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Over the weekend, a New York Times series on Intelligent Design highlighted a rift between Intelligent Design (ID) advocates and grassroots creationists. Although the series mostly discusses ID, its proponents, and its critics, it also shows Intelligent Design advocates attempting to distance their theory from creationism.

In Sunday's article, the Times reporter Jodi Wilgoren writes that this summer's debate over intelligent design and evolution in Kansas's science curriculum exposed the differences between grassroots activists and ID theorists. "John Calvert, the managing director of the Intelligent Design Network, based in Kansas, said the [Discovery] Institute had the intellectual and financial resources to 'lead the [ID] movement' but was 'more cautious' than he would like. 'They want to avoid the discussion of religion because that detracts from the focus on the science,' he said."

The Discovery Institute, which is the driving force behind research on Intelligent Design, does not support teaching ID in public schools. After a conservative majority on the Kansas board of education decided to drop references to evolution in the state's curriculum in 1999, researchers at the Discovery Institute were appalled. "'When there are all these legitimate scientific controversies, this was silly, outlandish, counterproductive,' said John G. West, associate director of the science center, who said he and his colleagues learned of that 1999 move in Kansas from newspaper accounts. 'We began to think, Look, we're going to be stigmatized with what everyone does if we don't make our position clear.'"

Despite being called "fundamentalist Christians," ID theorists quoted in the article are portrayed as interested mostly in science. They doubt ...

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August 2005

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