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Judge to discuss intelligent-design ruling

IL Staff
December 3, 2009
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The U.S. District judge who made the landmark ruling that the teaching of intelligent design in public schools is unconstitutional will speak at Indiana University Friday.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, will give a lecture about judicial independence and his intelligent-design ruling at 4 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St., Bloomington.

Eleven parents sued after the Dover Area School District Board announced in 2004 that science teachers would be required to read a statement referring to "gaps" in Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and referring students to read "Of Pandas and People" for an alternative view. That book used the term "intelligent design" to mean a specific field of inquiry.

Judge Jones decided in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in December 2005 that the school board policy was an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. He wrote that intelligent design was "nothing less than the progeny of creationism" and shouldn't be taught in public schools.

Judge Jones' lecture is a part of the university's College of Arts and Sciences' inaugural Themester, "Evolution, Diversity and Change." The lecture is free and open to the public.

Judge Jones was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush and confirmed in 2002.

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