July 12, 2013 |
The federal judge who threw "intelligent design" out of public schools has been named to hear the challenge to Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage. Judge John E. Jones III was assigned late Tuesday to handle Whitewood v. Corbett . The case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, pits 10 same-sex couples and one widow against Gov. Corbett and other officials, and aims to force the state to allow gay marriage. A former chairman of the Liquor Control Board, Jones was named in 2002 to the federal bench in the state's middle district by a fellow Republican, President George W. Bush, with the support of U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.)
December 30, 2011
RECENTLY, Richard Aregood wrote in this paper that I believed in intelligent design. With all due respect to the Pulitzer Prize winner, I need to edit that comment. While I have sympathies for those who want to express an alternative view to the theory of evolution (First Amendment and all,) I find nothing to convince me that an intelligent designer exists. A few examples: * Eric Holder: Our esteemed attorney general has decided that it's bad to force voters to provide identification when they show up at polling places (Fraud?
April 18, 2011 |
To those of us who like science, the difference between science and religion can seem pretty self-evident: Religion requires faith, for one thing, and science demands evidence. But that doesn't always satisfy the true believers. "You can't prove there isn't a God," they say, "and if scientists can't prove God didn't create people, how can they claim their 'belief' in evolution is any less religious than religion?" In 2005, with the country watching, the task of answering that question fell to U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, who had to untangle the nature of science and religion to decide whether "intelligent design" theory could legally be taught in public-school science classes in Dover, Pa., near York.
December 20, 2010 |
HARRISBURG - In 2004, almost 80 years after Tennessee teacher John Scopes attemped to resolve the battle between teaching evolution and creationism in U.S. classrooms, parents in a central Pennsylvania school district filed a suit that reignited the debate. Eleven residents of Dover, 25 miles southwest of Harrisburg, sued over their school board's decision to introduce "intelligent design" into the high school biology curriculum. Their suit contended that teaching intelligent design - which holds that the universe is so complex that a supernatural force must be at work - violated the constitutional separation of church and state because intelligent design is a religious concept, not a scientific one. The 40-day trial drew worldwide attention as it pitted renowned biologists and paleontologists against Dover school board members and intelligent-design theorists.
April 21, 2008 |
"Oh what a piece of work is man," wrote Shakespeare, long before Darwin suggested just how little work went into us. Somehow, that same process that gave us reason, language and art also left us with hernias, male nipples, impacted wisdom teeth, flatulence and hiccups. One argument scientists often make against so-called intelligent design - the idea that evolution cannot by itself explain life - is that on closer inspection, we look like we've been put together by someone who didn't read the manual, or at least did a somewhat sloppy job of things.
June 5, 2006 |
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III could have taken the safe route and retreated to the privacy of the courthouse after issuing his landmark ruling in December against intelligent design. Most judges are loath to go public about their cases at all, let alone respond to their critics. But Jones - angered by accusations that he had betrayed the conservative cause with his ruling, and disturbed by the growing number of politically motivated attacks on judges in general - came out from his chambers swinging.
February 22, 2006 |
The York County school district defeated in the first-ever lawsuit over the teaching of intelligent design has agreed to pay $1 million to cover the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees in a settlement lawyers said was designed to discourage school boards from considering similar action in the future. Attorneys representing a group of parents who sued the Dover Area School District in 2004 said that while the court order entitled them to $2.067 million, they settled the judgment for half that amount to recognize the community for voting out most of the board members who had approved the policy.
January 20, 2006
What if God spoke, and said: "What's this intelligent design stuff? That ain't science!"? Would ID proponents keep on talking? "Well, not if you redefine science" . . . "There's too many holes in the theory of evolution" . . . "Life is too complex for it to be the product of random mutation" . . . "This is academic censorship!!!" Rather than hurling down serpents, frogs, and thunderbolts, The Divinity might clear the throat and politely restate: "Sorry, one more time: Intelligent design is not science.
January 6, 2006
AS LONG as we have lawyers, judges and professors like Perry A. Zirkel (op-ed, "Dover decision smart design," Jan. 3), the legal mumbo jumbo will continue ad nauseam. As Professor Zirkel pointed out, the Epperson v. Arkansas decision in 1968 started a consistent line of decisions on intelligent design, and we haven't seen the end yet. What he failed to mention was that the people of Dover with one simple democratic action should have settled it. The Dover voters threw out the school board and intelligent design with it. That's democracy in action - not the fiasco of a trial that followed.
January 4, 2006 |
The school district at the center of a national debate over evolution last night swiftly buried the controversial policy that put it there. Voters here in November kicked out almost all of the board members who had originally imposed the policy. The reshaped school board last night voted unanimously to remove intelligent design from high school biology classes. The step was only a formality, coming two weeks after U.S. District Judge John E. Jones 3d ruled that the Dover Area School District violated the U.S. Constitution when it approved the policy in 2004.