September 25, 2005
Intelligent life in Pennsylania
This should be entertaining:
In a civil trial set to begin Sept. 26, the Dover Area School District will defend its policy requiring ninth-grade students to hear about “intelligent design” in a preamble to biology lessons on evolution.
… Critics say intelligent design is merely creationism — a literal reading of the Bible’s story of creation — camouflaged in scientific language, and it does not belong in a science curriculum. Eight Dover families are suing the school district, alleging that the policy violates the constitutional separation of church and state.
“Our objective is to demonstrate that the prior (legal) precedent, which forbids the teaching of creationism, applies here as well,” said Eric Rothschild, a Philadelphia attorney representing the families.
The state American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are assisting the parents, including lead plaintiff Tammy Kitzmiller.
“The school board has no business instructing children about religious matters,” Kitzmiller said at a December news conference on the lawsuit.
… Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which supports the teaching of evolution in public schools, said the controversy had little to do with science because mainstream scientists have rejected intelligent-design theory.
Intelligent-design supporters “seem to have shifted virtually entirely to political and rhetorical efforts to sway the general public,” Scott said. “The bitter truth is that there is no argument going on in the scientific community about whether evolution took place.”
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