York Town Square

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A refresher on Dover ID case

The Dover Area School Board added a mention of intelligent design to its ninth-grade biology curriculum in October 2004.
About three years later, and with an exploration of the case by PBS’ “Nova” on the horizon, it’s easy to forget the wording of that mention.
So, as a refresher, here is the statement read to classes that caused the internationally famous Dover ID trial:

“The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.¶
“Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.¶
“Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available in the library along with other resources for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.¶
“With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.”¶

And here’s some more background, as a further refresher:
Intelligent design asserts that living things exhibit such complex systems that they must have been engineered by an intelligent agent.
Dover board members who supported the curriculum change said students should learn alternatives to evolution. Critics of the board’s decision argued intelligent design is an attempt to get creationism and religion into classrooms.
In December 2004, 11 parents of Dover Area students sued the school board and district, claiming the board’s decision unconstitutionally established religion at the public school. The trial in Harrisburg ended Nov. 4, 2005.
U.S. Middle District Court Judge John E. Jones III ruled in December 2005 that intelligent design is not science and unconstitutionally established religion in a public school science class.
Other York Town Square posts involving national newsmakers or news stories with Dover ties: Jeff Koons, Ray Krone, Daniel Drawbaugh, Jeb Stuart, John Kuhn , Scott Strausbaugh and the intelligent design case.
Also: John “Clarkie” Souza, Cate Reinart (mother of Nick and Drew Lachey), long trumpeter Bill School, rock group Blind Melon’s Chris Thorn, Jeff Koons, Part II, Gov. George Leader, weightlifting guru Bob Hoffman.

Plaintiff Tammy Kitzmiller is the Kitzmiller in the Dover ID case caption, ‘Kitzmiller v. Dover.’