‘Intelligent Design’ Bill Introduced In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow “intelligent design” (ID) to be taught in public school science courses.

In March, Rep. Thomas C. Creighton introduced HB 1007, which would amend state education law to allow school boards or officials to open science courses to instruction on ID, an incarnation of creationism. That theory asserts that an intelligent, supernatural entity has intervened in the history of life.

The bill follows a lawsuit brought against a Pennsylvania school board for its decision last year to require biology teachers in the Dover Area school district to present ID as an alternative to the scientific theory of evolution. Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liber­ties Union of Pennsylvania, representing 11 Dover school parents, lodged the lawsuit in federal court, arguing that the introduction of ID into the public schools violates the First Amendment.

Religious Right activists have long sought to undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools, arguing that it questions the Bible’s account of life’s origins. Failing to get creationism or “creation science” taught alongside evolution in public school science courses, many Religious Right groups are pushing ID.