Senators Kruse, Walker, and Holdman, and Rep. Thompson are trying to inject themselves into a Ball State personnel and curriculum matter. Ball State apparently has a policy against teaching intelligent design as science. Which is fine because whatever intelligent design is, it’s not science. But, there is an astronomy professor who apparently wants to teach it as science.
The trial court in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District had some thoughtful things to say about Intelligent Design and why it isn’t science. The Dover court issued a 139 page decision (pdf). The court noted that ID was, at heart, a religious argument and observed that the writings of leading intelligent design proponents reveal that the designer postulated by intellgient design is the Christian God. This passage by the court gets to the heart of whether Creationism (or intelligent design) ought to be taught as science:
After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. …It is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research. Expert testimony reveals that since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena.
However, not teaching it as science apparently strikes these social conservative legislators as anti-religion. So they are making ominous sounding rumblings at Ball State. The letter had ominous undertones of “nice university you got there, be a shame if the General Assembly had to investigate it.”
They suggest that they won’t be happy if the Ball State committee reviewing the matter is made up of scientists who think that intelligent design isn’t science. Which it isn’t. Populating the committee with mainstream views about what is and isn’t science would be stacking the deck, you see.
Once again, feel free to suggest intelligent design is a notion some people have about how the universe was created. But don’t suggest that it’s science. There is no testable, falsifiable hypothesis involved.