Only 5 weeks into the semester and I've actually started researching my paper for Education Law. As I mentioned before, I'm to write on Intelligent Design - the history of religious instruction in schools, the evolution (get it?) of ID, the current status of ID in the US and in Texas, and then attempt to draft an ID program that could pass Constitutional muster.
I started my research by looking up the recent decision Kitzmiller v. Dover Area Sch. Dist., 400 F. Supp. 2d 707. It's an 82 page ruling that goes into the history of ID. The ruling in the case was much deeper than the quick conclusion we all heard on the news a short time ago. The conclusion essentially said that it was "obvious" to everyone that ID was simply creationism in disguise. It didn't go into any explanation of the source of the court's conclusion.
The current incarnation of ID stems ultimately from Thomas Aquinas, who syllogized: Wherever complex design exists, there must have been a designer; nature is complex; therefore nature must have had an intelligent designer. Both experts for both the plaintiff and the defendant proffered essentially the same argument, except the defense used the term "purposeful arrangement of parts."
There's much more history, including the "Monkey trial," Edwards, Effington, and the Lemon test. It's a very good, but long, decision that does a good job explaining one of the fundamental problems with ID. It'll be interesting to see if ID can be introduced as a curriculum on its own. I'm looking forward to writing this paper.