Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Judge rules against 'intelligent design' in class

Good news.

"Judge rules against 'intelligent design' in class."By By Kurt Kleiner. news, 20 Dec 2005.

"Pennsylvania science teachers will not be forced to advocate "intelligent design" after a judge ruled that that the theory is really religion in disguise.

Judge John Jones of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that intelligent design - which bills itself as a scientific theory and states that life shows signs of being the work of an intelligent designer - is in fact reworked creationism...

...Jones also said that language in the school board statement that evolution is only a "theory" is misleading. It confuses the scientific and colloquial meanings of "theory". And by singling out evolution from all other scientific theories it suggests that there is some special doubt about the truth of evolution.

The judge stated that intelligent design cannot be considered science for a number of reasons. By depending on a supernatural cause it violates the basic ground rules of science that have been in place since the 16th century.

He also found that intelligent design relies on the "false dualism" that if evolution can be disproven, then intelligent design is proven. In any case, he found that intelligent design's criticisms of evolution have been largely refuted."

Read the complete article by Kurt Kleiner at New Scientist News.

See also "unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom." By PZ Myers. Pharyngula, 20 Dec 2005. He features more of Judge Jones decision, including this:

"To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."

Related links:

"Kansas backs intelligent design in science lessons." By Gaia Vince. news, 09 Nov 2005.

Ironically, see "BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR: Evolution in Action." By Elizabeth Culotta and Elizabeth Pennisi. Science, 310 (5756): 1878 - 1879, 23 December 2005. DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5756.1878. Hat tip to Pharyngula.

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