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For the first time ever, public high school administrators addressed students specifically about Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution. The Dover, Pennsylvania, school district mandated that students be taught that evolution is a theory, "not a fact." The revised biology curriculum says, "Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin's Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, Intelligent Design."

The case, along with a similar case in Georgia, is raising comparisons to the 1925 Scopes trial in Dayton, Tennessee. In response to the changed curriculum, 11 parents are suing the district. Before the trial starts in September, however, the school is continuing with its revised program of study.

All but one of the district's science teachers refused to read the required statement that said evolution is only a theory. "We believe that reading the ['Intelligent Design'] statement violates our responsibility as educators as set forth in the code," science teacher Jen Miller said. "Students are allowed to opt out from hearing the statement. We should be allowed to opt out from reading it."

So today, administrators read the statement while teachers and a handful of students decided to opt out. The statement says:

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin's Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.
Because Darwin's Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.
Intelligent Design is an explanation of the ...
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Pennsylvania Students 'Taught' Intelligent Design
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January 2005

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