Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Dover court case

I followed the Dover court case via The Panda's Thumb as the parents sued the District School board to have inteligent design removed from the sciences cases. Then recently I was able to see one of the lawyers involved in the case, Eric Rothschild talk at Duke as part of the Provsot's Lecture Series, footage of all of the speakers can be found here.

Eric Rothschilds talk was entertaining as he highlighed the antics of some of the participants, and this was brought to my mind recently by a post written by Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the culture wars talking about John Beullthe head of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics and publisher of the book Of Pandas and People. John Buell was one of the people disscussed in the talk mentioned above. If you have time I'd recomend listening and or viewing the talk(s).

As a little bit of background the Dover area school board brought passed a motion requiring the addtion of a sticker to biology books. The statment is repeated below
"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."

Fortuantely the Judge ruled in the plaintifs favour and the statement above was dropped.


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