Wow, this is so exciting! It is rare to get good news from big media, but today we must celebrate a U.S. court decision in Pennsylvania, that Intelligent Design cannot be taught as an alternative to evolution. I know there have successes and failures elsewhere, but this is the first big test of ID (creationism, you know fire and brimstone stuff) against the U.S. constitution, and a surprising statement by Judge John E. Jones III:
In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not
The case came up when a Dover, Pennsylvania school board ordered teachers to read a statement to ninth grade biology students, saying that there were still gaps in the evidence for evolution as a theory. Eleven parents then sued the school.
Some of the more significant statements from the 139 page decision:
We hold that the ID Policy is unconstitutional pursuant to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Art. I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Intelligent design is nothing less than the progeny of creationism [..]
The judge even went so far as to head off complaints of bias and activism:
Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred [..] 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
There’s good coverage at The Guardian and Sydney Morning Herald. You can grab a PDF copy of the Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al decision, from the court’s web site.