Rants, rambles, news and notes from another geek

Intelligent Design Loses in Dover School District Case

Many congratulation to the team of hard working scientists,&nbsp_place_holder;lawyers and concerned citizens who successfully fought off the Intelligent Design agenda in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Today, Judge John Jones III ruled in Kitzmiller et al v. Dover Area School District, a case where the non-scientific ramblings of the Intelligent Design (ID)&nbsp_place_holder;camp had successfully made it into the school district curriculum. Back in October 2004, the school district adopted this language in the biology curriculum:

“Students will be made aware of the gaps/problems in Darwin’s theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design. Note: Origins of life is not taught.”

This is a very important ruling. Non-science nonsense like this needs to be fought at every turn. Here is an excerpt from the judge’s ruling (highlights mine):

In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

…

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. 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.

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

For more information about this case, here are some informational links:

(It is also worth noting that the citizens had already voted out the members of the school board who voted for the ID language in the curriculum and that the new board had already agreed to abide by whatever the judge decided, so it seems very unlikely that there will be an appeal.)

UPDATE: Comment re-enabled after much discussion via email and over here.