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Category Archive: Evolution and the Law

Dec 05 2007

From Scopes to Dover-30: Looking at the big picture

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In this final post in this series (Yes, there really is an end!), I want to look at the big picture, to see both how the struggle to oppose the teaching of evolution evolved as a result of legal decisions centered around the establishment clause, and why …

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Dec 04 2007

From Scopes to Dover-29: What next for evolution and religion in schools?

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) As a result of the long string of judicial rulings and Supreme Court precedents that have been outlined in this series that seem to have eliminated almost all their options, what can religious people do now about the teaching of evolution? In 2007, IDC advocate Michael Behe …

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Dec 03 2007

From Scopes to Dover-28: Aftershocks of Dover

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Judge Jones’ ruling in the Dover intelligent design creationism (IDC) case, delivered on December 20, 2005, swiftly reverberated across the nation, the sweep of it knocking down one pro-IDC policy after another like a row of dominos. On January 17, 2006, a new elective philosophy course in …

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Nov 30 2007

From Scopes to Dover-27: The Dover verdict

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The judge who presided in the trial Kitzmiller v. Dover seemed to have a more sophisticated idea of the nature of science than Judge Overton in the 1982 case of McLean v. Arkansas. Judge Jones’s full analysis of how he came to his conclusion that intelligent design …

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Nov 29 2007

From Scopes to Dover-26: The Discovery Institute’s dilemma

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The Dover school board policy was challenged in December 2004 as a violation of the establishment clause and so the two sides prepared to go to trial. The lawsuit for the plaintiffs led by Tammy Kitzmiller was filed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and included experienced constitutional …

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Nov 28 2007

From Scopes to Dover-25: The Dover policy on teaching evolution

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) I previously showed how that the intelligent design creationism (IDC) strategists had laid out a careful long-term stealth strategy aimed at discrediting the teaching of evolution and breaking through the restrictions placed on religion in the schools because of the establishment clause in the First Amendment. They …

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Nov 27 2007

From Scopes to Dover-24: Three trials leading up to Dover

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) While all the strategizing in the wake of the 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard case was being done by the intelligent design creationism (IDC) advocates under the auspices of the Discovery Institute, three other cases all set legal precedents for what would happen in Dover. In 2000, a …

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Nov 26 2007

From Scopes to Dover-23: Why some religious people hate the theory of evolution

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) To understand why there is such a deep-seated opposition to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection and how intelligent design creationism (IDC) came into being, one needs to understand its essential idea and the motivations of the people behind it. On the surface, IDC seems to …

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Nov 21 2007

From Scopes to Dover-22: Creation science is reborn as intelligent design

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) It was with this history of US Supreme Court decisions in mind that we can understand the emergence of the intelligent design creationism (IDC) movement. IDC has to be understood as a carefully crafted theory that was designed to overcome the legal restrictions placed by the establishment …

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Nov 20 2007

From Scopes to Dover-21: The death of ‘creation science’

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) In the previous post we saw how the goal of trying to get creationist ideas back into the science classroom took the form of the birth of ‘creation science’ and calling for it to be taught along with evolution. While ‘creation science’ had no explicitly religious language, …

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