Intelligent design on trial

It’s unfortunate that intelligent design is standing trial in Pennsylvania. Scientific theories require decades, sometimes centuries, to develop, to withstand scrutiny before they are accepted as legitimate. Trying to force acceptance – or denial – quickly is an end-run around the scientific method and the spirit of free inquiry. Whatever the lower courts decide about whether intelligent design can be Read More ›

All Sides of the Issue Belong in Classroom

This week, about 100 miles from the Liberty Bell, a trial is taking place in Harrisburg over the teaching of “intelligent design.” This is an opportunity for a federal judge to heal a crack in the law over how biological origins is taught in public schools. The Dover school board has mandated that teachers discuss intelligent design in science courses. Read More ›

The Origins of Life: A Catholic View

Since the Theory of Evolution touches on the subject of human origins, the Catholic Church naturally has a deep interest in the topic. There are three important questions: How does the creation account in Genesis square with what science can reasonably demonstrate about the origin of the universe and mankind? What are the implications of Darwinian anthropology, which understands the Read More ›

Scopes Turns 80

In the 1925 Scopes Trial, a young science teacher by the name of John T. Scopes was prosecuted for teaching evolution in a public school — an act prohibited by a Tennessee statute. Although the trial court ruled against Scopes, the judgment was less important than its wider impact on culture. The historian George Marsden points out that “it was Read More ›

Trial Photos

Photos of beginning of Dover trial.

No, Your Honor

Eighty years ago on July 21, high school teacher John Scopes was convicted in a stifling Dayton, Tenn., courtroom of teaching students about Darwin’s theory of evolution contrary to state law. Made famous by the play and film “Inherit the Wind,” the Scopes trial has become an icon in the continuing battle for free speech and scientific inquiry. Unfortunately, it’s Read More ›

The Intelligent Design Bogeyman

Original Article Our secular popular culture is throwing a fit over President Bush’s endorsement of teaching in public schools the controversies surrounding Darwinian theory. Note that the president did not recommend that the teaching of Darwinism be banned in public schools, merely that the theory of intelligent design (ID) ought to be taught as well. Bush said, “I think part Read More ›

Several prosecutors standing, arms folded at Scopes Trial
From the "Of Monkeys and Men: Public and Private Views from the Scopes Trial" Collection

When the Lines Were Drawn

To nobody's surprise, Scopes was found guilty — he had clearly broken the law — but the verdict did little to resolve the difficulties over teaching evolution in public schools. This year alone, 13 states have introduced legislation that would require schoolteachers to take a more critical approach toward evolutionary theory. Read More ›

Darwin’s Compost

Original Article “Bush Remarks On ‘Intelligent Design’ Theory Fuel Debate,” read a front-page headline on Wednesday’s Washington Post. President Bush’s hum-drum comment – “You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes” – is treated by the Post as a singular event, an outlandish aside worthy of front-page scrutiny and Read More ›

Today Programme: Transcript

Host: In the United State there are currently 20 states involved in some kind of dispute over the teaching in schools of Darwinian evolution. Why? Local lobbyists, mostly Christians, want it replaced by a sort of creationism called Intelligent Design. In a moment we will get the views of Sir David Attenborough, but first our science correspondent Paul Abgosh (Ph?) Read More ›