Lying for political purposes

Published in "The Australian" newspaper on 23 December 2005

Thoughtful Christians aren't surprised that a US judge has ruled that "intelligent design" is nothing more than the old creationism attempting to hide its origins ("Intelligent design flunks US court test", 22/12 ).  Those of us who have followed the court case, and read some of the transcripts, are not surprised that the judge labelled some of those supporting ID as liars, for the way they have tried to cover up the religious roots of the movement.  And this is what we find distressing - that a number of Christians in the US are prepared to lie for political purposes.  It has not helped when a prominent televangelist, Pat Robertson, excoriates the whole Christian community for voting out people who wanted one particular extreme version of Christianity taught in science classes.  Most scientists, Christians or not, have no objection to ID being taught in schools, provided it is included as part of the syllabus on religious ideas.  Such a syllabus is badly needed in the current climate in Australia.

Dr Ken Smith
Chaplaincy Services
University of Queensland