Tonight, Lisa Simpson is going to get arrested for defending good science education a la John T. Scopes. (via the Thumb) The Monkey Suit is sure to be entertaining, but I thought I would register a prediction about the reaction to it.
Lisa is arrested for defying the new law in Springfield against teaching evolution after Reverend Lovejoy is appointed by Mayor Quimby (at Ned Flanders’s request) to be the town’s new “morality czar” in charge of promoting creationism; can a comment made in the show’s first season come back to save her?
I’m curious to find out how the episode will go, but given what I know about the intelligent design creationists, I can easily surmise how they will respond to it. Today, the IDers liken their “theory” to the theory of evolution in its infancy, and readily compare the opposition to it to the opposition that occurred toward evolution. The two situations are distinct, however, as the opposition to evolution has been, and shall probably always be cultural, wheras the criticisms of intelligent design tend to be scientific. (Not that there aren’t religious or philosophical objections to it.)
But that doesn’t stop them from trying to act as if the only thing keeping intelligent design from being considered science is an oppressive legal process, like the one in Dover, PA. Moreover, they want to re-create a Scopes Monkey Trial for ID. In response to an anti-pseudoscience bill proposed in Wisconsin, William Dembski put up a $1000 offer to the first teacher that gets punished in any way for teaching it. Ignoring the fact that he’s probably getting himself into legal trouble for inciting someone else to break the law, it’s really rather comical because Dembski implies that ID is indeed pseudoscience.
So my prediction is this, following a (hopefully hilarious) Simpson’s episode, the intelligent design crowd is going to declare that they are in the position of Lisa Simpson, that they are being persecuted by a [Darwinist] religious authority that has a stranglehold on the government. Har har. We’ll see how it turns out.
BTW – the title is not just a pun. I have access to a Panda suit and the next time I encounter one of the ID creationists, I intend to use it.