EVEN A STINGING REBUKE from a federal judge will not keep "intelligent design's" believers from trying to crash the public school curriculum.
The Dover, Pa., school board made it easy for U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III to rule against it and what he called its "breathtaking inanity" in the first court test on intelligent design, which posits that life is so intricate that it must have been created by a higher intelligence. The board's self-contradictions and what the judge termed "outright lies" made it clear that members were looking to insert creationism, or as close to it as they could get, into high school science courses.
It would be nice if that were the end of it. But like life on this planet, the movement to bring the teaching of religious beliefs -- largely, Christian religious beliefs -- to the public schools hasn't gone extinct. It has evolved, and it will continue to do so.
Religious activists first pushed for the teaching of creationism, the literal word of the Bible, to explain the origins of the planet and its organisms. When that was struck down in firm tones by the U.S. Supreme Court, the movement plastered a thin veneer of pseudoscience over creationism, substituted the words "higher intelligence" for "God," and went back to the school boards claiming that it had a new scientific theory, at least as valid as evolution.