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December 20, 2005

Intelligent life

Discovered in a Pennsylvania courtroom—and boy is it pissed:

HARRISBURG, Pa. - “Intelligent design” is “a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory” and 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.
“We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom,” he wrote in his 139-page opinion. “The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy,” Jones wrote, adding that several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs.
… “We conclude that the religious nature of ID would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child,” Jones said.

But not to a wingnut.

… The judge made a point of singling out the school board members and the “breathtaking inanity” of the decision for criticism. “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,” he wrote.

The wingnut board, of course, is long gone, ousted by voters in a November school-board election. It was replaced by a slate of eight board members who pledged to remove intelligent design from the school curriculum.

I guess all this means that the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t exist either.

Posted by Stephen at 12:59 PM in Evolution | Religion + cults | Science + technology | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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