tune in next Tuesday

Once long ago on a blog far, far away, I wrote about the challenging of evolution in schools and the "intelligent design" movement. The start of it all, for me, was when a Kansas state school board member was leading hearings into the science teaching standards (on evolution and didn't agree with evolution) but never actually read the standards because they were "too technical" for her to understand (note: the decision the KS board came to was "Science teachers will now be required to instruct their students that evolutionary theory is not proven, and will have to add that life is in fact so complex, it could not have arisen without the involvement of some external agent, or higher power."). Next came the case in Dover, PA, which caught national attention. And, poof!, a blog series called Inherit the Dumbassery was born.

PBS & NOVA are airing a show next Tuesday, November 13th, called: Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial focusing on the Dover case.
In this program, NOVA captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania in one of the latest battles over teaching evolution in public schools. Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents, teachers, and town officials, "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial" follows the celebrated federal case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District.
Check your local PBS station listings for times in your area. In case you don't remember much about the Dover case, here's a refresher:

From my original post on it (sorry I can't link, not even through the WayBackMachine who didn't archive the month is was written, the site is no longer up):
In Harrisburg, PA the next production of Inherit the Dumbassery is set to run. It seems the Dover Area school district decided to put a blurb on the so-called “intelligent design” in their biology class. The case has gone to court.

Most ID’ers ballyhoo the notion that “intelligent design” is some sort of creationism-in-pseudo science clothing. It’s not creationism, they chortle, it is a theory just like evolution is. It’s not trying to insert any one religion into public schools. Bullshit, I say. On both counts.

First, if it’s not promoting religion or “any particular religion” then why is it that the people who defend these court cases come from single-religion groups that tend to have a persecution complex? Interesting that you don’t see multi-religion defense groups trying to fight for this. Look at the Dover schools—their lawyer, Patrick Gillen, is from the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor. The Center, who is defending the school district, lobbies for (what it sees as) the religious freedom of Christians. If this isn’t about christian creationism, then what’s up with these people? Or check out a Dover school board member, William Buckingham, who said this:

“Nearly 2,000 years ago, someone died on a cross for us. Shouldn’t we have the courage to stand up for him?”

Public school, people. Public. School.
More from Buckingham from PBS' site about the show:
"There was a blow-up like you couldn't believe," Bill Buckingham, head of the school board's curriculum committee, tells NOVA. Buckingham helped formulate the intelligent-design policy when he noticed that the biology textbook chosen by teachers for classroom use was, in his words, "laced with Darwinism."
A more objective overview of the situation (also from the site):
In 2004, the Dover school board ordered science teachers to read a statement to high school biology students suggesting that there is an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution called intelligent design—the idea that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and therefore must have been designed by an intelligent agent. The teachers refused to comply. (For more on this, see Board vs. Teachers.) Later, parents opposed to intelligent design filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the constitutional separation of church and state.
By the way, not two months after this made the news, there was a new school board election in Dover. All of the members who were up for re-election were ousted.

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