District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 2005

“[W]e find that ID [intelligent design] is not science and cannot be adjudged a valid, accepted scientific theory, as it has failed to publish in peer-reviewed journals, engage in research and testing, and gain acceptance in the scientific community. ID, as noted, is grounded in theology, not science…. Moreover, ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM [intelligent design movement] is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.”

U.S. law does not forbid the mention or study of religion as an academic subject in public schools, and creationism might be discussed in, for example, a comparative religion class. But, as civil servants, public school teachers must be neutral with respect to religion, which means that they can neither promote nor inhibit its practice. If intelligent design creationism were to be discussed in public school, then Hindu, Islamic, Native American, and other non-Christian creationist views, as well as mainstream religious views that are compatible with science, also should be discussed. Because the Constitution of the United States forbids a governmental establishment of religion, it would be inappropriate to use public funds to teach the views of just one religion or one religious subgroup to all students. Moreover, even in such a class it would be improper to teach these viewpoints as though they were scientific.

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