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Judge bans teaching intelligent design
Reuters
By Jon Hurdle
December 20, 2005

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday banned the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution by Pennsylvania's Dover Area School District, saying the practice violated the constitutional ban on teaching religion in public schools.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Jones 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

"Our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in a public school classroom," Jones wrote in a 139-page opinion.

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 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.

Intelligent design holds that some aspects of nature are so complex that they must have been the work of an unnamed creator rather than the result of random natural selection, as argued by Charles Darwin in his 1859 theory of evolution.

Opponents argue that it is a thinly disguised version of creationism - a belief that the world was created by God as described in the Book of Genesis - which the Supreme Court has ruled may not be taught in public schools.

In October 2004, Dover became the first school district in the United States to include intelligent design in its science curriculum.

Ninth-grade biology students were presented with a four-paragraph statement saying that evolution is a theory, not a fact, and that there are "gaps" in the theory. The statement invited students to consider other explanations of the origins of life, including intelligent design.

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."

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."

Commentary:
McCain, Frist and Bush support(ed) teaching fake science in schools.