Early Monday Morning, Kansas University Religious Studies Professor Paul Mirecki received a most explicit commentary on his controversial remarks and recently cancelled course, "Intelligent Design, Creationism, and other Religious Mythologies"; While driving to breakfast, he pulled over to let a tailgating truck pass. When the truck pulled over instead, two unidentified passengers got out and beat him with a blunt metal object. (proof of our Simian Origins or the hand of an intelligent designer? You decide)
Although plenty of Anger Management School drop-outs cause open highway brawls, this incident demonstrates the depths to which Intelligent Design supporters are stooping in the face of ID's overwhelming fall from grace.
At first, Intelligent Design promised to be a panacea for the religious right: scientific-sounding enough for public schools, blatantly spiritual enough to break the pesky church-state divide. Kansas voted to allow Intelligent Design to be taught alongside evolution, Bush publicly endorsed the teaching of both, and Pope Benedict XVI affirmed that the universe was "an intelligent project."
But its decline in academic circles was marked, immediate, and almost universal; Even most Christian Universities rejected it (Baylor, a Baptist University in Texas saw its faculty up in arms over teaching Intelligent Design, prompting William Dembski, one of its biggest proponents, to leave), and few of its supporters have published in scientific journals with peer review. Now the Pope's chief astronomer says it has no scientific weight, and Republican Senator Rick Santorum has switched his position (admittedly to court Pennsylvania voters who recently unseated the pro-ID Dover school board, but it's still a sign of the times).
Just a few weeks ago the ever-prophetic Pat Robertson warned the citizens of Pennsylvania of impending doom, after they dislodged those eight board members responsible for adding Intelligent Design to the Dover high school biology curriculum: "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected him from your city."
Only a big win in the Dover case (or a hurricane?) could turn the tide somewhat for Intelligent Design. Hopefully, this time, FEMA will be ready.