I’m on record as saying I’m not opposed to kids learning about “Intelligent Design” in public school as long as it’s not presented as actual science. But here’s an interesting case: apparently a school in California positioned a class on ID as a philosophy course but then basically reeled off ID as science (with the help of videos that, the plaintiffs allege, “advocate religious perspectives and present religious theories as scientific ones”), without presenting much in the way of opposing views.
I’d like to know more about this, naturally, but given the information in the article this doesn’t sound at all kosher. If you’re basically offering a non-critical presentation of the ID material with noting else added, you’re probably violating church-state separation regardless of which class you teach it in. There’s a difference between describing and discussing ID as a social phenomenon, and just sitting the kids down and running a video. I mean, come on, ID people. At least try to pretend you’re attempting something other than indoctrination.
A good question here: How would you design a class, philosophy or otherwise, that discusses ID intelligently (heh) and without violating church-state separation? Personally, I think I would design a class called “Concepts of Creation,” which looks at the various ways humans have tried to describe the beginnings and progressions of things, including myths, history, and science. ID would fit in there as a modern creation story, but it would be in a context where it’s not presented as science, nor presented in isolation. It could be an interesting class, in any event.