Evolution debate heats up nationwide, Kansas passes vote allowing mention of Intelligent Design in schools


Yesterday, the Kansas Board of Education passed a long-awaited vote which would allow Intelligent Design--the theory that the universe is too complex to be completely random, and that some sort of creator lies at its origin--to be mentioned along side of evolution theories in the state’s public schools.

The vote, which passed 6-4, asks teachers to point out that there are holes in the theory of evolution, and that some see the creative hand of an intelligent being as an alternative to the unproven aspects.  

Simultaneously, in Dover, Pennsylvania, where a trial has been raging over the place of intelligent design in that school district, all eight members of the local school board have been swept out of office by challengers who disagreed with their policy to mention the possibility of a creator as a viable alternative to evolution theories.

Since October of 2004, the Dover school district had required teachers to mention the fact that evolution was still a theory--not proven science, and that some see intelligent design as a viable alternative.

The policy sparked a trial in Federal District Court which concluded last Friday. A verdict is expected by Judge John E. Jones III by early January.
Opponents say that Intelligent Design has no place in public schools because it is merely religion, under a thin, scientific façade.

Judy McIlvaine, one of the newly-elected school board members said that, "We are all for it being discussed, but we do not want to see it in biology class. It is not a science."

In contrast, Creighton University professor Michael Behe, who was one of the Dover trial’s major defendants, pointed out that while Intelligent Design recognizes the place of a creator, it makes no claims as to the identity of that creator.

During the trial, he said while evolution should continue to be taught in schools because it is "widely used in science" and "many aspects are well substantiated," Intelligent Design challenges only part of the theory, namely that of natural selection.

Recently, Vienna’s Cardinal Christof Shoenborn said in a New York Times op/ed piece, that while the Catholic Church does not see a conflict with certain aspects of evolution, like common ancestry, any theory of evolution which removes the role of an active, creative God from the formation of the universe, is untrue, and in fact, atheistic.

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