Intelligent design again stopped by court

January 18, 2006

A California school district has reportedly decided to stop offering an elective course that includes discussion of religion-based alternatives to evolution.

The El Tejon Unified School District also agreed as part of a court settlement to never again offer such a course, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The settlement follows a federal court decision in Pennsylvania in which a U.S. district judge rejected the Dover, Pa., school board's decision to teach intelligent design as part of a science course. The judge ruled intelligent design is a theological argument and not science.

Intelligent design holds that life is so complex it could not have evolved randomly, but must have been guided by an intelligent designer.

The El Tejon school board had unsuccessfully argued its course, "Philosophy of Design," was not science, but philosophy, the Times said.

But Ayesha Khan, legal director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the newspaper, "We see (the court ruling) as sending a signal to school districts across the country that you can't just change the title of a course from science to humanities and then proceed to promote religious theories as alternatives to evolution."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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