Judge Quashes 'Intelligent Design'; Teaching Barred in Pennsylvania

Article excerpt

Byline: Joyce Howard Price, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A federal judge ruled yesterday that a Pennsylvania public school district violated the Constitution when it required that its biology curriculum include "intelligent design," an alternative to evolution that critics say amounts to repackaged creationism.

U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III decided that intelligent design - the notion that life was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause - cannot be addressed in biology classes in the Dover Area High School in York County.

"Our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID (intelligent design) as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom," Judge Jones, appointed in 2002 by President Bush, wrote in his 139-page opinion.

He agreed with 11 plaintiffs in the case, who said the Dover school board's policy is "unconstitutional pursuant to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution," under separation of church and state, "and of provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution."

Judge Jones further held that several religious members of the Dover Area School Board lied when they claimed they sought to improve science education by exposing students to intelligent design.

"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," the judge wrote in his ruling.

At issue was a resolution the Dover school board adopted by a 6-3 vote on Oct. …