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December 22, 2005

Jan. 24 Chancellor's Forum Explores Intelligent Design Case

Members of the Philadelphia Bar Association will delve into the issue of intelligent design at a Tuesday, Jan. 24 Chancellor's Forum titled "Inside the 'Intelligent Design' Case: A First-Hand Look at a Landmark Legal Battle." The Forum will be held at noon in the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's CLE Conference Center, Wanamaker Building, Suite 1010. Please note that this is a change of location.

In October 2004, the Dover School District was thrust into the national and international spotlight when it became the first district in the country to include in its biology curriculum the concept of "intelligent design" -- the idea that life had to have been created by an intelligent, supernatural actor because it is too complex to have developed through natural processes. In a six-week trial this fall in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Plaintiffs argued that intelligent design is an attempt to bring creationism and religion into the classroom, and contested the School District's argument that intelligent design is a valid scientific alternative to the theory of evolution. The federal trial is being touted as the first legal test of the constitutionality of teaching intelligent design as science, and the most significant case on religious issues in public school science classes since 1987, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the teaching of creation science.

Hear from Eric Rothschild and Stephen G. Harvey of Pepper Hamilton LLP, who along with lawyers from the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, represented eight families who challenged the Dover School District's policy that included "intelligent design" in the curriculum. Get a first-hand perspective on the local trial and this controversial issue. The policy was overturned by a federal judge on Dec. 20.

The event is free and a complimentary lunch will be provided. RSVP is required.

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