Darwin in Dover

Besides the obvious comic relief provided by gems like the following quote:

"We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture,"

contained in this article, it brings up the issue about how deeply divisive teching science can be made out to be and how our contemporary society is seemingly incapable of handling the issue. Thus, we get down to arguements of folks saying [more or less] 'them smarties is making us learn about things we don't believe in.'

Let's face it, there are many issues one could possibly teach relating to how our own beliefs and spiritual awareness interact with our views of science. Check out the remarks by Charles Townes, nobel laureate and winner of the (more lucrative, believe it or not) Templeton prize.

"Increasingly, science is showing how special our universe and we are, which has raised questions about whether it was indeed planned or influenced—one of many examples where science and religion naturally interact.  The British physicist, Fred Hoyle, who was skeptical that there was any creation of the universe, nevertheless wrote, after he discovered how remarkable nuclear properties produced important chemical elements, 'Would you not say to yourself, ‘some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom?’ Of course you would.  A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that some super intellect has monkeyed with physics—and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.'

I wonder if we could introduce these sorts of sentiments in social science classes. Or, the schoolboard could decide to teach it in history class where they could develop the concept of spirituality and scientific reasoning by teching about the Pythagoreans, and Kepler, and the philosophical and ethical difficulties any number of big-name scientists have faced over the years. And then also teach about creationism and the possibility of intelligent design: how the church had held on to the issue over the millenia and how we as post-modern (post-post-modern?) creatures can get a handle on these things.

Anyway, seems like it'd be better than watching a group of monkeys on crack jump around hissing at secularists and leebruhls and how they hate the american way. Wouldn't it be great if a group of local politicians could not only unite us all but also add value to our education system at the same time? It would make for an excellent contrast to the Rick Santorum "dems-is godless leebruhls tryin' to force anti-Christianity on us" crowd.

Update: Turns out I wasn't the only one who liked the quote, and of course the ever-vigilant Atrios picked up on it [though--if I may add in a shoulder-padding way--quite a bit later than I did: eh-hem!].