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Pa. Judge Bars Intelligent Design in Science Classes

Students are seen leaving Dover Area High School. In January, students in biology class will begin a section on evolution.
Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
Students are seen leaving Dover Area High School. In January, students in biology class will begin a section on evolution.

A federal judge strikes down a policy in the Dover, Pa., schools that required biology students to hear a statement supporting alternatives to evolution.

The ruling is a major blow to backers of intelligent design in public schools. They say life is too complex to have evolved entirely through natural means.

But in strong language, the judge said the school board's policy was a thinly veiled attempt to force religion into the teaching of science -- and therefore unconstitutional.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Barbara Bradley Hagerty is the religion correspondent for NPR, reporting on the intersection of faith and politics, law, science and culture. Her New York Times best-selling book, "Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality," was published by Riverhead/Penguin Group in May 2009. Among others, Barb has received the American Women in Radio and Television Award, the Headliners Award and the Religion Newswriters Association Award for radio reporting.