You are here

Beginning to look a lot like Kitzmas

Kitzmiller in press scrumKitzmiller in press scrum

Five years after the verdict in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the case establishing the unconstitutionality of teaching "intelligent design" in the public schools, the York Dispatch (December 17, 2010) marked the anniversary with a review of the trial and its significance, including brief interviews with a number of the figures in the trial. The verdict was issued on December 20, 2005, prompting the Kitzmiller family to refer jokingly to the date as "Kitzmas" — a term apparently coined by P. Z. Myers in a December 20, 2005, post on The Panda's Thumb blog celebrating the Kitzmiller verdict.

Commenting were the lead plaintiff Tammy Kitzmiller (who remarked, "I still get my hate mail"), Witold "Vic" Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Judge John E. Jones III, William Buckingham (a former member of the Dover Area School Board who supported the challenged policy), and Dover Area Senior High School biology teacher Jennifer Miller. While Miller used to relegate evolution to the end of the semester in her classes, she explained, "Now I teach it first and make sure I emphasize it. And I keep referring to it, to show them how important evolution is to biology."

Expert witnesses commenting included "intelligent design" proponent Michael Behe as well as Barbara Forrest (a member of NCSE's board of directors) and Kenneth Miller (a Supporter of NCSE). Forrest told the newspaper, "We need to remind people that we have now a federal court precedent that applies explicitly to ID. The next time there is a court case, the first thing that judge is going to do is look at that case," and Miller similarly said, "When evolution comes under attack, people are able to point to the Kitzmiller trial. There was a complete absence of scientific evidence for intelligent design."