God And Man In Pennsylvania: Part II
Last week, we reported that the battle between supporters of "intelligent design" and traditional science were taking the fight into court. (Additional background here.) What is in contention is whether or not I.D. should be taught in the public school classrooms of Dover, Pennsylvania.
Here's the latest dispatch from the Front:
The concept of "intelligent design" is a form of creationism and is not based on scientific method, a professor testified Wednesday in a trial over whether the idea should be taught in public schools.In October 2004, the Dover school board voted 6-3 to require teachers to read a brief statement about intelligent design to students before classes on evolution. The statement says Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps," and refers students to an intelligent-design textbook for more information.
Robert T. Pennock, a professor of science and philosophy at Michigan State University, testified on behalf of families who sued the Dover Area School District. He said supporters of intelligent design don't offer evidence to support their idea.
"As scientists go about their business, they follow a method," Pennock said. "Intelligent design wants to reject that and so it doesn't really fall within the purview of science."
Pennock said intelligent design does not belong in a science class, but added that it could possibly be addressed in other types of courses.
Proponents of intelligent design argue that life on Earth was the product of an unidentified intelligent force, and that natural selection cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms.
Eight families are trying to have intelligent design removed from the curriculum, arguing that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. They say it promotes the Bible's view of creation.
No matter how this case is decided, look for the litigation to continue, probably all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: I just wish that someone would decide this matter one way or the other, once and for all, and let us who actually teach the kids get on with the job of teaching.