A monkey trial for the 21st century
opens today in a federal courtroom in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It's the long-awaited showdown in a lawsuit filed by parents in the small rural town of Dover, Pa. against their local school board over its efforts to mandate the teaching of intelligent design
alongside evolution in science classes.
This case brings evolution back to the federal judiciary at a time when culture wars and court vacancies are on the front burner. The Supreme Court last took up evolution in a 1987 decision in Edwards v. Aguillard
, ruling that a Louisiana law mandating the teaching of "creation science" alongside evolution violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Steven Stough, one of the Dover parents bringing the lawsuit, and by the way a Republican, sums up the case against teaching intelligent design in science classes:
You can dress up intelligent design and make it look like science, but it just doesn't pass muster. In science class, you don't say to the students, 'Is there gravity, or do you think we have rubber bands on our feet?'