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MONDAY, MAY 9, 2005
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EDITORIAL

'Intelligent design' evidence good enough to stand alone

An opponent of evolution undermined his own argument by an example he gave the Kansas Board of Education on Thursday.

Eighty years to the day after Tennessee teacher John Scopes was arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in Dayton, Tenn., the Kansas board began three days of hearings on new science standards requiring that the theory be challenged in the classroom.

Other states have similar movements. With the Alabama Legislature's regular session winding down, legislation died last week that would have protected teachers' jobs if they mentioned alternative theories to evolution. That measure could come up again.

These days, some religious people are pushing a theory called intelligent design, which says that life is so complex that a supernatural creator is the only explanation. It's a theory that many religious people accept — but not all religious people think it's right to use public schools to promote religion. (Teachers and students ought to be free to discuss all possibilities, however.)

William S. Harris, a chemist who helped write the proposed changes in Kansas, told the state board that "you can infer design just by examining something, without knowing anything about where it came from."

The New York Times says he cited a film titled "The Gods Must Be Crazy," in which Africans marvel at a Coke bottle that turns up in the desert. "I don't know who did it, I don't know how it was done, I don't know why it was done, I don't have to know any of that to know that it was designed."

Exactly. Intelligent design is self-evident to people who are inclined to believe it.

King David put it well in Psalm 19:1: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork." The heavens don't need any evangelism help from public-school teachers.

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