Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dover, PA vs. Darwin update-- NOT!

Credit to Lizzy at Night Bird's Fountain.

I have been reporting on the ongoing trial involving the teaching of 'Intelligent Design' and the decision to do so made by the school board in Dover, Pennsylvania.

Yesterday, the voters in Dover had their say, and they made it known resoundingly, voting out all eight incumbents who had supported integrating Intelligent Design into the curriculum and replacing them with eight challengers who were opposed to it.

DOVER, Pa. - Voters came down hard Tuesday on school board members who backed a statement on intelligent design being read in biology class, ousting eight Republicans and replacing them with Democrats who want the concept stripped from the science curriculum.

The election unfolded amid a landmark federal trial involving the Dover public schools and the question of whether intelligent design promotes the Bible’s view of creation. Eight Dover families sued, saying it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

Dover itself is rural, Republican and a deeply religious community, so if I.D. had any chance of surviving a ballot test, traditional wisdom suggests that this is the kind of place it would happen. But turn that on its head-- if it can't win a ballot test here, then it probably can't win a ballot test anywhere.

And that is a good thing. I live in a community not so different from Dover-- full of good people, where people go to church on Sunday and study the scriptures in their homes with their kids. And that is where children here learn about God-- at home, and in church. Those are the places where my children are learning about God. But I don't expect them to learn biology in their Sunday school class, and I don't expect them to learn religion in their biology class.

And apparently the overwhelming majority of voters in Dover (who crossed party lines at that, to vote for Democrats) agree with me on that.

UPDATE: Apparently Pat Robertson isn't taking this one lying down. He is so angry at the voters of Dover that he is warning that the wrath of God, in the form of some kind of disaster, may rain down upon Dover, and if it does, not to ask God for help.

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, "The 700 Club."

Who does Reverend Pat think he is, anyway, telling people not to pray if there is a disaster? Does he think he is God?


dorsano said...

There is intelligent design in creation. One way it manifests itself is in the movement toward freedom.

The arc of human history stretches toward freedom - freedom from manual labor, from disease, from oppression, from ignorance.

Each generation retraces steps along that arc as children instinctually strive to seperate themselves from their parents and make make their own way in the world.

The authoritarian hand of the Robertsons of the world might be able to slow for a time the movement toward freedom but they aren't strong enough nor intelligent enough to hold it back for long.

Anonymous said...

Pat Robertson authoritarian? You mean like Hitler? or Saddam? .... Well, he may be crazy but..... Come on..

A movement by a few traditionalist citizens to have intelligent design taught in schools is no threat to the "arc of human history's" pursuit of freedom.

dorsano said...

You mean like Hitler? or Saddam?

We're a religious nation - even liberals - even Democrats - probably one of the more religious in the world.

We generally respect someone else's beliefs and are willing to cut them quite a bit of slack if we don't agree with them.

But some of us aren't satisfied with that - they pretty much insist that everyone else has to reach the same conclusions as they do

and they work actively to make their world view law

They are authoritarian in that sense.

I'm glad you think he's crazy.

dorsano said...

a few traditionalist citizens to have intelligent design taught in schools is no threat to the "arc of human history's" pursuit of freedom.

What about the threat to stem research?

Or the right of same sex couples to the pursit of happiness?

Or the right of a women to determine if a 16 day undifferentiated cell has a soul?

Are they a threat to freedom then? When the offer the margin of victory in exchange for their agenda?

dorsano said...

Army Pfc. David Martin was buried three days ago.

hundreds of motorcycle-riding supporters of his family revved their engines to drown out the comments of five members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., who held signs bearing anti-gay slogans saying God is punishing U.S. soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays

Disclaimer: This is all liberal propaganda.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be too sure that what applies in Dover, Pennsylvania, would apply the same to the Bible Belt or the Mid-West.
I'm not personally familiar with the community & culture in Dover, of course. But I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where there are a great many practicing religious people... But the dominant religion here seems to be Roman Catholic. And the Vatican came out last week in favour of teaching science & doesn't have a problem with evolution.
(The Catholic Church has generally not been against education, and generally not been too particularly interested in influencing public schools, as they have their own... where evolution is taught in science class, and Bible studies are (just barely) taught in Religion class.)
And, indeed, most Catholics I know, while some are pretty conservative on a lot of issues - they seem to be "liberal" in the areas of war, economics, general science, & education.
The same is not true of Bible literalist fundamentalist Christians.
And somehow I doubt that Bible literalist fundamental Christians are anything but a tiny minority in Dover, Pennsylvania. Whereas I wouldn't be surprised if they were a larger portion of the population in a similar small town in the Bible Belt or Mid-West.

This is just my guess of course, like I said, I'm not exactly very up on the issue, nor do I know anyone from Dover.
I just think it's not wise to assume that just because the citizens of Dover, Pennsylvania want their children to get a good education, and don't want to be the laughing stock of the country, that other towns in other parts of the country have the same priorities or concerns.

Beth said...


So the people of Dover voted out the Dark Forces and have decided to elect people of humanity.

Pat Robertson...has now threatened them. LMAO!!

Eli Blake said...


You may be right, certainly this is a diverse country, but Dover (and I have been keeping up on this trial) is a religious community, no doubt about that. So while I can't say for sure that the religious point of view they have would necessarily be replicated in religious communities in other states, such as Oklahoma, Utah or Tennessee, they are hardly a bunch of atheists (Robertson's protestations notwithstanding), I have to give them the credit for being able to recognize that faith in God is a belief in what is not seen or proven, and as such belongs in a science class about the same way that a lecture on cell biology belongs in a French class. Simply put, it doesn't. There are other places to teach faith, and I suspect that the good people of Dover teach it to their kids 1) at home, and 2) at church (that is where my kids learn about God).

It is also worth noting that Dover is heavily Republican, so it is a small measure of the antipathy of the people towards the school board on this that it caused them to cross party lines all the way across the ballot and elect eight Democrats to the eight seats up for re-election.