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Text of the Dover School Board Statement on Intelligent Design

Below is the text of the statement on intelligent design that the Dover Area School Board in Dover, Pennsylvania required to be read in sciences classes before students studied the topic of evolution. The policy mandating the reading of the statement was adopted in 2004. The main group representing scientists supportive of intelligent design, Discovery Institute, opposed the Dover policy. The policy was eventually struck down as unconstitutional in the controversial case of Kitzmiller v. Dover.

The Dover School Board Statement on Intelligent Design

“The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s theory of evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

“Because Darwin’s theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

“Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, ‘Of Pandas and People,’ is available in the library along with other resources for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what intelligent design actually involves.

“With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the origins of life to individual students and their families. As a standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on standards-based assessments.”

Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute promotes thoughtful analysis and effective action on local, regional, national and international issues. The Institute is home to an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.