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November 6, 2005
The Dover Decision
Friday was the end of arguments in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial on the teaching of "intelligent design" in the local 9th-grade biology class. We won't see a decision in the case for a while (perhaps by the end of the year), and no one knows how broadly the judge in the case might be inclined to rule.
I don't see how there could be much uncertainty in my position on this matter, but just in case: I think that "intelligent design" is pernicious nonsense. I understand why some people believe it, but the argument from incredulity doesn't do much for me. If I threw up my hands at everything that seemed to complicated for me to explain, I'd be out of a job, and rightfully so. My scientific predecessors kept trying to explain mysteries - good for them! - and I'm not going to stop looking for answers, either.
Since the organization defending the ID position has said that they want to "use the courts to change the culture", here's hoping that they get an enormous bucket of cold water poured on them. I was a college student in Arkansas when Judge Overton ruled in McLean v. Arkansas, an attempt to mandate the teaching of "creation science", and his opinion still makes fine reading. It put the brakes on that whole approach to ridding curricula of evolution, but eventually such selection pressure led to the spread of this latest mutation. "Intelligent Design" is clearly the scion of "creation science" - try as I might, I don't see how anyone but a fool can believe otherwise. If it too gets struck down, we can all expect yet another variation in another few years as the anti-evolution forces continue to evolve.
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