-->

Conservatives Against Intelligent Design

There’s a new blog around named
Conservatives Against Intelligent Design. I like some of what they say, but I can’t support them. I think they’re fighting the wrong fight. bmpharmacy.com

IMO, the ID issue came up primarily in response to just one thing. Students being taught about evolution, followed by the statement in the classroom “So there’s no need for God”. Granted, the young earthers have other issues with it. But if you accept the young earth theory, you also accept that God has deliberately tried to fool people, so why do you complain when He is successful? Except for young earth theories, there is no real problem reconciling evolution with Christianity. ID is that reconciliation.

Now, if you are a Christian, and you don’t like having your kids told that God doesn’t exist, you have three choices. You can pay for a public school and then pay again for a private school. You can pay for a public school and pay again to home school. Or you can try to force the public school to include your point of view.

The ID debate comes down to an argument over the curriculum in a socialist public school system. It’s not really anything else.

CAID is founded to wrestle over the control of a socialist one-size-fits-all approach to education that deliberately excludes choice and competition. I don’t think that’s the right approach for a Conservative, and I know that’s the wrong approach for a lover of liberty. On this one, I’m in Ogre’s camp when he says “If everyone were free to make their own decisions regarding their own education without any government interference, each family could decide for themselves if they wanted ID, creationism, or evolution taught in whatever manner they wanted.”

CAID is arguing about what children have to learn against their parents wishes. CAID has no problem with socialized education, as long as they are in control of it. In another context, that’s what make a RINO.

Trackback

9 Comments »

  1. Conservatives Against Intelligent Design » Missing The Point said,

    June 6, 2006 @ 7:58 pm

    […] UPDATE Now tucents is calling us RINO’s because we’re not calling for the end of nationalized education. Even better. Let’s think about this for a second. Which one are we more likely to be successful with? Taking down the entire national education system (one of the more short-sighted of libertarian ideas). Making sure the curriculum isn’t corrupted. […]

  2. IndianCowboy said,

    June 6, 2006 @ 8:13 pm

    Hey, I put up a reply on the CAID blog, but I wanted to add a synopsis here:

    Which fight are we more likely to win? complete dissolution of the school system? Or making sure the curriculum isn’t turned into crap. You obviously have a problem with the socialist indoctrination that goes on there (as do I), so theocratic indoctrination in return makes it ok?

    Second, I don’t know anyone who was told the ’so god doesn’t have to exist’ thing. And furthermore, if the problem is the science teacher injecting theology into a science class, you don’t return the favor by putting your own theology back in. You take the teacher’s theology out. Judging an action based on intention is a very leftist way of looking at the world.

    Third, should children be allowed to be indoctrinated by their parents? While I agree that a child is the parent’s repsonsibility and (for instance) the parent has every right to keep them out of sex ed and stuff, do you not think that the outright lying, dissemination, and otherwise concealment of the truth from kids is not just as big a crime?

    Fourth, mroe broadly on education. Parents aren’t saints. Children are not adults. Telling a child that his mommy and daddy are responsible for teaching him, then when he’s 18, telling him that no one’s going to help him fill the holes his parents’ shoddy job did strikes me as a bit silly. (not that i’m against homeschooling, just that there are a lot of parents who wouldn’t put any effort into it) Basically you’re saying you don’t care if the child is improperly educated for the first 18 years, at which point you’ll blame that child for the sins of his parents.

  3. Dave said,

    June 6, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

    I’ll try to comment at CAID, but your layout doesn’t render well on my 800×600 monitor. That’s why you got a trackback at first.

    Before you go saying I’m name-calling, I think you need a better understanding of the point.

    Your opponents are reasonable people who also have rights. They want to educate their children in what they believe the real world is. That choice is denied them in practice. So they are doing exactly the same thing you are. Grabbing for the levers of control over a one-size-fits-all system.

    The RINOs in Washington are the ones who talk small government, and once they have the levers they find they like the power.

    CAID is simply trying to wrestle over the levers.

    Now to your straw man. “Taking down the entire national education system”. I never proposed it. But you talk as if that is the only alternative to the current behemoth. On the other hand, your socialist tendencies are showing with “Besides, is the indoctrination of parents who would teach YEC and ID instead of evolution that much more virtuous?”

    When compared to the people who teach DARE and various pseudo-science ecology tracts, yes it is. Individual choice is always more virtuous than coercion, even when I think the choice is wrong. “Does that also mean that a man’s child is his to control, no matter how false his teaching?” Since you insist in the loaded word ‘control’, let me turn that around for you to answer. Who has a better right to control his child?

    “Making sure the curriculum isn’t corrupted.” An honest person must recognize that this is what many on the ID side are trying to accomplish as well.

    School choice is the only workable solution. It might be vouchers, it might be total privatization, it might be magnet and charter schools, but only real choice will solve this debate.

    Crossposted at CAID

  4. Dave said,

    June 6, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

    In addition to responding at CAID, your raise additional points here.

    You imply that the current curriculum isn’t crap. I disagree. You have claimed that Gaia theory isn’t taught. I’ve seen it taught. Accepted secular theologies are already in the classroom. As long as we have one-size-fits-all schools teaching unproven crap, people will quite reasonably want their point of view represented as well.

    You don’t know anyone who was told the ’so god doesn’t have to exist’ thing. So does that mean it has never happened, since you have no anecdotal evidence?

    You ask “should children be allowed to be indoctrinated by their parents?”. I ask you, Who else has the right?

    You agree that a child is the parent’s repsonsibility and (for instance) the parent has every right to keep them out of sex ed and stuff, so do I not think that the outright lying, dissemination, and otherwise concealment of the truth from kids is not just as big a crime?

    You accuse me of Lefty arguments, then pull this one? Dude, the “concealment of the truth” line is how they force kids into sex ed. You also accuse people of lying when they simply disagree with you. Not a strong argument. One of you may be wrong, but neither is necessarily lying.

    You say “Basically you’re saying you don’t care if the child is improperly educated for the first 18 years, at which point you’ll blame that child for the sins of his parents.”

    Oh, the assumptions here. I didn’t say I don’t care. You are presuming to be a better judge of ‘proper education’ than the parents. You are presuming blame rather than assistance.

    I am saying that nobody has a better right or a better motivation to see kids well educated than parents. I am saying that I trust private philanthropy to do a better job of backfilling educational holes than a socialist system can do of preventing them.

    And I’m saying that one-size-fits-all never fits.

  5. IndianCowboy said,

    June 6, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

    I do agree with the basic sentiment of your comments as far as parental rights and responsibilities to the child. Of course that still leaves a big gaping hole with what to do with this child once they turn 18. That’s a problem fo all libertarian-ish philosophies and one we’re not going to figure out here.

    But you continue to say that the secularists’ wrong makes the theocrats’ wrong ok. That doesn’t make sense. Instead, undo the secularists’ wrong.

  6. IndianCowboy said,

    June 6, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

    basically, i find the national education system as distasteful as you do. I too would much rather have a system of magnet and charter schools in which competition made things better all around.

    I even agree with you that if anyone has a right to decide who has the right to learn what, it’s the parent. Not the government. (although it might not have seemed that way). I was just pointing out that just because it’s the parent choosing the curriculum rather than the government, it is no less a matter of coercion.

    Believe me, I find wrestling with the levers as distasteful as you do. But you know what? In the course of my lifetime, I’ve done everything from burn myself with paint stripper to wiping monkeys’ bottoms for money. If I can do that, I can do this too. As much as anything, this is a signal to the Republicans that theocracy is not ok with everyone in theparty (something I think we’d both agree on). And, it’s an attempt to make sure people hear the truth about what science is and how it works. I have no problem with ID in a philosophy of biology class (where i first learned about it) or a theology class. Any class in which we’re talking about hypotheses instead of theory (in the scientific sense) and fact is just fine with me.

    I do apologize for my language getting a bit heated. I got a bit ticked off at the RINO comment

  7. activist kaza said,

    June 6, 2006 @ 11:53 pm

    Indian Cowboy hit most of the nails on their heads, guys. I’ve never heard any anecdotal information about students being told “God doesn’t exist” as the final chapter on evolutionary teaching either. With a large network of Christian friends, this certainly isn’t conclusive proof it’s NOT happening…but I find this argument specious at best.

    Count me as one progressive/liberal/left-leaning (but Bible-believing) Christian who would welcome more local control of schools (i.e. NO national curriculum) but remains firmly opposed to vouchers/charter schools etc. We’ve had those experiments around for 25 years - please show me some proof that they actually work!

    A society that allows its citizens to “opt out” of public financing and educating its citizenry is on the first steps of a long journey downhill, IMHO. So let’s keep arguing about curriculum and make those decisions at the local level, where we can exercise some control in our own communities. But let’s NOT also forget that the Constitution is also our Bible in America (i.e. the LAW!)…and as a result, a secular and NOT theocratic approach to public education must be the way.

    Why is it that so many Christians want to absolve themselves of any responsibility to teach their kids about God anyway? I can tell you from many years of living in England that this is the last thing we should want to entrust to the state!

    Kudos to the Conservatives Against ID!

  8. Dave said,

    June 7, 2006 @ 9:27 am

    Also posted at CAID:

    Well, what heat I felt I took as intensity, not anger. If that’s as bad as you get, you’re a better man than I’ve been.

    I’ll answer the issues on your terms.

    “you center on the choice of the parent no matter how harmful it is to the child.” - Yes. “the parent should have the choice to deliver as biased (and false) an education to their child as they wish.” - Yes. “just because it’s the parent choosing the curriculum rather than the government, it is no less a matter of coercion.” - I disagree. A parent choosing curriculum is exercising proper authority in the raising of their child. The government making the choice in the current system is coercing the parents. I reject any ‘coercing the child’ argument, because that presumes the child is a rational actor capable of responsible choice. That is the definition of ‘adult’, and ‘child’ is not equal to ‘adult’.

    I don’t insist that every child have a perfect education. I would like to see it, but it is a utopian pipe dream. But unless you present an agent superior to the parent in making educational choices for the child, pointing out that the parent is imperfect is pointless rhetoric. It still comes down to ‘Who better?’

    “the mistake was letting the theology in in the first place.” - No, you’re wrong. The mistake was teaching any unproven/unprovable philosophy as Science. If you single out only theology, you are fighting squarely on the side of the leftists.

    “These ‘reasonable’ people would ignore evidence and teach deliberate mis-truths because it causes a conflict with their belief systems. These ‘reasonable’ people would not only indoctrinate their own children, but everyone else’s as well.” - Yes, granted. Which makes them no different from other ‘reasonable’ people, who already have their mis-truths in the schools. They’re going for a level playing field. Basic fairness demands that this at least be acknowledged.

    “This is one fight here. This is people calling something science that isn’t really. This is adults imposing a biased worldview on children. Playing with fertile minds.” - That’s why school choice is most important. The system as it exists is doing this already. You cannot claim that this is a reason to exclude ID, when you already have Malthusian philosophy, zero-sum economics, relativism, revisionist history, DARE, and other non-science lies and stupidity already there.

    Teaching non-science is a train that has already left the station. It won’t be called back without reforming or eliminating the National Department of Education, the state Dept. of Ed., the state Superintendent of Schools, and the Teacher’s Union. Vouchers are easier to win than this reform fight. While non-science opinions are being taught, everyone should have an equal right to include their own point of view. Unless, like some people, you want to claim that Christian ideas are inherently more harmful than Socialist ideas?

    In fact, let me present one additional thought on strategy. The schools are full of non-science that offends Righties. A number of Righties support school choice as a result. The schools have nothing that offends Lefties. Nearly all Lefties oppose school choice. Add ID into the mix. Yes, it’s more non-science. No, it doesn’t do significant harm when added to what’s already there. But now, the schools have non-science that offends Lefties. Do you think that ID might be a ‘wedge issue’ that brings some Lefties to support choice? Do you think that might overall improve education?

  9. gottsegnet said,

    June 10, 2006 @ 7:49 pm

    I should probably just bite my tongue and move on, but I cannot. Dave, you do a nice job of pointing out the errors of this reasoning. I’ll go back to my “leftist” friend up there who holds up the constitution as our nation’s bible. Show me where in the constitution authority is expressly given to the central government to make ANY decisions in the education of children. It isn’t there. I believe than if falls to the local states/individuals depending on where in the constitution you are looking.

    Just as an aside, where does the “God doesn’t exist” think even an argument? That sounds like a straw man or something. I don’t get that whole bit…it isn’t anything I’ve ever heard or said and has nothing to do with my reasons for removing my children from public education so that I could indoctrinate them with my love for God and individuality rather than the state’s social goals for conformity.

    I’m sorry Indian Cowboy. I enjoy your blog. And I don’t mind your little movement thing so long as it does not progress to demanding that private schools and homeschools must teach according to your prescribed and approved curriculae. But this is a statement born of ignorance, I believe:

    “Fourth, mroe broadly on education. Parents aren’t saints. Children are not adults. Telling a child that his mommy and daddy are responsible for teaching him, then when he’s 18, telling him that no one’s going to help him fill the holes his parents’ shoddy job did strikes me as a bit silly. (not that i’m against homeschooling, just that there are a lot of parents who wouldn’t put any effort into it) Basically you’re saying you don’t care if the child is improperly educated for the first 18 years, at which point you’ll blame that child for the sins of his parents.”

    Where do you get your information? Who is doing the shoddy job? Homeschool students outscore public school students in every category. Now, there are problems with some of the research, but let’s go with something that is self-selected on both sides. College attendance. Almost 80% of homeschooled students attend college as opposed to almost 50% of public schooled students. In these colleges, the homeschooled students have consistently proven themselves more capable of the work, of disciplining themselves and of graduating. Percentagewise, they are more likely to earn a degree. It is now to the point that most major universities (state schools, not private Christian schools) are recruiting them and helping streamline the paperwork necessary for someone graduating homeschool because these students are capable and successful.

    If you are going to speak against homeschooling, please do not do so based on your preconceived notions which likely have come from the socialization (read preparation for socialism) we all recevied in public school.

    Who is going to fill in the shoddy job of the public school that cannot even teach all of its chidren to read? Or where Afghanistan is? Or the basic principles of our constitution? Whose going to fill in the gap? Sorry kids, but your parents weren’t available when you were a kid and no one’s there to fill in for the state now. Oh sorry, yes they will. Welfare does a great job at that.

    And I did read of a chid who felt a little unprepared for math. Her parents didn’t have much knowledge and really didn’t enforce any kind of curriculum. Guess what she found out? She could apply herself because she knew how to work independently. And she knew how to learn. She needed to take a remedial math course (as most PS students entering college do) and she flew through it and her successive math requirements. Don’t think she missed out on a thing.

    Don’t bash the parents and hold up our current system until it can produce the results…but it can’t. THere is nothing inherently superior in that degree held by the teacher in the front of the room. S/he doesn’t necessarily know any more content than what is in that text book. You aren’t taught content in teacher training courses, you are taught methodology. I know because I ran into difficulty with my double major. It seems I had too many German credits and it would interfere with my ability to be certified to teach German.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment

Your first comment is human moderated to reduce spam. It can take us a while (hours) to do that. Subsequent comments will appear much faster. We greatly sympathize with any frustration this causes, but given the amount of spam we have to deal with already we're not likely to change things soon.

You must be logged in to post a comment.