Memorandum and Resolution of the Dover School Board in 2005

Continuing the discussion from Comments on Greg Cootsona and ID:

For the record (from Kitzmiller v. Dover Memorandum Opinion | American Civil Liberties Union), here is the text of the Board’s resolution:

Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin’s theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design. Note: Origins of Life is not taught.

And of the memorandum:

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Case 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 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.

They didn’t mention “ID creationism”. They called it “Intelligent design”. Big difference!


1 Like

Yes, I think we’re all familiar with that. “Creationism” is a dead end litigation-wise so they renamed it “Intelligent Design,” which, properly speaking, is just one of the various terrible arguments FOR creationism. ID, in other words, is a subset, or, if you like, a flavor of creationism.

Out of deference to the ID people, I usually meet them halfway and call it “Intelligent Design Creationism,” but that seems to meet with angry denunciations from creationists, who for reasons of purely legal strategy, do not wish the word “creationism” to be used to describe their creationism.

The Dover Area School Board understood all of this well enough. The initial call was to teach “creationism,” pure and simple. After consultation with counsel and with the DI, it magically became “Intelligent Design.”

The authors of Of Pandas and People understood all of this well enough, too. Edwards v. Aguillard came along, and poof! Creationism was gone, Intelligent Design was in its place, and the last relict variant of Creationism lived on, for a draft or two, in the phrase “cdesign proponentsists.”

The authors of DI books understand all of this well enough, too. Again and again they rail against philosophical materialism, an odd target if you’re trying to make a case in science. Their references to religion, both explicit and oblique, are plentiful – again, an odd thing to keep bringing up when making a scientific case. And they like to point to culture-war notions. How often one gets to hear which biologists were Marxists! What relevance would that have – unless, of course, one were writing for a culturally “conservative” bunch of scientifically witless people who are still carrying around their Cold War baggage?

Everybody understands this. ID is a variant of creationism. The refusal to acknowledge this simply involves one in dishonesty.


They should just call it Intelligent Evolutionary Design and make everyone happy.

Get it? IED…BOOM…bahahaha