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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.


Intelligent design; Dover decision; creationism; evolution; anthropic principle; irreducible complexity; science curriculum

Topical Areas

Pseudoscience, Policy issues, Scientific argumentation, Social issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, General public & informal education, Faculty development



Type / Methods

Dilemma/Decision, Discussion, Public Hearing



Subject Headings

Evolutionary Biology  |   Biology (General)  |   Science (General)  |   Science Education  |   Teacher Education  |  

Date Posted


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