Tuesday, December 14, 2004

ACLU files lawsuit over 'intelligent design' mandate

Two civil liberties groups representing 11 parents on Tuesday sued a school district that is requiring students to learn about alternatives to the theory of evolution.

The ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the lawsuit is the first in the nation to challenge whether public schools should teach "intelligent design," which holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by some higher power.

The Dover Area School District was believed to be the first in the nation to mandate the instruction of intelligent design when it voted 6-3 on Oct. 18 in favor of including the concept in the science curriculum.

The ACLU contends intelligent design is a more secular form of creationism, a biblical-based view that credits the origin of species to God, and may violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

"Intelligent design is a Trojan horse for bringing religious creationism back into the public science classroom," Witold Walczak, legal director for the state ACLU chapter, said during a news conference.

Intelligent Design is a crock, of course. You can see a condensed dismantling of it here. Religion offers something of value to many people. But it becomes self-parody when it tries to be science.

Nevertheless, I am worried about where this one is going. I think we are about due for another Scopes Trial, and I doubt that we can expect the Supremes to do the right thing at this point. Ignorance is likely to soon graduate from political expedience to offical governmental policy.


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