DOVER, PA, January 18, 2005 ( – The small town of Dover, Pennsylvania today became the first school district in the nation to officially inform students of the theory of Intelligent Design, as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of Evolution.

In what has been called a “measured step”, ninth grade biology students in the Dover Area School District were read a four-paragraph statement Tuesday morning explaining that Darwin’s theory is not a fact and continues to be tested. 

The statement continued, “Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view.” 

Since the late 1950s advances in biochemistry and microbiology, information that Darwin did not have in the 1850s, have revealed that the machine like complexity of living cells – the fundamental unit of life- possessing the ability to store, edit, and transmit and use information to regulate biological systems, suggests the theory of intelligent design as the best explanation for the origin of life and living cells.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm representing the school district against an ACLU lawsuit, commented, “Biology students in this small town received perhaps the most balanced science education regarding Darwin’s theory of evolution than any other public school student in the nation. 

This is not a case of science versus religion, but science versus science, with credible scientists now determining that based upon scientific data, the theory of evolution cannot explain the complexity of living cells.”

“It is ironic that the ACLU after having worked so hard to prevent the suppression of Darwin’s theory in the Scopes trial, is now doing everything it can to suppress any effort to challenge it,” continued Thompson.

The Dover high school assistant superintendent read the four-paragraph one- minute statement to two biology classes this morning totaling 35 students. Teachers reported that there were no problems in class after the statements were read and the entire process was uneventful. Biology classes this afternoon and tomorrow will also hear the statement.  Very few students took advantage of the school-provided opportunity to opt out from hearing the statement – an estimated 15 students out of a total of 170. 

National polls consistently show that most parents want schools to teach alternative theories to evolution. In fact, a November 2004 CBS Poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans said they favored teaching creationism alongside evolution in schools. 

The ACLU and Americans United sued the Dover Area School District over the policy last December. The School Board selected the Thomas More Law Center to represent them in the federal lawsuit.  In early January, after several depositions of board members and reviewing documents, the ACLU announced they would not seek a court order to immediately block the statement from being read. 


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