.- 11 local parents are taking the tiny Dover, Pennsylvania school district to federal court today, arguing that Intelligent Design should not be taught as a viable option to the theory of evolution in the area’s science classrooms. The Dover Area School District will begin defending a policy, established in 2004, which requires students to be exposed to the idea that evolution is an ultimately unproven theory, and that many believe an active creator to be at the center of the shaping of the universe.
11 parents from the district filed the suit alleging that noting Intelligent Design is a thinly veiled attempt to promote religion in public schools.
Others however, including Vienna’s Cardinal Christopher Schoenborn, as he said in a recent New York Times editorial, think that recent versions of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution are actually atheistic in nature and actively leave no room for the existence of a creator.
Richard Thomson, chief counsel and president of the Thomas More Law Center, is representing the district and says that Dover’s policy is a modest one.
"All the Dover school board did”, Thomson says, as quoted in the Washington Post, “was allow students to get a glimpse of a controversy that is really boiling over in the scientific community."
John West, a senior fellow at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, a think tank which promotes intelligent design told the Post that the Dover case is an attempt to squelch any debate over evolution theories.
"It's Scopes [monkey trial] in reverse,” he said. “They're going to get a gag order to be placed on teachers across the country."