January 11, 2006
Yet more signs of intelligent life
Creationism… Intelligent design… Philosophy of design:
A group of parents in the small Tehachapi mountain community of Lebec on Tuesday filed the first lawsuit challenging the teaching of “intelligent design” in a California public school.
The suit targets what appears to be the latest wrinkle in the continuing national fight between supporters and opponents of teaching evolution in public schools — a course that says it examines the debate as an issue of “philosophy.”
Supporters of intelligent design lost a court fight in Pennsylvania last month that both sides had seen as a test case. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III rejected the Dover, Pa., school board’s decision to teach intelligent design as part of a science course, ruling that design was “an interesting theological argument, but … not science.”
In this case, the parents say in their suit that school officials in Lebec — a town of about 1,300 just west of Interstate 5 in Kern County and about 63 miles north of Los Angeles — designed their course as a way of getting around that decision.
At a special meeting of the El Tejon Unified School District on Jan. 1, at which the board approved the new course, “Philosophy of Design,” school Supt. John W. Wight said that he had consulted the school district’s attorneys and that they “had told him that as long as the course was called ‘philosophy,’” it could pass legal muster, according to the lawsuit.
… The course, which began Jan. 3 and is scheduled to run for one month, is being taught by Sharon Lemburg, a special education teacher with a bachelor of arts in physical education and social science, according to the lawsuit.
The suit adds that Lemburg “has no training or certification in the teaching of science, religion or philosophy,” and is “the wife of the minister for the local Assembly of God Church, a Christian fundamentalist church, and a proponent of a creationist world view.”
The Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which is representing the plaintiffs, said the course is “the wave of the future throughout the United States,” for backers of intelligent design.
It’s the sheer, straightforward honesty of religious conservatives that truly impresses.
TrackBack URL for this entry: