Originally Posted by trumptman
You can't figure out that I won't change my mind because of your feeble attempt to guilt me into making a logical leap? I'm inflexible because I won't say that criticism of science = religious endorsement.
At least it doesn't sound like you're trying to pretend the stickers aren't a targetted criticism of evolution -- a large part of what I've been saying is to argue against those who feign belief that these stickers are nothing more than blandly neutral statements of innocent fact with no agenda whatsoever.
So, we're in agreement at least to the extent that reading into these stickers an intent to single out evolution and to cast doubt upon evolution in particular is not an over-reach, is not "mind reading", but a very reasonable interpretation of the wording in the context in which is occurs?
The religious intent part comes in not so much by looking at the singling out of evolution in and of itself, which is only part of the point I'm making. There is also the layer of meaning added by the effort to get the stickers into the books in the first place. Why was it deemed so important to go out of the way to deliver this message, and by whom?
It's important to note that what the courts are intervening to prevent here is not free expression by individuals acting as individuals within our society, but actions taken by a public institution, an organ of the state. What might be called judicial overreach when applied to the actions or expressions of an individual citizen can be basic prudence when applied to the actions of a public institution.
That the main force being getting those disclaimer stickers into those text books is largely, nearly exclusively, based on a religious agenda can't be denied. Yes, you can always find a few rare examples -- "Joe's a Buddhist and Sally's an atheist and they think evolution is bad science too" -- but not only do a lot of those examples fail to pan out when further examined, they're also beside the point.
A lot of the effort to end slavery was religiously motivated, and the cause was often argued on a religious basis. Did that make ending slavery a state-sponsored religious endorsement? Not at all. Regardless of what motivation drove many to champion abolition, a case could easily be made for the justice of abolition based on secular principles, and the enactment of abolition, the worthiness of making that effort, could stand apart from religious precepts.
In the case of these disclaimer stickers, however, what's left when you take away the religious motivation behind the stickers? What worthy result remains? A few, very rare individuals expressing doubt about the quality of the science of evolution? Every single scientific theory and (what some would call "so-called") scientific fact has doubters. We don't provide warning stickers on everything else to cover every one of those doubts, and there are no powerful organized movements by all of those other doubters to do so.
Since we're not regulating individual freedom here, but the actions of a public institution, we need to err on the side of caution in preventing religious endorsement by the state. A cautious approach has to account for the fact that the greatly religiously-motivated effort behind making the effort to get those stickers into those text books in and of itself adds a layer of meaning to what the stickers convey, and that meaning is one which endorses a particular religious point of view. Without that religious fervor, the effort would never be made -- that fervor is as much a part of the message as the words of the stickers themselves.