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Federal judge bans teaching intelligent design in Pennsylvania schools: It's religion in disguise

A federal judge ruled that the goal of the members of the Board of Education, who tried to introduce the theory into the curriculum, was to promote religion

A federal judge yesterday prohibited a district board of education from teaching the theory of "intelligent design" in biology classes, claiming that it is religious creationism in disguise. Federal District Judge John A. In his decision, Jones attacked the Dover County Board of Education in the state of Pennsylvania, stating that its decision - the first of its kind in the US - to include "intelligent design" in the science curriculum violates the constitutional separation between religion and state.
Judge Jones stated that teaching the theory of intelligent design in the schools in Dover violates the basic law stated in the first amendment to the constitution. In his decision, Jones writes: "Our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes. The theory of intelligent design failed to convince the scientific community." This trial will henceforth be called Kitzmiller v. Dover.
Jones attacked the "breathtaking ineptitude" of the Dover County Board of Education and accused several board members of lying to hide their true motives, which he said were promoting religion. The ruling is a severe blow to the intelligent design movement, which is also waging similar legal battles in Georgia and Kansas. The theory of intelligent design claims that living things are so complex that they had to be created by some superior force.

"The secular goals are nothing more than a pretext"

The trial, which lasted six weeks, yielded "overwhelming evidence" that proved that intelligent design "is a religious view, creationism by another name and nothing else, and not a scientific theory," said Jones, a Republican in his political views and a regular visitor to the church. Jones was even appointed in 2002 by President Bush, but this did not prevent him from stating that the theory of intelligent design violates the separation between religion and state, and that it is a Christian idea. Therefore, he came to the conclusion that the members who voted in favor of the proposal were motivated by Christian self-conviction, however, the theory of intelligent design is not a scientific description and can be interpreted as requiring a supernatural force.

During the trial, representatives of the Board of Education tried to claim that they were trying to improve science education by exposing students to alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection. According to the policy, teachers were required to give students a statement about intelligent design before beginning lessons on evolution in ninth grade. The statement said that Darwin's theory "is not a fact" and that there are unexplained gaps in it. The statement also refers students to a textbook on intelligent design, known as "On Panda Bears and People".
However, the judge stated that "we find that the secular goals claimed by the council's representatives are nothing more than a pretext for its real goal, which is the promotion of religion in the public school." Eric Rothschild, the attorney for the parents who sued the council demanding the change of policy, said that the ruling is "a real victory for those who showed the necessary courage to stand up and say that something is wrong here."

The Board of Education said that it will probably not appeal the ruling, because a number of members who voted in favor of introducing intelligent planning into the curriculum were dismissed in the last elections, and replaced by new candidates who oppose this decision. Richard Thompson, who represented the Board of Education and described his goal as protecting the religious freedom of Christians, said that the ruling is "an attack on the body of scientists who also happen to believe in God."
It was one of the biggest legal conflicts between religion and the theory of evolution since the famous "monkey trial" in 1925, when the teacher John T. Scopes for $100 for teaching the theory of evolution in a school in Tennessee.

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