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Judge rules against 'intelligent design' in class

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  • Chris Ashcraft
    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8493 Judge rules against intelligent design in class 17:37 20 December 2005 NewScientist.com news service Kurt
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 20, 2005
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      Judge rules against 'intelligent design' in class

      17:37 20 December 2005
      NewScientist.com news service

      Kurt Kleiner

      Pennsylvania science teachers will not be forced to advocate "intelligent design" after a judge
      ruled that that the theory is really religion in disguise.

      Judge John Jones of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled
      that intelligent design - which bills itself as a scientific theory and states that life shows
      signs of being the work of an intelligent designer - is in fact reworked creationism.

      The decision comes after 11 parents sued the Dover High School Board of Education for requiring
      that biology students be read a statement that cast doubt on evolution and endorsed intelligent
      design. Eight of the nine school board members were voted out of office in November, but the case
      continued in the court.

      In his decision, Jones systematically dismantled the arguments of the proponents of intelligent
      design. Jones said that the history of intelligent design shows that it is essentially creationism
      with explicit references to God and the Bible removed. As such, it is primarily a religious
      theory, not a scientific one, and cannot be taught in US public schools, which are prevented from
      promoting religion.

      Intentionally misleading
      Jones also said that language in the school board statement that evolution is only a "theory" is
      misleading. It confuses the scientific and colloquial meanings of "theory". And by singling out
      evolution from all other scientific theories it suggests that there is some special doubt about
      the truth of evolution.

      The judge stated that intelligent design cannot be considered science for a number of reasons. By
      depending on a supernatural cause it violates the basic ground rules of science that have been in
      place since the 16th century.

      He also found that intelligent design relies on the "false dualism" that if evolution can be
      disproven, then intelligent design is proven. In any case, he found that intelligent design's
      criticisms of evolution have been largely refuted.

      Check back tomorrow for more news and analyis of the verdict.

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      Christopher W. Ashcraft
      Northwest Creation Network
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