Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Dover Panda Trial

Loyal readers may have noticed that I have added some links to the sidebar. I want to take a moment to explain, as I understand it, the Dover Panda Trial.

On October 18, 2004, the Dover Area School District instituted the following language in its curriculum:
Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin’s Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design. Note: Origins of life will not be taught.

In addition, on November 19, 2004 the DASD mandated that the following statement be read in biology classes:
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 to see if they would like to explore this view in an effort to gain an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves. As is true with any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind.

11 parents of Dover Senior High School student sued the DASD alleging infringement of the separation and establishment clauses of the First Amendment. The bench trial started in late September and will continue through early November.

It has been billed as an epic battle between evolution and "intelligent design" creationism, a sort of Scopes Trial Part Deux. As a big Clarence Darrow fan, I was intrigued when I heard about the trial. The link on the sidebar connects to trial transcripts and background and was a source for the above background info.

As I have a strict policy of brief posts, I will comment on various aspects of the trial in separate posts. Click here for additional editorial on the trial and ideas surrounding it or simply check back for my take.


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