Conservative judge says 'intelligent design' is not scienceLast year, a school board in Dover, Pennsylvania approved the inclusion of intelligent design to be mention in their science classes. Intelligent design is a version of creationism that claims that human beings are so complex that they couldn't possibly be the result of completely natural evolution and that it must've resulted from the intervention of a higher power.
People certainly have the right to believe in intelligent design just as they have the right to believe in creationism or astrology or voodoo. But it's not science. Intelligent design could easily be debated in a philosophy class or a current events class, but not science classes. Science deals with natural explanations that can be demonstrated or proven. Belief in the actions of a higher power is something entirely different from science, by definition. Well, by most people's definition.
A federal judge, a Republican and George W. Bush appointee nonetheless, ruled that the school board's action unconstitutional in a scathing decision.
Perhaps what made this case an even more straightforward violation of the separation of church and state is that the school board voted to include a brief statement as part of the ninth-grade biology curriculum that questioned the Darwinian theory of evolution, and referred students instead to a Christian textbook titled "Of Pandas and People.". [emphasis mine]
I think the Dover school board made it more complicated than it needed to be. Instead of approving something that clearly did not fit the definition of science in Pennsylvania, they could've lobbied the state to simply change the definition of science. After all, Kansas did exactly that.
Meanwhile, some activists are lobbying for schools to teach 2+2=5 as an alternative theory of mathematics. Others want Holocaust denialism and the writings of the Ayatollah Khomeni to be taught in history classes as well. "We just want it part of the discussion," they insist. "What is the politically correct, liberal elite afraid of?"