The documentary “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” details the federal court case: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. A case surrounding events that started on October 18, 2004 when the Pennsylvania Dover school board voted 6 to 3 to mandate that intelligent design be presented as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution.
When the Dover Area School District changed its science curriculum to accommodate this vote eleven parents – represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and Pepper Hamilton LLP – filled a lawsuit against the district. The plaintiffs claimed that the districts’ actions violated the establishment clause of the first amendment, by arguing that intelligent design was just creationism rebranded. A point the defense contested, asserting that the vote had no religious motivation. The trial also brought up questions over what science is, if intelligent design is science, whether Darwin’s theory of evolution is a fact/if it contains gaps. Ultimately the Judge presiding over the case, John E. Jones, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Judge Jones found that intelligent design was introduced for religious reasons and is not science, and that Darwin’s theory is imperfect/cannot yet render every explanation.
During the trial Darwin’s theory of evolution was questioned extensively by the defense. They argued that Darwin’s theory was just that, a theory. A theory that had holes and therefore should not be taught as fact, but rather as a possibility, with intelligent design presented as an equal alternative.
The plaintiff’s response, through testimony by Kenneth R. Miller: biology professor and noted author, was that scientific theory is stronger than fact. The rationale behind this argument was that facts can be proven right or wrong, while scientific theories need to withstand constant attempts at falsification.
Attempts that Darwin’s theory of evolution has withstood for generations. Leading to the conclusion that the potential for Darwin’s theory of evolution to be falsified, which can not be done with the theory of intelligent design, is exactly what makes the theory science and therefore appropriate to be taught in schools. In my opinion the documentary “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” was very fair in its presentation of the issues and the two sides. The documentary didn’t at any point mock intelligent design, but rather through concise and objective evidence, demonstrated the flaws within the theory and the lies surrounding its origin and purpose. From this documentary I conclude that intelligent design is not science, as it can’t be falsified, and that Darwin’s theory of evolution, a well tested and supported theory, should be taught within schools.