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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

California lawyer Caldwell vs. UCal Berkeley : Berkeley cites free speech rights

Inside Higher Education News provides a look at how UCal Berkeley plans to defend promoting liberal (as opposed to conservative) religion on its evolution Web site. Professor Roy Caldwell* is reported by Inside as saying,

"I am a scientist, and I understand what science is. It is fact-based. It involves hypothesis testing. It is not faith-based," he said. The Web site was designed to help teachers — especially those who may feel pressure because of the current attacks on evolution — better explain the science. The information about religious views was included on the Web site not out of a desire to change anyone’s religious beliefs, Roy Caldwell said, but because many teachers ask for advice on how to deal with this issue, since their students ask them about it.

The information about religious groups is strictly factual, he said. “The fact is that there are many people who recognize that religious faith and science are not necessarily incompatible,” he said.

(*Note: One of the professors running the Berkeley site is Roy Caldwell, who is not to be confused with Larry Caldwell, the lawyer who is suing UCal Berkeley.)

Well, fair enough, Roy Caldwell, but does the Berkeley site also offer links to dissent from Darwinism, such as that of Catholic Cardinal Schonborn or similar statements by many American religious denominations? You can't get away with claiming that you are simply "providing information" if it is entirely one-sided and clearly involves a religious issue.

Larry Caldwell asks,

Whatever happened to the National Center for Science Education/ACLU mantra that teaching about religious beliefs on evolution may be appropriate in a comparative religion class, but never in biology class? Come to think of it, aren't the NCSE and ACLU currently using that very argument in their lawsuit against the Dover, Pennsylvania school district –that the mere mention of intelligent design in biology class purportedly violates the Establishment Clause (since NCSE/ACLU incorrectly deem intelligent design to be a religious doctrine, rather than a scientific theory)?

Yeah really. It sounds as though the UCal position may be evolving into a much simpler rule:

- Anything diehard supporters of Darwinism say is science - even when they are quoting from the Bible.

- Anything critics of Darwinism say is religion - even when they are quoting from peer-reviewed science journals.

- Any questioning of Darwinian evolution is suspect as criticism of science in principle.

Well, I guess we will see the whole gang in court - not that a court will settle the issue, of course. But that's the next round.

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