The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin's Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.
Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is not evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.
Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available in the library along with other resources for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.
With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.
So says the Dover Area School District in Dover, Pennsylvania. In a landmark federal trial, lawyers for the school district began presenting their case yesterday. Michael Behe, a biochemistry professor at Lehigh University, gave evidence saying that what he sees as “gaps” in Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution indicate flaws in the theory that can easily be explained by Intelligent Design. “I conclude that based on theological and philosophical and historical factors,” he said.
Behe happens to be a contributor to the book Of Pandas and People that was referred to in the statement. For those of you who don't know, the book is a slick repackaging of “creation-science” (also called “scientific creationism”), the religious doctrine by which fundamentalists pretend to show that the Bible is a literal account of history, and that there is no evolutionary connection between humans and other organisms.
Darwin's Theory of Evolution is based on overwhelming scientific evidence, whereas Intelligent Design is based on theological guesswork and religious beliefs. Intelligent Design is an inconsistent theory that offers no falsifiable or emprical evidence; moreover, unlike legitimate theories, Intelligent Design is not correctable, dynamic, progressive or tentative.
Basically, Intelligent Design is nothing more than an attempt to give Creationism a camouflage of scientific appeal. As such, it has no place in schools. It is a fundamental violation of the separation of church and state.