At a local school in Dover, Pennsylvania, the school board decided to teach students creationism. Their excuse for this abrogation of even the minimum of scholarly standards is a mixture of falsehood, nonsense and double talk:
“Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations. Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view.”
Creationism (aka “Intelligent Design”) is a worthless pseudoexplanation, the sole function of which is to resist the implications of the theory of evolution. An explanation of the origins of life must explain how complex organisms arose from non-biological precursors. So any purported explanation that does not include a description of such a process is inherently worthless. Furthermore, an explanation of life as we see it today must explain how adaptations (purposeful properties) come into being. So any explanation that invokes a pre-existing purpose whose origin is itself inexplicable, is also inherently worthless. And since God could have made the world any way he liked, Creationism is also untestable and anti-scientific. Its purportedly authoritative advocates are intellectually dishonest.
By contrast, evolution is a scientific theory that has survived rigorous critical scrutiny. Evolution explains how life arose from simple non-biological precursors, and how it acquired its adaptations. Science teachers in Dover have quite correctly refused to read out any apology for creationism because by doing so they would promote rank superstition.
However, the religious world is not alone in having worthless superstitions. Secular mental health charities like Rethink promote a view of the world based on the idea of mental illness. According to Rethink's worldview people take actions based on chemicals buzzing around in their brain. In reality, people act on their theories and values and not on orders from mindless chemicals or fictional mental illnesses. Unfortunately, nonsense about mental illness is what passes for serious discussion of moral issues among large and influential sections of the secular world. This, too, is an abrogation of intellectual and moral standards. For the sake of science and freedom and reason, we must abandon these secular superstitions as well.