10/05/2005

Witness: 'Intelligent design' used in book

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Early drafts of a student biology text contained references to creationism before they were replaced with the term "intelligent design," a witness testified Wednesday in a landmark trial over a school system's use of the book.

Drafts of the textbook, "Of Pandas and People," written in 1987 were revised after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June of that year that states could not require schools to balance evolution with creationism in the classroom, said Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Forrest reviewed drafts of the textbook as a witness for eight families who are trying to have the intelligent design concept removed from the Dover Area School District's biology curriculum.

The families contend that teaching intelligent design effectively promotes the Bible's view of creation, violating the separation of church and state.

Intelligent design holds that life on Earth is so complex that it must have been the product of some higher force. Opponents of the concept say intelligent design is simply creationism stripped of overt religious references.

Forrest outlined a chart of how many times the term "creation" was mentioned in the early drafts versus how many times the term "design" was mentioned in the published edition.

"They are virtually synonymous," she said.

AP Wire | 10/05/2005 | Witness: 'Intelligent design' used in book

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