Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Alternative To Evolution Being Taught In Pennsylvania

As this piece is relatively short, (and the registration process is a *##!!,) I reproduced it from The Dallas Morning News. If you are into self-flagellation, you may go and register for it here.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: High school students heard about "intelligent design" for the first time Tuesday in a school district that attracted national attention by requiring students to be made aware of it as an alternative to the theory of evolution.

Administrators in the Dover Area School District read a statement to three biology classes Tuesday and were expected to read it to other classes today, according to a statement from the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., which was speaking on the district's behalf.

The district is believed to be the only one in the nation to require students to hear about intelligent design a concept that holds that the universe is so complex, it had to be created by an unspecified guiding force.

"The revolution in evolution has begun," said Richard Thompson, the law center's president and chief counsel. "This is the first step in which students will be given an honest scientific evaluation of the theory of evolution and its problems."

The case represents the newest chapter in a history of evolution lawsuits dating to the Scopes "monkey" trial in Tennessee nearly 80 years ago. In Georgia, a suburban Atlanta school district plans to challenge a federal judge's order to remove stickers in science textbooks that call evolution "a theory, not a fact."

The law center is defending the Dover district against a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of eight families by two civil-liberties groups that alleged intelligent design is merely a secular variation of creationism, the biblical-based view that regards God as the creator of life.

The district allowed students whose parents objected to the policy to be excused from hearing the statement at the beginning of class and science teachers who opposed the requirement to be exempted from reading the statement. About 15 of 170 ninth-graders asked to be excused from class, Mr. Thompson said.

We report, you decide.

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