by the Darwin thought-police. As Mr. Kerr has just learned, this reasonable position is tantamount to blasphemy among Darwinian fundamentalists.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.
Discovery Institute