Wednesday, April 04, 2007

On Intelligent Design

Last year, I took a seminar class called "education law." I loved that class, so much, in fact, that part of me wanted to become an education law lawyer. Maybe I still want to, I don't know.

Anyway, my paper earned me a B+ in the class, which may have been a little higher than I deserved; I wish I'd have put in a little more time to make a stronger paper. Being that I think many people don't understand the idea of Intelligent Design, or why people are opposed to its teachings, I thought I would do a piece by piece posting on my blog. So, without further ado, here is the introduction, and I apologize in advance for the cites:

In 1927, John Thomas Scopes went on trial for teaching that humans evolved from monkeys. In what was a very controversial issue, the Supreme Court decided that the state was not wrong by refusing to allow the instruction of evolution in public schools. Though Tennessee’s Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the lower courts upholding the statute, it did so the on grounds that the Judge levied the fine, not the jury, and the Court declared a nolle prosequi on the famed “Monkey” trial.[i] The past eighty years have seen jurisprudence on this matter nearly stand on its head. Today evolution is a part of virtually every public school’s curriculum while creationism has been all but shut out of the schoolhouse. Some have praised this reversal while some have fought it tooth and nail. Some have even parodied the fight to teach alternative theories[ii].

This paper will discuss the history of Intelligent Design in schools, from its roots in creationism through creative science up to intelligent design. It will explain the tests used to determine whether or not an Intelligent Design program violates the Establishment Clause, how the country reached the position it has regarding intelligent design, as well as where Intelligent Design might stand in Texas. Finally, it will offer a proposed curriculum that incorporates intelligent design into public education while surviving First Amendment muster. First, we will discuss the Constitutionality of teaching evolution.

[i] See Scopes v. State, 289 S. W. 363, 367 (Tenn. 1927).


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