Well it’s old news now. Parents have filed a lawsuit against the El Tejon Unified School District because the Frazier Mountain High School in Lebec, California, is slipping an intelligent design course into its curriculum. Entitled “Philosophy of Design,” the district’s attorneys told the school board that “as the course was called ‘philosophy,’ it could pass legal muster.”
ID proponents are trying to frame this maneuver as perfectly legal because it’s a philosophy course and not a science course. For instance, the folks over at ARN say it’s “not a science course, but rather a philosophy course. That doesn’t seem to matter to opponents of ID. They want ID censored no matter what.” Obviously, the very thin disguise is an attempt to get around the ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover in which Jones ruled that ID does not belong in science class. “I know,” someone at El Tejon must have said, “we’ll call it philosophy instead of science!” Then another board member jumps up and shouts, “yeah, that’s so crazy it just might work!”
Of course this sneaky tactic is doomed from the start. Their mistake is in thinking that Kitzmiller v. Dover narrowly applies to what can be taught in science class. But that wasn’t what Judge Jones ruled (see the full ruling that National Center for Science Education posted on their web site.) In his conclusion Jones wrote:
“The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.”
It’s pretty clear that ID is not allowed in a public school in any capacity because it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Since ID cannot decouple itself from its religious roots it will always be religious content. You could teach it during dodgeball class in the gym and it would still be unconstitutional. This is bad news for the ID intelligentsia, like Dembski and Richards, who have been telling people to treat ID strictly as science so that it will pass constitutional muster. Understandably they don’t want their baby smothered in its crib before it has had a chance to wedge its way into the classroom. Right about now the Fellows there must have that same sinking feeling in their gut that the architects of the French revolution had after the mob took over and turned the guillotine on itself.