A School District’s Intelligent Design

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court, objecting to the Dover Area School District’s October decision to present to students alternatives to the theory of evolution, including what is called “intelligent design.”

This was believed to be the first school district in the nation to mandate that the intelligent design concept be included in the science curriculum.

It appears this school district has been careful and legal in its development of a balanced curriculum. It does not accept every aspect of evolution as fact. And it includes an alternative theory that the earth’s origins and the development of species are so complex that they require an intelligent designer—a higher being, without presenting the spiritual components of that theory.

The Fox News report says:

Last month, the Dover district issued a statement saying that state academic standards require the teaching of evolution, which holds that Earth is billions of years old and that life forms developed over millions of years.

But the statement also said Charles Darwin’s theory “is still being tested as new evidence is discovered,” and that intelligent design “is an explanation of the origins of life that differs from Darwin’s view.”

Additionally, district officials said they would monitor the lessons “to make sure no one is promoting but also not inhibiting religion.”

The ACLU has said intelligent design is a more secular form of creationism, a Biblical-based view that credits the origin of species to God, and may violate the constitutional amendment that bars establishment of religion.

A more secular form of creationism? Yes, exactly. Isn’t that what those who are looking for strict separation of church and state want?

Or are they now saying that if a premise, theory, concept, virtue, or principle has religious adherents, parallels, or explanations, in addition to secular, that eliminates them from public discourse. That’s absurd. If that’s the standard, the Golden Rule is in trouble.

This, or a case much like it, will end up at the Supreme Court, so the lower court decisions will be only a prelude.

–James Jewell


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group (www.valcort.com). Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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