Sometimes, I think PZ Myers needs to lighten up regarding Intelligent Design. Personally, as a Canadian, I think it's a terrific idea that American schools start balancing the teaching of actual science with religious, pseudo-scientific swill. What better way to hasten a country's complete intellectual collapse than to make sure its future leaders are indoctrinated, not with skills for critical thinking and proper scientific analysis, but with ridiculous fundamentalist garbage?
As for historical precedent, well, here's a good example of what happens when the idiots take charge of science:
Between 1934 and 1940, under Lysenko's admonitions and with Stalin's blessings, many geneticists were executed (including Agol, Levit, and Nadson) or sent to labor camps. The most well-known Soviet geneticist, Nikolai Vavilov, was arrested in 1940 and died in prison in 1943. Genetics was stigmatized as a "fascist science" and "bourgeois science," in a political stigmatizing similar to the Nazi denouncements of quantum physics and Einstein's theory of relativity as "Jewish science". Some geneticists, however, survived and continued to work in genetics, dangerous as it was.
In 1948, genetics was officially declared "a bourgeois pseudoscience"; all geneticists were fired from work (some were also arrested), and all genetic research was discontinued. Nikita Khrushchev also valued Lysenko as a great scientist, and the taboo on genetics continued (but all geneticists were released or rehabilitated posthumously). Only in the middle of the 1960s was it waived. As a consequence, Lysenkoism caused serious, long-term harm to Soviet biology. It represented a serious failure of the early Soviet leadership to admit failure even in the face of utter agricultural disaster and to allow their system to be hijacked by a mere charlatan—at the expense of many human lives.
So, as a patriotic Canadian, let me just say, here's to Intelligent Design in American schools! Just don't be bringing that shit up here, if you know what I mean.
BY THE WAY: And don't forget -- when it comes to the basic education level of American workers, well, speaking as a Canadian, the dumber, the better.