Dover Debate Over Creationism Continues

September 26, 2005

Source: The New York Times

On September 26, 2005 The New York Times reported, "Sheree Hied, a mother of five who believes that God created the earth and its creatures, was grateful when her school board [in Dover, Pennsylvania] voted last year to require high school biology classes to hear about 'alternatives' to evolution, including the theory known as intelligent design. But 11 other parents in Dover were outraged enough to sue the school board and the district, contending that intelligent design - the idea that living organisms are so inexplicably complex, the best explanation is that a higher being designed them - is a Trojan horse for religion in the public schools... The legal battle came to a head on Oct. 18 last year when the Dover school board voted 6 to 3 to require ninth-grade biology students to listen to a brief statement saying that there was a controversy over evolution, that intelligent design is a competing theory and that if they wanted to learn more the school library had the textbook 'Of Pandas and People: the Central Question of Biological Origins.' The book is published by an intelligent design advocacy group, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, based in Texas. Angry parents... contacted the A.C.L.U. and Americans United. The 11 plaintiffs are a diverse group, unacquainted before the case, who say that parents, and not the school, should be in charge of their children's religious education."