September 1, 2010
The battle to keep religion out of science classrooms continues into the present day. In the 1970s and 80s, religious fundamentalists argued that 'Creationism' is a scientific theory, as valid as the theory of evolution and that the two should be taught side by side. The ACLU successfully fought proposed scientific creationism laws across the country in state legislatures.
More recently, religious fundamentalists have used a new tactic with a recycled version of creationism claiming that scientific evidence proves the universe is the product of an 'intelligent design.' In 2005, the ACLU represented a group of parents led by Tammy Kitzmiller, in Dover, PA, to challenge a public school district requirement that teachers present intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in high school biology classes. In Kitzmiller v. Dover, a decision attracting nationwide attention, the judge issued a blistering 139 page ruling which stated that intelligent design is a religious, not a scientific view, and teaching it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.