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The Dover Decision


Accepting contemporary Establishment Clause jurisprudence, the district court’s decision was clearly correct. The Dover school board clearly sought to insert religion into the science curriculum. The book recommended to students on Intelligent Design was an old, updated creationist tract. Had the school board not acted with religious motivation, it would have been a closer case. (See, for instance, yesterday’s Sixth Circuit opinion upholding a Ten Commandments display physically identical to one struck down by the Supremes because there was no evidence this display was religiously motivated.)

More broadly — though admittedly less relevant to the discrete legal issues in the case — Intelligent Design is not science. It generates no testable hypotheses and otherwise does not conform with the scientific method. This does not mean ID is not true. It simply means that the existence of an intelligent designer is not a question that science can address. Accepting the scientific validity of evolution need not challenge religious belief — something both ID proponents and strident Darwinists should acknowledge.


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