Thursday, December 22, 2005

Intelligent design follow-up

Court ruling won't stop the battle, experts say

Supporters of the concept of "intelligent design" will find new ways to advance their cause to have it taught in U.S. schools despite a major setback this week, experts on both sides say.
In a strongly-worded court ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Jones said teaching intelligent design violated a constitutional ban on teaching religion in public schools. The decision was a blow to Christian conservatives who have pressed for the teaching of creationism in schools but opponents and supporters of the concept said it could also energize and spread the campaign to put it on the curriculum.

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 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 his ruling that the Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania acted illegally by including intelligent design in ninth-grade biology classes, the judge condemned the "breathtaking inanity" of the policy of the school board, all but one of whom have now been ousted by local voters. The San Jose Mercury News provides its take on the court ruling in this editorial.

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1 comment:

Emmanuel said...

I just heard in a Radio 1 broadcast here in Belgium about a Flemish student who researched the presence of creationism in Islam. Strikingly, her findings brought to light that Muslims in general feel as strong about creationism as Christian conservatives do. Top Muslim biologists see the matter as separate from their teachings in biology. By contrast to the Christian conservatives however, they have not tried to reconcile the biology they teach with creationism.