I’ll be flying to Harrisburg, PA to cover the Dover trial. It begins in federal court Monday. As Discovery Institute explains here:
In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the ACLU is suing the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania for adopting a policy that requires students to be informed about the theory of intelligent design. The ACLU claims that the Dover policy violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by promoting a religious doctrine.
What does the Dover policy consist of? Administrators read the following statement to biology students:
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 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.
It’s significant that the ACLU and its cohorts find Of Pandas and People dangerous enough that they believe a policy calling for the barest mention of it merits being dragged into court.
Discovery Institute doesn’t support efforts to require the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, but it strongly opposes the ACLU’s attempt to censor classroom discussion of intelligent design.