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The Separation Of
Theory And Belief
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10 January 5 2006
when they sued the school district
over the requirement, stating,
"Teaching intelligent design in public
after dinner over
school biology classes violates the
the holiday week-
Establishment Clause of the First
end last month
Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States," according to court
brought up the
Harry Kirsbau m
Proponents of Intelligent Design
say it's further proof that the liberal
about the existence
progressives are trying to take God
of heaven and how to get there.
away from all fair-minded Americans.
Walters spoke to a failed suicide
Intelligent Design is a legitimate theo-
bomber, the Dali Lama, a person who
ry, they say; life is too complex to be
had a near-death experience, an athe-
explained by natural selection alone
ist, church leaders of all faiths. Her
and must be the work of creative intel-
report was summarized by my cousin
to some of the 10 family members and
They call Judge Jones an activist
friends who didn't see the two-hour
judge, even though his opinion, accord-
ing to a Time magazine story, rejected
The resulting two-hour roundtable
the notion "that evolution was some-
discussion was incredible. Some peo-
how at odds with religion."
ple were raised in an Orthodox Jewish
"Repeatedly in this trial, plaintiffs'
home, others raised as-strict Catholics ; scientific experts testified that the the-
and one even stopped short of becom- ory of evolution represents good sci-
ing a priest.
ence and that it in no way conflicts
But what was so telling was that no
with, nor does it deny the existence of a
one's beliefs were "by the book."
Divine Creator," he wrote.
They each had unique personal
The religious right says it doesn't
beliefs drawn from their own life
consider Intelligent Design the same as`
experiences and not from the wisdom
creationism, but an exhaustive Dec. 5
New Yorker magazine story on the trial
No minister or rabbi or priest could made a great point.
offer empirical evidence to support a
"... conceivably, the intelligent
true vision of the afterlife and the rea-
designer could be space aliens or a
son we are here.
time traveler from the future," it stated.
Without proof, everyone is left to
"It's hard to believe that any propo-
his or her personal faith.
nents of the idea actually believe this."
At the end of the discussion, I
Although the Dover decision proba-
offered a question about the
bly won't be appealed — eight of the
Intelligent Design theory.
nine school board members who were
The results were just as telling. No
defendants in the trial were soundly
one thought that the "theory" of
defeated at the polls in November —
Intelligent Design was part of science
we haven't heard the end of this debate;
because it lacked the same empirical
about a dozen states could have similar
evidence that makes the belief in
trials in the future.
heaven a leap of faith.
Pat Robertson, disgusted with the
What has been mystifying to me is
ousting of those school board mem-
how people can confuse the definitions
bers, gave a warning to the people of
of theory and belief.
Dover, "If there is a disaster in your
The recent ruling by Judge John
area, don't turn to God. You just reject-
Jones that the Dover Area School Board ed Him from your city."
in Pennsylvania acted improperly by
I wish Pat had been at our dinner
requiring ninth-grade biology teachers
to read a brief statement offering the
We could have used someone with
Intelligent Design theory as an alterna- proof.
tive to evolution has drawn the wrath
of many in the religious right.
Harry Kirsbaum's e-mail address is
Eleven parents became plaintiffs