The most important issue in the Dover case is whether “intelligent design” is a genuine scientific theory or whether it is just old-fashioned creationism given a new label – old wine in new skins, to use a Biblical metaphor. Here’s powerful evidence for the plaintiffs, presented by their attorney during his opening argument and projected on a screen for all in the courtroom to see. First, the definition of “intelligent design” from the book, Of Pandas and People, the book that the Dover school board recommends and makes available to students:
“Intelligent Design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, etc.”
Now here is the definition of “creation” used in an earlier draft of the very same textbook:
“Creation is the theory that various forms of life began abruptly, with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers and wings, mammals with fur and mammary glands.”
They took the same definition, almost word for word, and simply replaced the word “creation” with the phrase “intelligent design”. Likewise, the plaintiffs have produced many statements from school board members saying that they were searching for a way to get equal time for “creationism” in their science classrooms before they implemented the policy in question. So it seems that everyone seemed to think that ID and “creation” were identical ideas…right up until the point where they realized that was legally troublesome, then suddenly everyone is in agreement that they’re totally different ideas that have nothing to do with each other. Convenient, but absurd.