Joined: Nov. 2005
|By Charles C. Haynes|
Have Darwin's foes become their own worst enemy?
Consider the school board in the El Tejon Unified School District in rural California. On New Year's Day they approved a month-long course called "Philosophy of Design," a thinly disguised attempt to challenge evolution by promoting intelligent design and creationism.
This week — facing a lawsuit by 11 parents supported by lawyers with Americans United for Separation of Church and State — the district announced it would end the course early and never offer it again.
This latest setback for opponents of evolution comes less than a month after a federal judge in Pennsylvania struck down as unconstitutional the Dover school district's inclusion of intelligent design in the curriculum as a scientific alternative to Darwin's theory. Although proponents insist that intelligent design is not religiously based (ID holds that the complexity of life points to design by an intelligent force), the judge ruled that it is.
In the wake of the Dover defeat, even many supporters of ID now acknowledge that the Dover approach was a failed strategy — especially given the transparent religious purpose of the school board members who advocated the policy. Whatever one thinks about the ultimate fate of the claims for intelligent design as science, it seems clear that today's courts are unlikely to allow public schools to teach ID as a scientific alternative to evolution.
Read it here.