In honor of Banned Book Week, Casey Luskin has posted a series of entries with the idea that Intelligent Design (ID) books are being “banned” in various places across the United States. This is part of his and other ID proponents strategy to play the role of the oppressed to gain acceptance. This follows the stories of people losing their jobs due to a belief in ID as shown in the movie Expelled and the idea that school children are not being allowed to express their “academic freedom.”
In the broadest sense, banning books should never be tolerated. However, there is nothing wrong with not allowing certain books from certain places/ times. For example, sexually explicit materials should not be allowed into the kindergarten classroom. Of course this example is in the extreme, but I think it makes the point.
So should pro-ID books be banned from certain areas? Of course. ID is completely unsupported by any evidence. Any place that deals with facts and reality (such as a science classroom) should discourage the use of this material. Likewise, astrology, homeopathy, and other such pseudoscience should be “banned” from use in a science class. But, should pro-ID books be really banned. Of course not. Just like there is an endless supply of books based on any other pseudoscience, pro-ID books should be available for those that want them.
There is a lot of grey areas in between the two extremes above. What about public school libraries? or what about university campuses? I really believe that this should be left up to the particular library or collection. These types of decisions have to be made all the time on various subjects, and Intelligent Design should not really be any different.
I disagree with Luskin’s assertions that when a librarian decides not to put a pro-ID book in their library that it is censorship. By that logic, every book that has been passed over for any reason could be considered censorship. It is not censorship, it is judgment.