In a delightful example of common sense, Judge John Jones of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that intelligent design — which bills itself as a scientific theory and states that life shows signs of being the work of an intelligent designer — is in fact reworked creationism.
The decision comes after 11 parents sued the Dover High School Board of Education for requiring that biology students be read a statement that cast doubt on evolution and endorsed intelligent design. Eight of the nine school board members were voted out of office in November, but the case continued in the court.
In his decision, Jones systematically dismantled the arguments of the proponents of intelligent design. Jones said that the history of intelligent design shows that it is essentially creationism with explicit references to God and the Bible removed. As such, it is primarily a religious theory, not a scientific one, and cannot be taught in US public schools, which are prevented from promoting religion.
Jones also said that language in the school board statement that evolution is only atheoryis misleading. It confuses the scientific and colloquial meanings oftheory. And by singling out evolution from all other scientific theories it suggests that there is some special doubt about the truth of evolution.
The judge stated that intelligent design cannot be considered science for a number of reasons. By depending on a supernatural cause it violates the basic ground rules of science that have been in place since the 16th century.
He also found that intelligent design relies on thefalse dualismthat if evolution can be disproven, then intelligent design is proven. In any case, he found that intelligent design's criticisms of evolution have been largely refuted.
I'm deeply amused by the wingnuts who are pimping
intelligent design as a valid scientific
theory, when past attacks on the theory of evolution have been over their misunderstood use of the word
theory in the first place. Perhaps this whole mess could have been avoided if somebody just handed the idiots a dictionary. Oh, that's right, they aren't permitted to think or learn for themselves.
Judge rules against 'intelligent design' in class—New Scientist, 20th December 2005.