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Production of American Religious FreedomThe Production of American Religious Freedom$
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Finbarr Curtis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479882113

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479882113.001.0001

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Science in a Little Box

Science in a Little Box

Intelligent Design and Secularity

Chapter:
(p.132) 7 Science in a Little Box
Source:
Production of American Religious Freedom
Author(s):

Finbarr Curtis

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479882113.003.0008

Attempts to mandate teaching intelligent design alongside evolution appear to be part of an anti-secular movement to advocate for a greater role of religion in the public sphere. Arguments for intelligent design do not seek to engage a broader public, however, as much as they hope to shrink the public in favor of private choices. Conservative Christian activists have sought to secularize science by framing scientific claims as matters of personal beliefs and values that demand liberal toleration in the same way as do religious beliefs in a secular society. In this sense, intelligent designers are not so much anti-secular as hyper-secular. However, a secularity in which all private beliefs are protected and affirmed is at odds with the ideal of secular reason. The privatization of belief creates spaces of protected unreason where people are free to believe regardless of their ability to persuade or withstand criticism from others.

Keywords:   belief, intelligent design, public schools, privatization, scientific creationism

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