Skip to comments.Ex-Teacher Testifies in Evolution Case [Day 3 of trial in Dover, PA]
Posted on 09/28/2005 4:11:22 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A former physics teacher testified that his rural school board ignored faculty protests before deciding to introduce the theory of "intelligent design" to high school students.
"I saw a district in which teachers were not respected for their professional expertise," Bryan Rehm, a former teacher at Dover High School, said Tuesday.
Rehm, who now teaches in another district, is a plaintiff in the nation's first trial over whether public schools can teach "intelligent design."
Eight Dover families are trying to have the controversial theory removed from the curriculum, arguing that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. They say it effectively promotes the Bible's view of creation.
Proponents of intelligent design argue that life on Earth was the product of an unidentified intelligent force, and that Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms.
Aralene "Barrie" Callahan, a former member of the Dover school board and another plaintiff in the case, said that at least two board members made statements during meetings that made her believe the new policy was religiously based.
At a retreat in March 2003, a board member "expressed he did not believe in evolution and if evolution was part of the biology curriculum, creationism had to be shared 50-50," Callahan testified.
At a school board meeting in June 2004, when she was no longer on the board, Callahan recalled another board member complaining that a biology book recommended by the administration was "laced with Darwinism."
"They were pretty much downplaying evolution as something that was credible," she said.
In October 2004, the board voted 6-3 to require teachers to read a brief statement about intelligent design to students before classes on evolution. The statement says Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps," and refers students to an intelligent-design textbook for more information.
In a separate development Tuesday, two freelance newspaper reporters who covered the school board in June 2004 both invoked their First Amendment rights and declined to provide a deposition to lawyers for the school district.
Both are expected in court Wednesday to respond to a subpoena to testify at trial, said Niles Benn, a lawyer for the papers. Lawyers for the school district have questioned the accuracy of articles in which the reporters wrote that board members discussed creationism during public meetings.
In other testimony Tuesday, plaintiff Tammy Kitzmiller said that in January, her younger daughter opted out of hearing the statement - an option given all students - putting her in an awkward position.
"My 14-year-old daughter had to make the choice between staying in the classroom and being confused ... or she had to be singled out and face the possible ridicule of her friends and classmates," she said.
The Dover Area School District, which serves about 3,500 students, is believed to be the nation's first school system to mandate that students be exposed to the intelligent design concept. It argues it is not endorsing any religious view and only letting students know there are differences of opinion about evolution.
The non-jury trial is expected to take five weeks.
Behe's "irreducible complexity" argument is fatally flawed. Ichneumon's post 35.
Inferior Design. Revealing info on ID and the Discovery Institute.
Neither intelligent nor designed. No evidence of wise, omniscient design.
Irreducible Complexity Demystified. Major debunking of ID.
The Flagellum Unspun: The Collapse of "Irreducible Complexity," Kenneth R. Miller. Critique of Behe.
AAAS Board Resolution on Intelligent Design Theory. ID isn't science.
And for the litigation now going on, here'is a link to the offical website of the court where Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al. is being tried. If you click on Docket, you get a list of all significant pleadings filed in the case -- the complaint, the answer, etc. They're PDF files, but almost everyone has the Adobe reader. So you can check that website and be fully up to date on what's going on in that litigation.
Regardless of what is decided here, I'm happy to say that MY God did create the earth in 7 lteral 24 hour days and it didn't take millions or billions of years for Him to do it and He is NO ape. I don't know what "god" these other folks believe in if they believe in a "god" at all.
Thanks again for your efforts on this subject.
The case is about the Constitution -- specifically whether ID is so infused with theology that the school board's decision to present it violates the First Amendment.
if there is intellegent design, why is there so little evidence of intellegence in the PA school board????
If a public school were to teach that gravity works through the intercession of the supernatural (ie. Intelligent Inertia), I would be the first to protest. That doesn't make me a rabid Newtonist...it means I don't want superstition taught at public expense.
From what I read, its a statement about intelligent design. Its not being taught at all. Its merely a disclaimer that there might be a different opinion called intelligent design.
How does that violate the Constitution?
I have a feeling that is going to be lost in the trial: that no one is teaching intelligent design.
Methinks you use those "magic patches" of yours a little too often, Pat.
Ping for latah.
They could also read a statrement in physics class that there are differen opinions about the shape of the earth.
Yeh and the faulty logic of separation of church and state.....1st amendment my a##!
You 'hit the nail on the head', I hope that others realize that this case is not about teaching an ID curriculum but simply reading a disclaimer.
Your links do nothing to show that ID is scientifically incorrect.
Teachers should be force to read the following disclaimer everytime the pledge is recited:
"The God this nation is under probably does not exist."
Schools should also be forced to put up a sign on cash registers in the cafeterias and school stores to warn our confusable young ones "The God this nation claims to trust probably does not exist."
We certainly would not want these impressionable children to be misguided into a religion that claims the existance of a God.
Any questions regarding the signage or disclaimers could then be referred to the science department as they obviously have the facts to prove that God does not exist.
2005-09-28 Ex-Teacher Testifies in Evolution Case [Day 3 of trial in Dover, PA]
2005-09-28 Intelligent design on trial
2005-09-27 Biology expert testifies. Professor: Intelligent design is creationism.
2005-09-27 Defending design in Dover, Pennsylvania (A creationist perspective - for a change)
2005-09-27 On second day, evolution trial [Dover, PA] delves into topic of faith
2005-09-27 Science and politics: a dangerous mix
2005-09-27 Trial Over 'Intelligent Design' Resumes
2005-09-26 Creationism, Christianity, and Common Sense
2005-09-26 Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution
2005-09-26 Dispute over evolution goes on trial in U.S. court
2005-09-26 Does Genesis hold up under critics scrutiny? (Creation/Evolution)
2005-09-26 New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory
2005-09-26 The Problem With Evolution
2005-09-26 With world watching, trial starts
2005-09-25 In Evolution Debate, Creationists Are Breaking New Ground
2005-09-24 The trouble with Darwin (Bush's I.D. comments changed Australia's Educational Landscape)
2005-09-23 Ultimate thread on Dover, Pennsylvania's Evolution v. Intelligent Design trial
2005-09-22 Court Case Threatens to 'Drag Science into the Supernatural'
2005-09-22 Evan Jamieson, hydrometallurgy (Creation/Evolution)
2005-09-22 Insight into our sight: A new view on the evolution of the eye lens (Desperate conjuncture)
2005-09-22 Intelligent Design: An Ambiguous Assault on Evolution
2005-09-22 Intelligent designers down on Dover
2005-09-22 Intelligible Design
Crevo Warrior Freepdays for the month of September:
2004-09-15 Diana in Wisconsin
2002-09-08 Logic wings
2004-09-18 Right in Wisconsin
In Memoriam. Fallen Crevo Warriors:
Bring back SeaLion and Mondernman!
There is no possible form of evidence that could make ID incorrect. That is its primary problem.
I bet they do.
Its just incorporated in the regular teaching.
Thanks for the ping!
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