12.20.2005

Intelligence Decides: Dover Judge Bans ID & Blasts School Board for 'Breathtaking Inanity' & 'Lies' [Merry Christmas!]

Judge Shoots Down Intelligent Design

from Sploid / FOX News / Reuters

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III has ruled that the Dover Area School Board's requirement that biology teachers include "intelligent design" in their curriculum is unconstitutional.

The ruling dealt a blow to U.S. Christian conservatives who have been pressing for the teaching of creationism in schools and who played a significant role in the re-election of President George W. Bush.

In a fierce attack on the Dover board - all but one of whom have now been ousted by voters - the judge condemned the "breathtaking inanity" of its policy.

"No serious alternative to God as the designer has been proposed by members of [ID], including defendants' expert witnesses," Jones wrote. He later noted, "Not one defense expert was able to explain how the supernatural action suggested by ID could be anything other than an inherently religious proposition."

Jones defended the students and teachers of Dover High School whom he said "deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

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

The Pennsylvania school board had required teachers to begin lessons in Darwin's theory of evolution with a statement that said the theory is "not a fact," has inexplicable "gaps." It also referred students to an intelligent-design textbook, Of Pandas and People, for more information on "intelligent design," which says that organism are so complicated that they couldn't have happened by chance, but had to be the result of some grand plan by an outside party, most likely God or aliens.

The school district was sued by a group of 11 parents who claimed teaching intelligent design was unconstitutional and unscientific and had no place in high school biology classrooms. The six-week-week Harrisburg trial, one of the highest-profile court cases on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial, was closely watched in at least 30 states where Christian conservatives are planning similar initiatives.

"I think it's a very sad day," said David Napierskie, a former school board member who supports ID.

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