Battle Of The Two Theories
by : Greg Lloyd Smith
Monday September 26, 2005 - 15:53
School’s evolution teaching goes on trial today
by Greg Lloyd Smith
HARRISBURG, PA — (OfficialWire) — 09/26/05 — A group of parents in the small town of Dover, Pennsylvania, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is seeking to overturn a decision by the local school board who have insisted that so-called Intelligent Design-the theory that complex organisms have been designed (presumably by God) rather than having evolved in response to natural selection-must be included in student’s curriculum.
The case will be heard in the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg and is expected to revisit many of the issues already hashed through between Creationism and Darwinism during the 1925 Scopes Monkey trial.
Any verdict in the case is likely to end up before the Bush administration’s well-stacked Supreme Court because of the importance of the issues at stake.
In October last year, Dover’s school board voted six to three to require a statement on ’intelligent design’ to be read to ninth-grade science students. One board member, William Buckingham, urged his colleagues: "Nearly 2,000 years ago someone died on a cross for us. Shouldn’t we have the courage to stand up for him?" The statement said: "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 theory exist for which there is no evidence ... Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin ... With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind."
The 11 parents who are challenging the Dover School Board are expected to argue that ’intelligent design’ is a cover for creationism and therefore an attempt to impose religion in schools.
"We’re fighting for the first amendment, the separation of church and state and the integrity of schools," Philadelphia lawyer Eric Rothschild told the Los Angeles Times. "This trial should decide whether a school board can impose its religious views on other students."
Education aside, the real issue at stake is the growing influence of the religious right in America.
I, for one, would prefer that religion (creationism, its well-known tales and theroies) remain in the churches, synagogues and mosques, where I will visit it should I ever feel the need.
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