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Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District

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First page of the 139 page ruling from Judge John Jones.

Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District was a case in Pennsylvania challenging the inclusion of a one-minute presentation on Intelligent design to precede the evolution curriculum, and the inclusion of "Of Pandas and People" in public school libraries. The court ruled that the statement was unconstitutional and that Intelligent Design was not science.

The Discovery Institute has argued that the decision was incorrect and that the judge had no right or ability to rule on what was science. Furthermore, the Discovery Institute has recently found that the judge who ruled in it, federal judge John E. Jones, quoted verbatim the main section of the overwhelmingly biased court decision from a document written by ACLU lawyers. This was John E. Jones time to act like a judge and rule based on his enforcement of the Constitution. What he did was cow-tow to liberal organizations such as the ACLU, and effectively submit to the evolutionary scientific establishment.[1]

Memorandum and Order

Dover school district order.jpg

From Judge Jones' Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover School District, et al.. 12/20/05.

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To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID. We will also issue a declaratory judgment that Plaintiffs’ rights under the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been violated by Defendants’ actions. Defendants’ actions in violation of Plaintiffs’ civil rights as guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the United States and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 subject Defendants to liability with respect to injunctive and declaratory relief, but also for nominal damages and the reasonable value of Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ services and costs incurred in vindicating Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

[It is] abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

[T]the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions. The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals [...] would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

[O]ur conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

[T]his case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.[2]

Mural based on graphics in National Geographic Magazine by Zach Strausbaugh, former student in the Dover school district in Pennsylvania.


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