Saturday, December 17, 2005

Constitutional evolutionism?

PZ Myers is one of the most outspoken defenders of the science of evolution in the face of the attacks from the intelligent design folks. Now, apparently, ID is being promoted as essential to the the US Constitution. Here is his take:

I'm familiar with the creationist's "argument from personal distaste"—they don't like evolution because it implies that Jesus was half chimpanzee—but here's a new variant. Jason Rosenhouse finds some Schlaflyites who seem to deify the founding fathers:

Evolutionists claim that their battle against creation-science is primarily a “scientific” issue, not a constitutional question. But our treasured U. S. Constitution is written by persons and for persons. If man is an animal, the Constitution was written by animals and for animals. This preposterous conclusion destroys the Constitution. The Aguillard Humanists leave us with no Constitution and no constitutional rights of any kind if they allow us to teach only that man is an animal.

Strange…I think the Constitution is a pretty good document, and it would be a good document if it had been written by a wombat or a rutabaga. It's authority should derive from its propositions and arguments, not from some invisible, unconfirmable, and entirely imaginary property of its authors.

I note that the Constitution also fails to say anything one way or the other about evolution. It's also deficient with regard to basic principles of chemistry and physics.

UPDATE: In a related posting, are pandas the Paris Hiltons of the animal kingdom?

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