Politics in science: High modulation of engagement in intelligent design discourse
Intelligent design is a pseudoscientific concept conceived in an attempt to bring religion-based teaching into the classroom. As such, it is involved in a constant struggle for dialogic space with the dominant scientific discourse of the theory of evolution. Here, we use a corpus linguistic approach to study how intelligent design discourse uses engagement to forward its creationistic propositions and at the same time limit the propositions of the theory of evolution. The results suggest that intelligent design discourse employs engagement far more frequently than evolutionary biology discourse, mainly to counter opposing propositions and to entertain its own proposition in their stead. The underdog position of ID obligates it to highly modulated engagement in order forward its position, which is ultimately aimed at changing the political decision-making related to the teaching of science.
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