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Federal Judge Rules Against Intelligent Design

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the well-at-least-there's-an-ounce-of-sanity-out-there dept.

News 2443

evil agent writes "CNN is reporting that U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III has ruled that Intelligent Design cannot be discussed in Dover, Pennsylvania biology classes. Dover Area School Board members had previously mandated that Intelligent Design be included in the biology curriculum. According to the judge, 'our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.'" Update: 12/20 23:40 GMT by J : eSkeptic has a look back at the trial and what led to it. And the Discovery Institute has issued a press release.

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Well good (5, Insightful)

butters the odd (729841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299841)

Intelligent design isn't science, therefore it doesn't belong in a science room.

And evolution is? (-1, Troll)

NotoriousGOD (936922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299861)

There is nothing to prove the fact the "man from mud" theory either. Show me evidence that I evolved from a fish or a single celled animal. You can't, therefor evolution isn't science. Not that I'm a protestant, or do I believe in a single and one god, but wasn't this country halfway founded on religion? Don't you think it should at least stick to the one theory they know instead of one they don't?

Re:And evolution is? (3, Insightful)

miketkrw (902851) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299881)

The fossil record provides overwhelming evidence of the the great tre of life Darwin described. Pick up a science book. To say there is no evidence of Darwinism is nothing other than total willfull ignorance.

Re:And evolution is? (-1, Flamebait)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300019)

Okay here's one for you: explain the eye. It either works or it doesn't. There is no evolutionary intermediate form that would function so how could it have evolved?

I don't disbelieve evolution but neither do I blindly believe everything the scientists tell me is fact That's rather the basis of science.

As an aside: did you consider that God could, by definition he's omnipotent afterall, have forged the fossil record? I think most Christians believe he's not like that and so didn't.

Re:And evolution is? (2, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299897)

Relativity was never "proven". It is still a theory. It's just a theory that keeps on getting confirmed by experiment after experiment.

The difference is, I can SHOW you evidence of evolution. Walk into the Natural History Museum in Washington DC... there are plenty. Now show me ANYTHING other than babble that "proves" anything about intelligent design.

Re:And evolution is? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299923)

ID is not a theory, per se. Science requires that its theories be falsifiable - that there is some measurement or experiment that may be performed to invalidate it. ID is not falsifiable, whereas Evolution is. While there is no direct evidence of Evolution, there are mountains of indirect evidence - same with the Big Bang theory, same with Relativity. All of these are falsifiable, but we've yet to make a direct observation that 'proves' them. That's science, and if you can't grasp that, then it's clear that the education system fails whether we teach ID or not.

Re:Well good (-1, Troll)

hfolkers (755766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299867)

Evolution isn't science, therefore it doesn't belong in a science room.

Are quarks science? (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299939)

How is evolution less science than quarks, general relativity, or string theory?

Re:Well good (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299948)

If Evolution isn't science (a body of observations backed up by theories that have not been disproven), then nothing is a science. While I'm sure plenty of the ID folks would be happy if science was dropped entirely from schools (it keeps contradicting them, they hate that!), that is plainly not in the best interests of society as a whole.

Re:Well good (0)

andyukguy (928900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299868)

fact.

Re:Well good (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299882)


The Dover school board need just introduce a new course "Mysticism, Superstition and Things That Go Bump in the Night". Then they could teach ID.

Re:Well good (2, Insightful)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299905)

I agree. I am Christian, and there are many ways I can tie ID to Science. But that's not what ID is. Forget proving it's real, that's what faith is for. Science is what we know, and what theorys we have. ID is for YOU, to learn and study on your own accord. Take your children to church to show them what you believe, and than let them discover their own faith. Send them to school to learn what is KNOWN and what other Possibilties there are.

Re:Well good (0, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299959)


and than let them discover their own faith.

Kids don't "discover their own faith", they're indoctrinated into whatever supertition their parents force-feed them.
Raising kids to believe in mythology is child abuse.

Re:Well good (1, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299943)

If high schools had philosophy classes, though, it would be a perfect subject there.

Re:Well good (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299964)

Clearly this "federal judge" has been sent by God to test our faith. Don't be fooled people!

Re:Well good (3, Funny)

bestiarosa (938309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299997)

If ID was taught in Biology classes, also Pastafarianism [venganza.org] would have to be taught.

On teh Nth day, G-d created Slashdot... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299842)

and on the N+1th, first post!

Sweet! (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299843)

Put it in comparative religion where it belongs!

Teach all (0, Troll)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299845)

Shouldn't they be allowed to teach it, so long as they teach all of the current theories?

Re:Teach all (2, Insightful)

Mifflesticks (473216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299871)

Then when does the list of theories end? Teach creationism too? Hindu theories of creation? Bhudist? Aztec? Eventually the list gets too long and people learn nothing about everything.

Re:Teach all (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299895)

ID isn't a theory though, it's dogma. We don't teach dogma in science class for the simple reason that it is not science. It's like complaining that students aren't getting equal time for Aztek cooking in their Asian studies class.

Re:Teach all (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299977)

Something I found incredibly humorous about the Kansas decision last month was someone quoted as saying something along the lines of "With this ruling, we have succeeded in removing dogma from the science classroom." Talk about newspeak...

Re:Teach all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14300026)

and it's about time we got more Aztek cooking in school.

Re:Teach all (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299910)

It's not a theory, it's a philosophical/religious concept. Which is perfect fine to teach about...in a philosophy or world history or cultures class. Bottom line, there is a group of subversives that want to dissolve the Constitution and the U.S. and put a theocracy into place.

Re:Teach all (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299924)

Shouldn't they be allowed to teach it, so long as they teach all of the current theories?

No, because it is not a scientific theory. It is not testable or disprovable. Because our knowledge of nature and life and evolution is likely to remain incomplete (there will probably always be things we don't understand), the 'Intelligent Design' idea can always be brought in as an arbitrary 'explanation' for anything.

Re:Teach all (1)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299936)

Fine. Then they should teach Flying Spaghetti Monsterism [wikipedia.org] as well.

Re:Teach all (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299957)

Shouldn't they be allowed to teach it, so long as they teach all of the current theories?

ID is not a "current theory" of biology.

A scientific theory is a testable and tested statement about or model of some aspect of the observable world. "God(s) did it" is neither testable, tested, nor about the observable world.

Certainly other sorts of statements have their place. But that place is not the science classroom.

Re:Teach all (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299980)

It's not a scientific theory, therefore it doesn't belong in a science class, any more than teaching that babies are delivered by storks. Get some papers in peer-reviewed science journals showing that "intelligent design" is a valid science theory, and then they might have a case. Of course, that will never happen.

Well (4, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299846)

Thank God for that!

Touched by his noodly appendage... (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299848)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the almighty spaghetti monster [venganza.org] for all that He has done for me.

Not only has He used divine intervention in Dover but He has shown me the way! I await his presence in pirate heaven with the stripper factory and beer volcano.

Believe.

Re:Touched by his noodly appendage... (1)

TheLoneIguana (126589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299903)

rAmen.

Re:Touched by his noodly appendage... (1)

bk4u (682315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299907)

Ramen!

Re:Touched by his noodly appendage... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299962)

Just to point out that FSM is also intelligent design....

Re:Touched by his noodly appendage... (1)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299986)

Ramen.

Re:Touched by his noodly appendage... (4, Funny)

RatPh!nk (216977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299998)

Amen! Praise be to FSM.
From the book of Noodle Ch. 3 verse 17-19
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the FSM your God must be put to death at the hands of the few pirates that are left, perhaps corellating well with the rise of global warming. Such evil must be purged. ...At the wrath of the FSM of hosts the land quakes, and the people are like fuel for fire; No man spares his brother, each devours the flesh of his neighbor, or a delicious noodley appendage, whilst the friend of the noodle can rest his weary feet in pirate heaven with the stripper factory and beer volcano.
So said FSM, so it shall be DONE.

Re:Touched by his noodly appendage... (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300012)

ramen to that my friend, ramen to that.

Re:Touched by his noodly appendage... (1)

BlakeCaldwell (459842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300016)

I too am a pirate -- arrrrrg!

Links to more information: (5, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299850)


Lots of additional coverage on this decision is available at The National Center for Science Education [ncseweb.org] and The Panda's Thumb [pandasthumb.org] , and the full text of the decision can be found here [uscourts.gov] (PDF warning).

From the decision:
Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this 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.
Damn...what a smackdown.

Re:Links to more information: (4, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299900)

From the BBC's coverage [bbc.co.uk] : It provoked US TV evangelist Pat Robertson to warn the town was invoking the wrath of God.

Seems Pat wanted to see a smackdown of a different sort.

Re:Links to more information: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299918)

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.

I guess what it all boils down to is the Judge determined that the entire argument was out of scopes.

Re:Links to more information: (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299972)

> Damn...what a smackdown.

Also:

"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."

Re:Links to more information: (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299992)

Damn...what a smackdown.

Indeed. However, given how strongly proponents of ID hold their views, and how much backing it has, presumably they won't tolerate this decision being allowed to stand. Regardless of the degree of smackdown, and the claim that the case has already been a signficant waste of time and money, I'm presuming it's going to get appealed. I'm curious as to what the dismissal of the school board in the recent elections is going to mean on that front though - exactly who would be doing the appealing? Anyone familiar with legal matters care to explain whether an appeal is likely, and how it would take shape?

Jedidiah.

Jedidiah.

Article didn't mention HOW it's unconstitutional (0)

Orrin Bloquy (898571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299851)

Not that I disagree with his judgement (which was echoed in Georgia after the sticker debacle), but...

Re:Article didn't mention HOW it's unconstitutiona (1)

Taevin (850923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299932)

This is my question too. I agree completely that Intelligent Design is not science and has no business in a science classroom. I'm missing the part where it's unconstitutional to lower the scientific reasoning abilities of our nation's youth even more that it already is though.

Re:Article didn't mention HOW it's unconstitutiona (2, Insightful)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299938)

Establishment and Free Exercise clauses

Re:Article didn't mention HOW it's unconstitutiona (4, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299942)

The NY times article (no reg required) has the following bit which was not in the CNN article:

"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom," he wrote in his 139-page opinion.

The link [nytimes.com] to the NY Times article

Let me be the first to say... (2, Funny)

Tallon29 (821994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299852)

Thank God!

Re:Let me be the first to say... (1)

mkw87 (860289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299993)

You weren't!

Well (Score:3, Funny) by Moby Cock (771358) Alter Relationship on Tuesday December 20, @12:47PM (#14299846) Thank God for that!

As a christian... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299995)

Thank God!

I second the motion. Indeed it is a gift from God that kids are now protected from those looneys.

In other words: Just because you claim to follow God, doesn't necessarily mean that God agrees with you. Fundamentalists like those put God's name to shame.

There are some sane judges in this country! (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299857)

Or maybe the ID folks just couldn't hit his price.

Either way, I'll take this victory.

An important part of the ruling (5, Informative)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299858)

Something that the CNN article doesn't mention is that one of the judge's findings is that ID does not meet the criteria to be considered science.

From a Bloomberg article: [bloomberg.com] In his opinion, Jones said the key issue is ``whether Intelligent Design is science,'' and said, ``we have concluded that it is not.''

Re:An important part of the ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299981)

Jones said the key issue is ``whether Intelligent Design is science,'' and said, ``we have concluded that it is not.''

All opinions on the topic aside, isn't it scary that some judge, who is realistically accountable to no one and not required to have any knowledge at all of this subject (or any other), can make such a pronouncement and give it the force of law?

All you guys cheering for the ruling, what if he'd decided the other way? He'd be quickly overruled by some more politically correct (but equally qualified) judge, but still.

Re:An important part of the ruling (4, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300002)

I read an apt parallel for ID and evolution. It went something like this:

Intelligent Design is as scientific an explanation for the evolution of man, as Angels Bowling is as an explanation for thunder. Both are possible, but neither is science.

ID in schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299862)

agreed, if the ID people want ID taught in schools the only constitutuinal way to do it is to create an elective Theology class.

evolution VS. God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299863)

it is possible that these two ideas don't have to be mutualy exclusive?

Re:evolution VS. God (0, Offtopic)

sickofthisshit (881043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299950)

That's completely off-topic.

The discussion is not whether Darwin's theory excludes "God", but whether "Intelligent Design" is scientific enough to be a goverment-mandated part of a science curriculum, or whether it is, instead, a creationist religious doctrine in a science costume.

If you think Darwin's theory excludes "God" in general, you are seriously obtuse. If you think the biological evidence suggests that God played any role in the development of life on Earth, you are straining credulity.

Legal precedent? (2, Interesting)

cytoman (792326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299864)

The question is, can this be used as a legal precedent in other cases like this across the country?

Good... (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299866)

Now maybe the camera and news crews will stop driving back and forth on my street everyday. Maybe I can finally get out of the driveway without waiting...

Re:Good... (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300001)

Yeah, and we might as well not bother watching any of the local news broadcasts for the first few minutes -- or at all. All of the TV and radio stations in York, Lancaster, and HBG are going to be dedicating the first ten minutes of each news broadcast to this throughout the day, with of course their own introspectives on "what this means for the Dover school distrct" and the opinions of the local yokels. Ugh. (I can say all of this because I live just outside of HBG, so this is local news to me as well.)

More articles (2, Informative)

nahgoe (901302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299869)

BBC [bbc.co.uk] and Wired [wired.com]

one down, a zillion to go (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299874)

Great, now all we have to do is fight it out of the other zillion little Bible-belt towns that still have dancing outlawed... [imdb.com]

Re:one down, a zillion to go (3, Funny)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299999)

Uh... you realize that Footloose was a fictional movie, right?

So what will happen if it reaches SCOTUS? (2, Interesting)

denjin (115496) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299875)

Good deal on this judge. I only hope the Supreme Court upholds this if it reaches them. I honestly think they will since this is rather obvious, but you never know.

Re:So what will happen if it reaches SCOTUS? (5, Interesting)

kmcrober (194430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299984)

This case won't be appealed. The school board that introduced Intelligent Design in Dover was unceremoniously dumped on its ass at the last election, and the incoming board has made it clear that it would not appeal a ruling in the ACLU's favor.

Nor, for that matter, would the main ID advocates want this case appealed. The Discovery Institute pulled its support early on, for instance. Sophisticated ID advocacy requires that the public face of the movement be very quiet about its religious motivations, for fear of exactly what happened in Kitzmiller. The old Dover school board was unsophisticated, and much too blatant about its purely religious motivations.

ID advocates have seen Kitzmiller as a disastrous airing of their dirty laundry from fairly early on; the only thing surprising about this ruling is its refreshing breadth, depth, and clarity.

Don't go jumping up and down just yet (-1, Flamebait)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299876)

Since I'm sure that no one is going to actually RTFA and will instead jump for joy that the evil Christians have been defeated {/sarcasm}, it must be pointed out that the reason why it was defeated - in the words of the Judge - is not because of ID itself but because the people who represented the reasons for inserting ID into the curriculum did so inappropriately.

Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives even while professing religious beliefs, he said. "We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom," he wrote in his 139-page opinion. Jones wrote that he wasn't saying the intelligent design concept shouldn't be studied and discussed, saying its advocates "have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors."

ID itself is not the reason for the ruling as much as the deceitful practices of those who fought to have it put into the schools. So, those of you who are rejoicing might as well stop, as this was undoubtedly only a setback to the pro-ID crowd. Personally, I don't care about ID one way or the other. I just know how the Slashdot groupthink has been treating this topic lately.

Besides, we're talking about the U.S. judicial system here. Get ready for the appeals.

Re:Don't go jumping up and down just yet (5, Insightful)

cytoman (792326) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299937)

You quote out of context, and you should be ashamed of yourself for being so dishonest. The judge said that he is not discouraging those people who study ID, and he says they have deep beliefs in what they are doing. But, this is the most important thing, he says that ID is *not science* and therefore *should not be taught in a science class*.

Stop spinning things by taking it out of context, and be honest for once.

Re:Don't go jumping up and down just yet (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300029)

Then you can blame CNN. The quotes came from their site. I mean, it's not like the public media would distort the news for their own purposes, is it? *blink*

Re:Don't go jumping up and down just yet (4, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299944)

He also gave a reason why ID isn't science.

(1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.

Re:Don't go jumping up and down just yet (1, Insightful)

freeweed (309734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299990)

the reason why it was defeated - in the words of the Judge - is not because of ID itself but because the people who represented the reasons for inserting ID into the curriculum did so inappropriately.

Yes, because there simply IS no appropriate way to try to get ID taught in Science class. You said it yourself:

the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom

That, my friend, is the end all and be all of the entire ID "debate". To get Religion taught intermixed with Science. No one has of yet put forth a way to teach ID as an actual scientific theory, because it isn't. It's religion couched in pseudo-scientific terms.

Nice use of the typical "Slashdot groupthink" line, though. It alone will probably get you modded up.

Re:Don't go jumping up and down just yet (4, Insightful)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300000)

He also said it doesn't belong in science class - it's fine in comparative religion.

Oh there won't be an appeal - the parents are happy with the decision, and the NEW SCHOOL BOARD is too - the legal counsel for the school board cannot appeal without their client's consent and who their client is changed - 8 of 9 members were up for reelection last month, they all got canned and replaced with people who said ID doesn't belong in science class (but it's fine in comparative religion)

I am offended (1, Funny)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299879)

As a proponent of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we in the ID community must stand up to this nonsense.

The sad part is... (0, Troll)

bADlOGIN (133391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299890)

that this sort of right-wing christian fundie crap required the ruling of a federal judge to stop. Worse thing is, I'm sure it's still not over in that we haven't had to put up with the last of this yet.

common sense 1 , religious fanatics 0 (0, Flamebait)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299892)

finally , sanity prevails

Affect In Kansas? (3, Interesting)

thoolie (442789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299899)

Since this is a federal court ruling, does it affect the ID stuff going on in Kansas?

Re:Affect In Kansas? (2, Informative)

taustin (171655) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300009)

No. It isn't even usable as case law in the same federal district at this point, though it can be cited to support a particular line of thought. If it were to be appealed, and upheld, then it could be used as binding case law in the same district. The only way it can affect courts outside that district if if the Supreme Court rules on it.

Re: Affect In Kansas? (4, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300018)

> Since this is a federal court ruling, does it affect the ID stuff going on in Kansas?

Not legally, since it's in a different federal district.

If Kansas goes to court the judge may or may not look to the Dover case for precedent. Fairly often we get conflicting rulings on an issue in different districts, and no one knows where things stand until the supreme court takes a side on it.

OTOH, I'm sure this will "affect" Kansas to the extent of having the creationists on the state board of education call a strategy meeting...

Next up.... (1)

ericdano (113424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299915)

Next up is the Newdow dude's cases on the "Under God" in the Pledge and on our money.

I think that if you wanted to teach your kids the other side, you should take them to SUNDAY SCHOOL or whatever. You can't expect Public Education to do everything for you. Just look at how our educational system compares, with, say, Japan's.....

Bets on the over/under for replies to this thread? (0, Redundant)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299917)

Should be hundreds of nut cases with moronic opinions wading in here. I'll let all of you decide which is which. My karma is too fragile to offer an opinion :)

Rats ! global warming education setback (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299921)

Rats. They ruled the wrong way. Now the chance is more remote than ever that they will teach that the Heat Miser [toymania.com] causes global warming instead of CO2-emitting pollution sources. Nobody will ever learn the evils that fiend foists upon the world!


Signed - Snow Miser

This is a defeat for pasta (5, Funny)

Dan the Intern (649261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299922)

I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted Pasta out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His noodly forgivness because he might not be there.

Re:This is a defeat for pasta (1)

zaqintosh (905307) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299971)

preach on brother!

May his noodly appendage save us all!

Best news of the week! (1)

wh0me (823744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299930)

It's enough to give me a little hope.

Heh :) (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299934)

did you guys check out the image [nyud.net] used for the article?

It looks like the teachers are laughing in the ID guys' faces with this.

Insert the "Ah, not this shit again" pic here (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299935)

It's quite sad that the courts have to deal with stuff like this, where "ID is not valid science" is enough to solve the whole thing. Oh well, at least they made the correct choice ;)

Intelligent Design is not Hocus Pocus (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299941)

Please someone explain to me what's wrong with Intelligent Design as a theory? For God's sake, we intelligently designed the computer, no?

We intelligently designed tons of stuff. What if we put these 'intelligently designed' stuff into a capsule, shoot it off into space. What if the capsule lands on another planet. What if our stuff somehow create life? What if our stuff were AI machines and they somehow recereate themselves... wouldn't they be 'intelligently designed'?

Damn it, what's wrong with the Intelligent Design theory?

Yes, and..... (0, Troll)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299945)

Yes, and evolution isn't real. Just a theory about how life started. So, then what do they teach?

Land that Time Forgot (1)

foolish_to_be_here (802344) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299949)

Great! I can't wait until that sleepy hollow of a community is swallowed up by a great earth quake, hell and damnation. Just think, a damnation theme park only hours away!!!!

Just a theory? (4, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299952)

Thank goodness.

And I know I'm feeding the trolls, but I'm sorry, but the comment "It's not any less scientific than evolution" is a fascinating one to me.

Let's break down the scientific method:

1. Observation
2. Hypothesis
3. Experiment
4. Results, start over at 1.

Evolution we know happens (see the changing patterns of moths around pollution, etc). However, the Theory of Evolution as originally put forth by Darwin is based on the idea of "survival of the fittest": those species who have a mutation that enables them to survive better than their competitors will breed and pass along that mutation to their descendants, who will then continue the process.

How did Darwin come up with this theory?

1. He observed the various species on the islands, and how they were all similar (birds, I believe) and how each was best fit to his environment.
2. He hypothesized that this condition arose because of his theory (see above).
3. The experiment (mainly carried out by other folks looking at fossils): See if similar species have changed over time due to environment and had mutations that allowed them to survive. Usually this "experiment" involves saying "All right, we have Fossil A which we know to be 100,000,000 years old, and we have Fossil C which is 25,000,000 years old. Fossil C shows a better ability to survive the environment, and is the same kind of creature as A except for the mutations observed. Therefore, there should be Fossil B that is like Fossil A, only it includes some of the mutations of C but not all of them as the species adapted to better fit the environment. This fossil should be between 100,000,000 and 25,000,000 years old. If we find it, then we know we're right. If we don't, then either we need a better theory or need to keep looking." (For nit pickers who will say this is not a true "experiment", you are right - but these kind of "observational experiments" are perfectly valid when talking about cosmological experiments, such as testing the Theory of Relativity or the Big Bang Theory).
4. Results: Over time, thousands of fossil records and observations of species has held up the Theory of Evolution. Adaptations have come into play (such as the "Survival of the Fittest and the Luckiest", which holds that sometimes pure chance comes into play of wiping out a dominant species, such as an asteroid, but when equilibrium is reached Survival of the Fittest is shown to work again).

This leads to a "theory": a set of rules that *currently* work in explaining a phenomena. The Theory of Relativity has been held up by experiment (such as "can we find bended light around a large gravity source. Answer: Yes.). As long as no one comes up with a better scientifically proved theory, the theory is held up.

Intelligent Design doesn't follow these rules. It goes like this:

1. Observation: There's a lot of different species out there.
2. Hypothesis: Some "intelligent designer" must of altered the species to allow them to survive in their environment.
3. Ummmm....

The "step 3" is important. With Intelligent Design, you *can't test it*. Actually, let me back up: you're not allowed to test it. The only way to prove/disprove Intelligent Design is to find a tablet between 100,000,000 and 25,000,000 million years old that says "Note to self: change DNA of duck billed platypus to make it better to survive. Love, ID."

If you do bring up a changing fossil record and say "Look, we have a changing species over time", the ID'er will say "Ah, see - the designer changed the species". Again, no proof, no experiment needed.

This is why ID is not science, or even a theory: it's a belief. It's a nice belief. Do I believe some God/Goddess/Higher Being made the Universe? Sure. Do I think that They put a hand in everything?

Who cares? Until such a being gets on the Megaphone of the Cosmos and says "Hey, dudes - check out Chromosome #15 where I spelled out 'Jesus if fucking metal", I'll trust that They wrote the universe so that we could understand it and grow closer to Them.

But this is a belief. Not a theory. And I will not throw out a perfectly working theory that has been held up under scientific processes just because I like my belief better. Until something better comes along (like, say, a time machine so people can see evolution in action, or something similar like as in "Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus", we're all just going to have to use "what works", and leave belief/faith for the religious/philosophy classes.

Of course, this is all just my belief. So I could be wrong.

(Note: Yeah, I took it from a comment I put on digg, but I believe in reuse in code and comments.)

What about? (1, Funny)

vgaphil (449000) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299955)

Was there any mention of Intelligent Falling?

The difference (1)

LainTouko (926420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299960)

Evolution is a theory, and it's the only theory we have. Intelligent design is a mere hypothesis.

Bad Example (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14299961)

I think ID deserves a place in the classroom as a theory, much like the evolutionary theory. They're both theories. The school district in the case was trying to downplay evolution, this was a bad move.

Frankly, I don't care. Religious people know about ID anyway, and teaching it as a theory in class won't convert anyone to Christianity so why does it matter?

Let the games begin! (4, Insightful)

Irvu (248207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299968)

I am thrilled ecstatic over this decision. This judge clearly has brains and a willingness to use them. I am going to be happy.

I am not, not going to assume that the fight is over. Keep in mind that it was a loss in the Scopes Monkey Trial that galvanized scientists to fight ever harder for strong science (read no religion) in the biology classroom, and the school as a whole.

While I as a scientist am thrilled by this I also know that the people who oppose science are right now doing 2 things: 1) pasting this decision into a circular or 2 along with the choice words "activist judge" to raise more money/attention/support for their 'cause', and 2) digging in for another, longer fight.

I will celebrate this, and keep vigilant at the same time.

Summary misleading (2, Informative)

kansas1051 (720008) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299974)

To be fair, the judge (in his 123 page opinion) didn't rule that "intelligent design cant be taught in Dover" as stated in the summary. Instead, the judge ruled that the school board had no non-religious reason for requiring the teaching of intelligent design, and thus the school board was effectively forcing Dover students to be taught religion (as intelligent design has no non-religious purpose). Although this is all semantics, the judge didn't ban intelligent design, and I'm sure teachers could still discuss intelligent design should they be so included. All the judge did was state that the school board (which was voted out of office) had violated the 1st amendment in requiring public schools to teach intelligent design.

Intelligent Design Does Not Belong In Biology (4, Insightful)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299978)

It belongs in Philosophy.

if intelligent design is true ..... (2, Funny)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14299991)

Then all biologists should be charged with violating the DMCA, shouldn't they ?

Intelligent design ISN'T SCIENCE...BUT... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14300008)

What bothers me is that Evolutionists base so much of their "science" on a leg bone or a tooth found somewhere with NOTHING else around, you claim "here is the missing link. You call that trash science. What are you people so afraid of? Why do you so degrade those that want equal time for their opinions about Intelligent Design? As your flawed theories (as in THEORY of Evolution) are proven false, I expect all of you to come right here and say "I was wrong..." Not that I am holding my breath, because well know scientists have already admitted that some of these "discoveries" were indeed NOT what they had hoped for...but you don't see that on Slashdot. Wonder why? What are you people afraid of?

Rejoice! (1)

phuked (675016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14300017)

This is good.

But I still think that they *should* be allowed to discuss the existence of "Intelligent Design" since being quiet about it only makes the conspiracy theorists rear their heads.

The opinion that the darwinistic view is "only a theory" should be explained at length to students (and possibly some adults too by the look of it) as being a scientific theory, which is quite different from me having random theories about for example hand-knitted socks, a subject I confess to having no real knowledge of and that I haven't scientifically studied.
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