Sound Off: Intelligent Design
In the recent Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School Board case, Judge John E. Jones wrote in an acerbically worded 139-page ruling that intelligent design should not be taught in science classrooms and, furthermore, that the concept is a religious idea, not a scientific one. In the wake of this decision, groups and individuals with many different perspectives have voiced their opinion on the issues involved in the case.
The Thomas More Law Center, which represented the Dover School District in the case, called the ruling a troubling decision. Dr. John West, associate director of the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based think tank, writes in a Dec. 22, 2005 Atlanta Journal Constitution opinion piece that this "is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea" and predicts that the ban "will likely only fan interest in the theory."
The New York Times published a Dec. 22, 2005 editorial titled, "Intelligent Design Derailed," hailing the decision as a well-timed blow to the misguided efforts of religious conservatives trying to undermine the teaching of evolution. Similarly, the San Jose Mercury News called Judge Jones' ruling a great service to the nation.
National Public Radio presents two audio commentaries on the case, one favoring the judge's ruling and one opposing it, part of its comprehensive coverage on debating evolution in the classroom. The BBC likens this dispute over the role of God in society to the issues of the U.S. Civil War. In an audio report, the BBC's Matt Frei interviews Dover residents on each side of the issue, and calls this a strange issue for a modern industrialized nation. (Click on audio file to the right.)