I’m swamped with work, and I plan on linking to this post from the old site, so I’ve resurrected this from the archives of the Mad Biologist.
I go away for a meeting and vacation, and the most important court case regarding evolution in a decade is decided. Of course, I liked the outcome, so maybe I should go on vacation more often…
Anyway, there’s no point in rehashing the Dover decision: it was exceptionally well-written. An added advantage is that it was written by a laywer (obviously). Since our political system is chock full o’lawyers, having a laywer restate the arguments scientists have been making ad nauseum can’t hurt. But I digress.
Make no mistake: what happened in Dover was a victory for liberals. Who stepped up and provided the parents of Dover help? The Heritage Foundation? Nope.
The Cato Institute? No.
The American Enterprise Institute? Erm, nowhere to be seen.
Nary an amicus brief, or even a press release. Kinda like the Night Before Christmas. And don’t tell me this isn’t their area of expertise: since when has a lack of expertise ever stopped these organizations? Anyway, isn’t evolution supposed to be the front line in the war against liberalism?
Where were the bloviators? Bill O’Reilly? Michele Malkin? Only thundering silence or confused quavering about “fairness”, as if physical reality can be wished away. Aren’t the conservatives supposed to be the rational and logical ones, while liberals are ’emotional’ types who don’t even know calculus?
No, it was the wellspont of evil, the Servants of Satan, the Reavers of Christmas, the Allies of Osama, the archetypical liberal organization: the ACLU. And alongside them, were some of the other typical liberal types and supporters: the other separation of church and state groups and the liberal science policy advocates. In the blogosphere, the left closed ranks–a remarkable achievement when you think about it. When the fight came, it was liberals who formed the line, spat on their hands, and lowered the pike, not conservatives.
Were there conservatives who opposed intelligent design? I can only think of three: George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and John Derbyshire (NRO). That’s it. Can you even think of three liberal pundits who don’t think ID is daffy? And don’t even try to get biblical and name ten.
On most conservative radio shows, the Dover decision was decried as ‘activist’, and ‘anti-religion.’ So why were the conservative organizations silent? Like evil wizards in their towers, these organizations need their slavering hordes of ignorance-fueled Uruk-Hai as political shock troops. What matters the principle of separation of church and state, or for that matter, an accurate description of physical reality when compared to the needs of the Righteous Cause?
Philosophically, so terrified of humanism were the conservatives, whether that humanism be secular or religious, they were willing to entertain intelligent design as an idea worthy of scientific consideration.
It was liberals and progressives who had to drag the troglodytes kicking and screaming into modernity. And there is no doubt in my mind that several decades from now, conservatives will claim that they were for evolution, when, in fact, most conservatives were silent, and presented no organized opposition against anti-evolutionism. We’ve seen this with racism, where conservatives now think interracial marriages and basic civil rights are acceptable and act as if they thought this all along, even though it wasn’t so long ago that they called the civil rights movement “The Negro Revolt.”
Once again, conservatives are on the wrong side of history–even a Bush appointee, the judge in the Dover case, could see that. Dover is just one more sorry example.