Max Power writes some interesting stuff responding to Eugene Volokh on evolution vs intelligent design. Click here then scroll down; also go over to volokh's page to see his arguments.

Although I am, of course, a die-hard evolutionist, there is much more to this debate than Max is seeing. Of course, evolution is "right" and ID "wrong", to the best of the ability of the scientific community to know anything. That fact is often obfuscated and bears repeating. But ultimately it is not what is at stake in the debate over what to teach in the schools.

Rather, at stake in the teaching of evolution in schools is: who determines what is the truth, and how is that truth determined? Creationists see clearly that evolution is incompatible with their literal bible; therefore they think it is false and should not be taught to their children (and possible other children too, but specifically theirs). Their truth comes from the bible and they believe the state should recognize that. Scientists think that science is the best way to find truth, and therefore what science has found is what should be taught to kids. The muddled compromise is to teach both things, neither very well. This is exactly what we should expect from politics.

The typical way in which conflicts over scarce resources are handled in our society, is by the institution of private property. I like steak, so I spend some of my resources buying steaks (and eating them -- yum!) A vegetarian can disapprove of that all she wants, and spend her own money on celery sticks. We both get what we want. And while she may think I am an evil cow-killer, at least my actions don't implicate her. Similarly, I can spend my money on books about evolution, and that's my right. My neighbor can spend his time looking for the Ark on Mount Ararat, and that's his right. I may think he is a fool (and he may think me a fool), wasting time and money on "obviously" false ideas. But we live together in peace. It's his life; or, as I might respond nowadays: WHATever.

But when the state enters the picture, we no longer have private property but rather public property. And to the extent that there is difference, public property will always cause conflict. For inherent in the idea of public ownership is the idea of the one best way. If "we" are to teach evolution (as I would like), "we" force it on my neighbor's kid too. And even if "we" let that kid out of that particular class, because the school is tax-funded my neighbor is still being forced to pay for teaching ideas that he thinks are wrong and evil.

Taking private property forceably is always wrong; but using it ways that the unwilling donor finds evil adds insult to injury. It's also a practical guarantee of political resistance from the victim. Having one's money stolen and used for good things is quite different than having it stolen and used for evil.

The real solution to evolution in the schools, and all the other skirmishes in the political culture war, is to privatize. Then the fundies can teach their kids creation, and my kids can learn evolution. And not just the watered down evolution currently contained in textbooks which are trying to appeal to everyone. Rather, The Selfish Gene as a textbook. (Anyway that's what I would demand as a parent.)

True diversity is only possible under private property. It would be good for all the "multiculturalists" out there to reflect on that. Had there been any notion of public education in 1789 it seems certain that freedom of education would have been enshrined in the first amendment with other freedoms of conscience.

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