Tuesday, December 20, 2005


The verdict is in on Intelligent Design

I just read about this over on the Bad Astronomy Blog. There has been a trial going on in Dover, Pennsylvania on whether Intelligent Design should be taught in science class along with the theory of evolution. I've ranted on this topic before a few times frequently regularly.

Here's the story. In 2004, the Dover Area School District amended its science curriculum with the following statement: "Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin’s Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design." Later that year, a group of 11 parents filed a suit alleging that the school board's policy was a violation of the US First Amendment. (Facts quoted from the National Centre for Science Education web site.)

The verdict, which came in today, found that ID is not a science and therefore has no place being taught in a science classroom. The judge's conclusion states, in part:

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.


To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

Score one for the good guys. Don't rest easy, though. According to the trial FAQs posted by NCSE, "since the beginning of 2004, 14 states (AL, AR, FL, GA, KS, MN, MO, MS, MT, NY, OK, PA, SC, and TX) have introduced legislation that would advance antievolution efforts." Even the president himself has said he doesn't have a problem with ID being taught as science.

There are yet miles to go before we sleep...