Sense and Sensibility
In the biggest landmark evolution decision since a little monkey trial, the Christian Right were denied an early Christmas gift:
    HARRISBURG, Pa. - "Intelligent design" is "a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory" and cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

    Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum must include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said.
The case was brought up because advocates of ID wanted a disclaimer read about Evolutionary Theory prior to its teaching in biology class. Judge Jones (I kind of like the ring to that) went on to discuss the content of said disclaimer, in some of the least equivocating and harshest language I've seen in a decision:
    Jones blasted the disclaimer, saying it "singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource and instructs students to forgo scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere."
The judge even saved a little 'something-something' for those who had supported the idea in the first place, and it was of the same flavor:
    The judge made a point of criticizing the school board members and the "breathtaking inanity" of their decision. Â?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," he wrote.
How do you really feel about it? Although my brother's nickname for me is "Judge" (from Caddyshack), I'd have a hard time being as restrained in language as my esteemed namesake. Intelligent Design is slyly repackaged Creationism for the new age, and I'm happy to see that in at least one instance, we can uphold the constitutional separation of church and state. Now about "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays"...

No comments: