Feeds

Intelligent design ordered out of class

Judge sees the light

Boost IT visibility and business value

A US court has delivered a setback to religious conservatives hoping to get the theory of intelligent design onto the school curriculum.

A district judge has banned the teaching of intelligent design at schools overseen by the Dover Area School Board in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, ruling it advances "a particular version of Christianity" and is unconstitutional because it violates the notion of the separation of church and state.

Judge John Jones ruled intelligent design was "nothing less than the progeny of creationism," the belief that the world was created by God as outlined in the Book of Genesis.

In a 139-page ruling, Jones also lambasted the Dover school board for its "breathtaking inanity" in using intelligent design as a pretext for its real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom. Transcripts from the case can be viewed here.

Intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.

Intelligent design is popular among the US religious right and endorsed by President George W Bush who last summer said US children should be taught both intelligent design and evolution "so people can understand what the debate is about."

As such, schools are on the front line. In Kansas, state education officials last month adopted new classroom science standards that cast doubt on evolution and redefine science to allow for non-natural explanations, such as a creator.

A federal appeals court in Georgia, meanwhile, has heard arguments over whether an Atlanta school district had the right to put stickers on biology textbooks that describe evolution as a theory, not fact. A federal judge in January had ordered the stickers to be removed.

Dover had added language about intelligent design to its biology curriculum. In a four-paragraph statement, it claimed evolution was not a fact and there were gaps in the theory that could not be explained. Students were referred to a book called Of Pandas and People - universally panned by Amazon.com reviewers - to "gain and understanding of what intelligent design actually involves."

The board's decision was challenged by a group of 11 parents, who subsequently brought a suit against the board.

The ruling is unlikely to be appealed as recent elections changed the composition of the Dover school board, which is now opposed to intelligent design.®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?