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'Intelligent Design' Lawsuit Has Some Looking At N.C. Education

Posted September 28, 2005

— In high school biology classes across North Carolina, students learn about Charles Darwin's theory of evolution -- that all things in nature have a natural cause.

Some people, however, believe that is not true.

Dan Reynolds, a chemist himself, believes science cannot explain everything. He believes a higher being must be responsible for the creation of human life. That is why he believes in the concept of "intelligent design."

"There are certain things in nature that natural causes cannot explain," Reynolds said. "All it says is that there was intelligence behind certain things in nature."

Evolution verses intelligent design -- it is a debate that now is carrying over from textbooks to law books.

While intelligent design is not part of the North Carolina's public school curriculum, 14 states have introduced legislation that endorses teaching it along with the evolution. The next opportunity to introduce intelligent design into the North Carolina curriculum would be in 2009.

And a recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that more than two-thirds of Americans are open to the idea of teaching both ideas.

"Intelligent design is just the most recent version of creation science, saying it's God that's responsible for human beings and not evolution," said Duke University law professor Erwin Chemerinsky.

For that reason, Chemerinsky believes the courts will say it does not belong in public schools.

"The Supreme Court, I'm sure, would say again that it can't be taught in public schools because it's a religious theory," Chemerinsky said.

Reynolds, however, disagrees.

"Intelligent design doesn't say anything about who did it," he said. "It just says there are intelligent causes in nature, period. That's it."

Reynolds says it is up to each person to decide who or what that intelligent being is.

The courts, however, will decide if public school students will learn more about it.

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