Define intelligent design (ID).

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NOVA program about Evolution legal case

Watch the PBS Nova program entitled “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” and write a report of at least 900 words about the program. This is about the 2005 evolution vs “intelligent design” court trial in Dover PA. Here is the program’s web site: the program was among the recipients of the 67th Annual Peabody Awards, which “recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by TV and radio stations, networks, producing organizations, individuals and the World Wide Web.” According to a press release issued on April 2, 2008, “The centerpiece of this thoughtful, topical edition of NOVA was the recreation, verbatim, of key testimony and argument from a six-week trial in Pennsylvania that served as a crash course in modern evolutionary theory, the evidence for evolution and the nature of science.”


In your report:

–Define intelligent design (ID).

–How does the defense define “irreducible complexity”?

–Describe evidence presented by the defense in support of irreducible complexity in the bacterial flagellum and blood clotting and the immune system.   Is the judge impressed by this evidence? Be specific. Read the pages below from the judge’s decision.

–Describe closing arguments of the plaintiffs (parents) and defendants (the Dover school board).

–Study the judge’s decision (found on line here: (Links to an external site.)


In particular, read pages 63-89, 115, and 130-139 of this decision, and in your essay tell what the judge has to say about


  1. a) the possible religious motives of members of the school board.
  2. b) whether ID meets the criteria of a testable scientific hypothesis or theory. Why! Be specific.
  3. c) why it is or is not OK to teach ID in science classes of public schools.
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