Saturday, January 28, 2006

"Intelligent Design" Proponents Lose Battles In School Districts In Four States

Hillsborough County, Fla., science teachers last week voted to use biology textbooks that doesn't mention intelligent design.

Nancy Marsh, the district's high school science supervisor, told the Tampa Tribune that teachers based their decision on which book would best meet state science standards. Science supervisors in nearby Pasco and Pinellas counties don't expect intelligent design will become an issue for them either when they choose their science textbooks next month.

It's the latest blow for supporters of the controversial belief, which argues that a higher being designed the complex universe. The belief has been championed by conservative Christian leaders as an alternative to evolutionary theory worthy of being taught in public schools. But it has been fought by supporters of separation of church and state, who see intelligent design as a thinly veiled way to teach religion in public schools.

How thinly veiled? "I believe this is the class that the Lord wanted me to teach," wrote teacher Sharon Lemburg, whose "Philosophy of Design" class was shut down by El Tejon Unified School District in California earlier this month.

The school district chose to cancel the philosophy course rather than face a lawsuit from parents. The suit was brought forth because the class relied almost exclusively on videos that presented religious theories as scientific ones, including titles such as "Chemicals to Living Cells: Fantasy or Science?" and "Astronomy and the Bible," according to the suit. Lemburg is the wife of an Assembly of God minister.

"This sends a strong signal to school districts across the country that they cannot promote creationism or intelligent design as an alternative to evolution whether they do so in a science class or a humanities class," Ayesha N. Khan, legal director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the Associated Press. The group had filed the suit on behalf of 11 parents.

Last month, Americans United participated in a lawsuit that blocked the Dover, Pa., school system from teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in high school biology classes. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled that school board members’ true motive in approving the intelligent-design policy was to promote religion.

And a federal judge recently ruled that it was unconstitutional for Cobb County, Georgia, to require the placement of stickers in biology textbooks, reading: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

That decision is currently under review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

The next battlefronts are Kansas and Michigan. Can science continue to trump thinly veiled religious belief? For the sake of the public school kids, let's hope so.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So long as the "God Bless America" jingoists exist they'll think that their mythical god and center-of-the-universe world of gas guzzling, fast food, pave-it-all, fat assed, TV addicted, Jesus freak zombie people is all somehow ordained. America today is based on selfishness and lies and we're lead by a bumbling, puppet fool so-called, President all strong proof that no intelligent designer is behind anything American. I think that retrograde will be the opearative word for America as we stiffle free speech and meaningful progress, the rest of the planet will laugh and blog as we stumble into obscurity. Worm food we are.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous WindRavenX said...

I'm happy to see that ID is being rejected for the most part

It's not science. Don't try to say it is.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous jedr said...

Note to Pat;

Dover Pa. is having a very mild winter! Seems many red states are having their share of natures wrath

8:30 PM  
Anonymous jody said...

Does ID mean "Ignorant Diddling"?

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Lexingtonian said...

Idiots' Delight

8:31 PM  
Anonymous impeachdubya said...

Good. Our resident Intelligent Design apologists may not agree

but this shit belongs in church- not science class.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous StopThePendulum said...

"Intelligent Design" is not a very intelligent idea
Enough said

8:31 PM  
Anonymous proud2Blib said...

There is a proposal in Kansas to have the state board of ed appointed by the governor instead of elected by the people. That would at least temporarily take care of the ID problem here as the current Dem governor would likely not appoint rabid fundies to the board.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous tsuki said...

Before I got to governor, I thought it was going to say god.

Sometimes when you read every word like I have to, you creep yourself out.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous CatholicEdHead said...

Then the push would be to elect a Fundie gov the next time to then pack the board with more ID fundies.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous proud2Blib said...

Believe it or not, I don't think that a fundie could win

We have a good Dem governor now. This state isn't as ass backwards as some like to believe.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Boojatta said...

Now ID is an alternative to the Big Bang theory?

"It's the latest blow for supporters of the controversial belief, which argues that a higher being designed the complex universe."

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Intelligent Design" proponents remind me of the old door to door vacuum cleaner salesmen. They would say anything to get their foot in the door. So it goes with warmed over creationists "ID" nonsense. Pathetic comes to mind.

3:05 AM  
Anonymous clear said...

Assuming the existence of an intelligent designer, a supernatural being, is an act of faith. It seems to me that science seeks to explain why thing are from principles that exist within the system, whereas ID seeks to explain on the basis of something outside the system. To my mind, this makes ID philosophical or theological, but not scientific. As such, it has no place in the high school science curriculum.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Gen. Patton said...

Strong words from Anon No. 1. Too bad he didn't have the balls to attach his name to that God-hating trash talk. Obviously a card-carrying ACLU member. Let's call him Marx....

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gen. Patton. Why don't you think first before you write?
Just because someone is against Intelligent Design being taught in schools does not mean they "hate God," or like Karl Marx.
You evidently are for suppressing science in the name of God. Why then, don't we simply revert back to the Dark Ages in Europe when advances in science and medicine could not move forward for centuries because the ruling powers thought such practices worked against God and the church. Why don't we burn witches at the stake while we're at it.
Most conservatives fail to place their beliefs in any context whatsoever. Their ignorance is alarming...and very dangerous.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with gennie patton that anon.#1 is right on the mark. I think god hating is a bit stong...more like disrespectful of terminally blind, bible thumping sheep, bloviating mangled and nauseating bush-speak with agonizing regularity. This of course assumes a link between the ID liars and the Bush sycophants. Vegas odds that gennie p.'s a Bushie, guaranteeeeeed. one to one. Gennie. Here's a tissue for the brown clump on your nose.

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Is this possible?

7:49 AM  

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