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Intelligent Design Again Stopped By Court

by Staff Writers
Fresno (UPI) Jan 18, 2006
A California school district has reportedly decided to stop offering an elective course that includes discussion of religion-based alternatives to evolution.

The El Tejon Unified School District also agreed as part of a court settlement to never again offer such a course, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The settlement follows a federal court decision in Pennsylvania in which a U.S. district judge rejected the Dover, Pa., school board's decision to teach intelligent design as part of a science course. The judge ruled intelligent design is a theological argument and not science.

Intelligent design holds that life is so complex it could not have evolved randomly, but must have been guided by an intelligent designer.

The El Tejon school board had unsuccessfully argued its course, "Philosophy of Design," was not science, but philosophy, the Times said.

But Ayesha Khan, legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the newspaper, "We see (the court ruling) as sending a signal to school districts across the country that you can't just change the title of a course from science to humanities and then proceed to promote religious theories as alternatives to evolution."

Source: United Press International

related report
Utah may OK evolution, but with a footnote
Salt Lake City (UPI) Jan 18 - A Utah Senate committee has split along party lines, saying evolution should be taught in the state's public schools -- but with a disclaimer.

A bill offered by Utah state Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, would require science teachers to specify the state does not endorse any scientific theory about the origins of life or the present state of man and that scientists are not in complete agreement on evolutionary theory, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The bill passed Tuesday on a 4-2 vote in the Senate Education Committee and will now go before the full Senate.

Opponents, including the Utah Board of Education, view the measure as an unnecessary attack on a widely accepted scientific theory.

"There is little or no debate among credible scientists about whether evolution has taken place," said Brett Moulding, state curriculum director. "However, since our understanding is still incomplete, there is considerable and productive debate about processes of evolution."

Source: United Press International

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