Wednesday, 9 November 2005

Closing of 'Intelligent Design' trial

The plaintiff's closing statement from the Intelligent Design trial -- otherwise known as Kitzmiller et al vs. Dover Area School District -- is online in PDF form. The trial lawyer accurately characterises the case as one about the necessary separation of church and state; he begins his conclusion by reminding the court that the US colony "was founded on religious liberty... In his Declaration of Rights, William Penn noted:
All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can , in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shalll ever be given by law to any religious establishment or modes of worship.
Hear, hear. "In defiance of these principles, which have served this state and this country so well" continued the statement, "this board imposed their religious views on the students in Dover High School." And so they did.

You might like to see my own view of the 'ID debate' itself, Unintelligent Design. You might also like to reflect that if there were a legal separation of state and school just as there is a separation of church and state, then there would be no need for this trial to have ever happened.
[Hat tip About Town]


  1. It's not about separating State from Church - its about keeping philosophy and religion far far away from science education.

    When so much taxpayer money goes into US schools, it is natural to expect religious parents will want those schools to provide some sort of religious instruction. I doubt they will be particularly sensitive to the secularism angle when their money is being taken off them and they have little choice in where to send their kids.

    This sort of political interference in the public education system is inevitable so long as politicians have direct control of the purse-strings.

  2. Whilst I agree entirely with Al's last paragraph, I would take issue with his first: (paraphrased) '1. it's not about separating state from church; 2. it's about keeping religion far away from science education'.

    Firstly, this is precisely about church v state. Secondly, there are those who believe that religion and science are technically one and the same - and that eventually science will prove Genesis.

    However, that aside, Peter (& William Penn) are correct. It is vital to separate church and state. Few in the developed world would disagree, surely.

    And I, too, believe that this sorry saga demonstrates the necessity for the separation of state and education - as a matter of urgency.

  3. Sus, the NZ Government has long provided funding towards religous-format schools. It's not a problem so long as a requirement of receiving said taxpayer funds is a clear differentiation between science, other fields of study, and religion.

    The separation should be between fact-based science and everything else. Otherwise you're exposing any philosophical-political system of thought to the same 'divorce it from the state' argument as religion.

  4. Can't agree more about the state versus school separation. That's the heart of the debate.

    To AL: the distinction between 'facts' and 'religion' is a false one. Most evolutionists never mention facts that don't fit in their current interpretation and actively oppose articles who are critical of aspects of evolution. Have you ever read a book critical of evolution? Have you ever read the devastating critique of Stephen Jay Gould on gradual evolution?

    And what are the facts of 40,000 years of evolution in Europe? They were all based on a fraud, recently unmasked. A prof in Germany basically made everything up. His 35,000 year old skulls where still smelling (they actualy were from 1750 or so). What facts where that? For 30 years his 'facts' where the basis of European history.

    What are the facts of the big bang? It's a theory of which more and more scientists become extremely sceptical. Please read this:

    We all confuse applied science (which we can repeate in a laboratory) versus historical science where stories rule. It could have happened this. Sorry, but I'm a sceptic. I first want to see a demonstration please. What's falsifiable about evolution? You tell me.


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