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And Now What, Ms. Ranger?

The Search for the Intelligent Designer


Clyde Freeman Herreid
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo


Intelligent Design continues to be a hot political and educational topic in some parts of the country. This discussion case study uses the dramatic setting of a public school board as it considers whether district science teachers should be made to read a statement to their classes identifying Intelligent Design as a competing theory to evolution that is worthy of scientific consideration. The relevant statement is in fact the one that was at the center of the 2004 controversy in Dover, Pennsylvania. This case would be appropriate in general biology or advanced courses where the focus is on evolution.

  • To learn the basic arguments made for and against the teaching of Intelligent Design.
  • To better understand how social and political forces may get involved in scientific matters.
  • To learn how to evaluate arguments and marshal evidence for or against a position.
  • To learn how to civilly discuss a controversial topic looking at both sides of the question.
Keywords: Intelligent design; Dover decision; creationism; evolution; anthropic principle; irreducible complexity; science curriculum
Topical Area: Pseudoscience, Policy issues, Scientific argumentation, Social issues
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, General public & informal education, Faculty development
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Dilemma/Decision, Discussion, Public Hearing
Language: English
Subject Headings: Evolutionary Biology   Biology (General)   Science (General)   Science Education   Teacher Education  
Date Posted: 02/22/08
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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