Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Abstract

Intelligent design advocates argue that excluding intelligent design from educational and scientific environments discriminates in favor of methodological naturalism and against other approaches for understanding natural phenomena. These arguments are flawed both legally and philosophically. In order to succeed ID advocates need to demonstrate that ID is science and that public school classes and scientific institutions are public fora for speech. Legal scholarship has generally ignored the most relevant arguments from philosophy of science and the relationship of those arguments to constitutional concepts. This article demonstrates that even when ID is given the benefit of the best scientific, philosophical, and legal arguments it is unequipped to take advantage. This is because, in part, ID is a response to several important cases decided under the Establishment Clause, and the form the ID movement has taken reflects a plan to avoid the legal defeats that creationism and "creation science "faced. Intelligent design is essentially a marketing plan to claim credibility in public discourse and to avoid conflict with inconvenient court decisions. At least as to the latter goal ID advocates are likely to fail.

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