In a landmark decision, the Federal Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional to teach the theory of "intelligent design" in US state schools. The school district of Dover, Pennsylvania, was strongly criticised for ordering teachers to read a statement which challenged the principle of evolution, suggested it was only a theory and stating "gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence."
Rightwing religious groups have seen the "intelligent design" theory as a way to reintroduce religion to the state school system while avoiding being labelled creationist. Essentially, the theory accepts that species develop by natural selection but proposes that the process was started and controlled (to a lesser or greater degree) by an intelligent agency. While supporters claim that this is not a religious view, it is notable that the people who support the theory coincidentally hold strongly religious viewpoints. However, the judge found that they were not coming clean regarding their religious bias when arguing that the theory was scientifically objective. He stated
"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to pretext for the board´s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom... The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labelling of creationism, and not a scientific theory."
The judge was appointed by Bush, who himself supports what critics have called "stealth creationism" (where an apparently scientific and open debate regarding Darwin's theories is used to promote a theory which essentially restates creationism). Thankfully, the judge was not swayed by the opinions of Bush and the religious right and chose to uphold the constitution and defend US schools from a pernicious attempt to reintroduce religion by the back door.