Sure, everyone knows that a big [pagan] holiday is just around the corner. You only have 11 shopping days left, and if you’re ordering something from Amazon, you’d better do it soon or else face the agony of wondering whether it will show up in time. But before we get to Santa and opening presents, on December 20th there is an opportunity to celebrate another important anniversary: this is the 2-year mark for Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005).
Kitzmiller v. Dover is the federal court decision that barred the teaching of so-called “intelligent design” from science classes in Kansas. It was a remarkable decision, and not just becuase school board members openly perjured themselves in testimony about their reasons for forcing ID on high-school kids. From Footnote 7: (This link is to the entire decision, and the footnote is almost all the way at the bottom of that first page)
Throughout the trial and in various submissions to the Court, Defendants vigorously argue that the reading of the statement is not “teaching” ID but instead is merely “making students aware of it.” In fact, one consistency among the Dover School Board members’ testimony, which was marked by selective memories and outright lies under oath, as will be discussed in more detail below, is that they did not think they needed to be knowledgeable about ID because it was not being taught to the students. We disagree.
It was a remarkable decision, not just because it cost the Dover Area school district millions of dollars in legal fees, made them the laughingstock of the educated world, and resulted in electoral defeat of every single member of the Dover school board who had supported the policy. No, it was remarkable because Judge John E. Jones III ruled as a matter of law that “intelligent design” is emphatically NOT science, and therefore the First Amendment does not allow it to have a place in a legitimate science curriculum:
[W]e find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.
This means that from a legal and Constitutional perspective, Intelligent Design is on the exact same footing as Pastafarianism.