Kitzmiller v. Dover: Intelligent Design on Trial
In the legal case Kitzmiller v. Dover, tried in 2005 in a Harrisburg, PA, Federal District Court, "intelligent design" was found to be a form of creationism, and therefore, unconstitutional to teach in American public schools.
As the first case to test a school district policy requiring the teaching of "intelligent design," the trial attracted national and international attention. Both plaintiffs and defendants in the case presented expert testimony over six weeks from September 26 through November 4, 2005). On December 20, 2005, Judge John E. Jones issued a sharply-worded ruling in which he held that "intelligent design" was, as the plaintiffs argued, a form of creationism.
NCSE served as a pro bono consultant for the plaintiffs and assisted the legal team in choosing and preparing expert witnesses and in helping the lawyers deal with the scientific and technical material. A special issue of the Reports of the National Center for Science Education, (vol. 26, no. 1-2), covers several aspects of the Kitzmiller case. This article by former NCSE staff member Nicholas J. Matzke describes NCSE's role in the Kitzmiller case.
As the first trial over "intelligent design," the case received national media attention and has since been the subject of several books.
NCSE provides access to the public legal documents in this case, articles by participants, podcasts, and more.
Highlights from the Kitzmiller Case
- Decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover, by Judge John E. Jones, December 20, 2005
- Expert testimony by Kevin Padian, professor of paleontology at U.C. Berkeley and President of NCSE's Board of Directors
- The word charts from Barbara Forrest's testimony that show replacement of word "creation" with "intelligent design" after the 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard decision
- "cdesign proponentsists"