Intelligent Design network, inc.
P.O. Box 14702, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66285-4702
(913) 268-0852; (913)-268-0852 (fax); IDnet@att.net
www.IntelligentDesignnetwork.org

March 27, 2001

NEWS RELEASE:

Contact: Intelligent Design network, inc.
John Calvert, Managing Director
816-460-5807 or 913-268-0852

  IDnet ANNOUNCES RECEIPT OF LEGAL OPINION REGARDING THE TEACHING OF ORIGINS SCIENCE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

    Shawnee Mission, KS. - Intelligent Design network, inc., announced today that IDnet had received a comprehensive and detailed legal opinion concerning the teaching of origins science in Public Schools.

    The opinion is posted on the IDnet web site at:

http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/legalopinion.htm

    The opinion was provided by John H. Calvert. Esq., a lawyer that has been engaged in the private practice of law for the past thirty-two years. He is also a Managing Director of IDnet.  William S. Harris, PhD, a Nutritional Biochemist has reviewed and endorsed the scientific and other non-legal matters contained in the opinion.  Dr. Harris has been conducting scientific research for the last 20 years, has published over 70 scientific papers, holds an endowed Chair in Metabolism and Vascular Biology at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and is the Director of the Lipoprotein Research Laboratory at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City.  

    According to the opinion, there are essentially only two hypotheses regarding biological origins (the origin of life and its diversity).  One hypothesis is that all phenomena, including living systems, result only from chance and necessity (natural law) and not by design. This is the Naturalistic Hypothesis. The other hypothesis, the Design Hypothesis, is that life and its diversity result from a combination of chance, necessity and design.  A significant amount of evidence supports the Design Hypothesis, including increasing scientific criticism of Darwinian evolution.

    Mr. Calvert concludes that the teaching of origins science demands scrupulous objectivity because it is a historical rather than an empirical science and because it has unavoidable religious implications. The Design Hypothesis supports theistic beliefs while the Naturalistic Hypothesis supports atheistic beliefs. Accordingly, when government seeks to teach origins science it enters a religious arena where it is constitutionally obligated to remain neutral.   The opinion suggests that the best way to achieve constitutional neutrality is to teach the subject with scrupulous objectivity and without religious or philosophic bias.

    The opinion points out that inferences that living systems are either designed or not designed are not religions and are scientific if developed using the scientific method. It is only when government censors the investigation, analysis and explanation of the evidence which supports one of the two hypothesis that the other competing hypothesis becomes religious or anti-religious dogma.

    The opinion concludes that censorship by a school of the evidence of design in teaching origins science so that only natural explanations may be provided will result in violations of the neutrality required by the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. This is because censorship of the Design Hypothesis and presentation of only the evidence which supports the Naturalistic Hypothesis  necessarily indoctrinates students in Naturalism. This strategy has no reasonable secular purpose and will impermissibly promote atheistic beliefs while denigrating theistic beliefs contrary to the requirement that government remain neutral with regard to religion. The censorship will also result in viewpoint discrimination prohibited by the Speech Clause of the Constitution. The only effective and legal way to promote good origins science is to permit teachers to show the relevant evidence which supports both hypotheses.

    The opinion suggests that schools may achieve constitutional neutrality by implementing a no-censorship policy statement along the lines of a sample policy statement that is attached to the opinion.  The policy statement is intended to be helpful to teachers and students, pleasing to parents and consistent with the legal requirements for this sensitive subject.

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Intelligent Design network, inc. is a member based nonprofit organization. IDnet promotes evidence-based science education with regard to the origin of the universe and of life and its diversity. It also seeks to increase public awareness of the scientific evidence of intelligent design in the universe and living systems.

Intelligent Design is a scientific theory that intelligent causes are responsible for the origin of the universe and of life and its diversity.  It holds that design is empirically detectable in nature, and particularly in living systems. Intelligent Design is an intellectual movement that includes a scientific research program for investigating intelligent causes and that challenges naturalistic explanations of origins which currently drive science education and research.


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