Strong opinions, weakly held

Intelligent design and intelligent voters

The bad news from yesterday is that the Kansas Board of Education voted 6-4 yesterday to add “intelligent design” to the state’s standard for science education. The good news is that in Dover County, Pennsylvania, all eight school board members who mandated the teaching of intelligent design were defeated by a slate of candidates opposed to making the county a national embarrassment. Next year, Kansas voters can do the same thing — four of the six board members who favor intelligent design are up for reelection.

It’s really nice to see voters take care of a problem like this rather than letting the courts handle it. I’m for courts striking down unconstitutional laws, even if critics call it judicial activism, but it’s always preferable for voters to choose progress on their own.


  1. Sometimes it is better for the voters to decide, but not always.

    “Tyranny by the majority” is a prime example. If civil rights were left up to the voters, Jim Crow would still be the de facto standard in the South (instead of the de facto underground standard)

  2. I’m in favor of justice being done regardless of whether it’s in the courts or in the voting booth, but I think that as a society it’s preferable when a majority of people decide to do the right thing rather than having it imposed upon them by the judicial branch.

    The judicial branch tends to lead the populace when it comes to making progress on things like civil rights. That’s a big reason why conservatives are so receptive to criticism of the judiciary. So if the voters of Dover County reject the intelligent design movement on their own at the voting booth, the right winger’s can’t claim that the popular will was thwarted by an out of control judiciary, the way that they usually do.

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