Tuesday, July 20, 2010

#43: William (Bill) Buckingham

Buckingham is the creationist strategist behind the Dover Area School District Board of Education’s decision to “teach the controversy” (i.e. try to wedge in religion in schools), the process that lead to the famous Dover Trial. This bizarre series of events got rolling when the Board voted 6-3 to "challenge" evolution. Under the leadership of Buckingham they added a one paragraph disclaimer to the local high school biology curriculum, garbling the regular curriculum with "teach the controversy" and promoting the "scientific alternative" of intelligent design and using the "textbook" Of Pandas and People as a reference. Buckingham mentioned creationism and raised objections to proposed use of the textbook Biology written by Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine, describing it as "laced with Darwinism" and saying it was "inexcusable to have a book that says man descended from apes with nothing to counterbalance it." The dissenting members of the school board resigned in protest and the measure carried. Buckingham had previously wanted to use Of Pandas and People in the classroom to teach both sides of the creation-evolution "debate”.

Buckingham’s testimony during the trials (proudly displaying his almost complete ignorance and lack of intelligence) is discussed here. Even the defense during the trial attempted to distance itself from Buckingham. The creationists attempted to claim that ID is science, not religion; Buckingham was less concerned about that distinction, trying instead to argue (unsuccessfully) that "nowhere in the Constitution does it call for a separation of church and state” (a claim the Discovery Institute has later defended). He summed up the trial, the main issue of which was whether ID is science or thinly disguised religion, by famously declaring "Two thousand years ago someone died on a cross. Can't someone take a stand for him?"

See also the entry for Alan Bonsell.

Diagnosis: Taliban fundamentalist, madman and crackpot; exasperatingly ignorant, blathering idiot. Fotunately he is stupid enough to harm the ID movement more than help it.

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