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26 September 2005

Lawyers debate God vs. science
By Jon Hurdle

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - The lawsuit over whether intelligent design should be taught in schools alongside evolution began in federal court on Monday with defendants' attorneys calling it a scientific theory and opponents saying it was an effort to put God in the classroom. In the first such legal battle, lawyers sparred during opening arguments at Federal District Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, over whether the teaching of intelligent design -- an alternative to evolution that involves a God-like creator -- violates the U.S. Constitution. The battle over teaching about man's origins in U.S. schools pits Christian conservatives against educators and scientists in a trial viewed as the biggest test of the issue since the late 1980s. "Intelligent design isn't science. It's old theology," said Eric Rothschild, lawyer for 11 parents who sued the Dover school district of central Pennsylvania over including intelligent design in its ninth-grade biology curriculum.

"It's a clever tactical repackaging of creationism," he said, telling a packed courtroom that the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed teaching creationism in public schools in 1987.

Creationism is the belief that God created the world as told in Genesis. The parents are joined in their cause by the American Civil Liberties Union, America's largest civil liberties group. Pat Gillen, a lawyer for the Dover school district, said intelligent design is anchored in science and is not creationism in disguise. He also rejected the accusation that it was unconstitutional to teach the theory to students.


What's next, Teaching Norse, Greek and Roman Mythology in school as Science? If this wasn't a serious court case I would be rolling around, laughing myself to death...


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