Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Court rejects 'intelligent design' in science class

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania - "Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said.

Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said.

Said the judge: "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."

Text of the school's statement

Text of the statement on "intelligent design" that Dover Area High School administrators have been reading to students at the start of biology lessons on evolution:

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin's theory of evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

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. The reference book, "Of Pandas and People," is available in the library along with other resources for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves.

With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the origins of life to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on standards-based assessments.

When will the religious right cease their lies and hypocritical machinations in the name of the lord? They should hang their heads in shame.


1 comment:

  1. In Britain we haven't divided Church from State and exist with Church and non Church schools. My children are given a wide diversity of belief studies, but intelligent design is not part of the curriculum.
    Myself, I was brought up a Catholic and attended Church School but found indoctrination of faith actually turned me away from my belief. Now I am more opem minded.
    I look at it this way, on one hand you have belief and the other theory but neither can honestly point at truth.