Friday Flicks: Intelligent Design on Trial

Last month, I had you watch a  great Frontline documentary called Climate of Doubt, which addressed attempts to undermine the science of climate change. One of the groups highlighted in that documentary, the Heartland Institute, just had one of its favorite scientists dinged for non-disclosure of fossil fuel ties. You can read more about it in this New York Times article.

 Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.  From the NOVA website:

In 2004, the Dover school board ordered science teachers to read a statement to high school biology students suggesting that there is an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution called intelligent design–the idea that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and therefore must have been designed by an intelligent agent. The teachers refused to comply. Later, parents opposed to intelligent design filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the constitutional separation of church and state...

Go ahead and watch the video—you can find it here.

Once you've watched the video, we can get some good conversations going in the comments below! Remember to keep it civil.

Some questions to consider:

  • What do you think the school board members were thinking when they proposed the teaching of intelligent design?
  • Where do you think the big conflicts between intelligent design and evolution came from? Do you really think they were based on the science?
  • How might educators use this film in class?