In 2004, the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania ordered the town’s science teachers to read a statement to high school biology students suggesting that there is an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution called intelligent design—the idea that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and therefore must have been designed by an intelligent agent. The teachers refused to comply. Later, parents opposed to intelligent design filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the constitutional separation of church and state.
In “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial,” airing on NPT-Channel 8 at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13, NOVA captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover in one of the latest battles over teaching evolution in public schools. Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents, teachers, and town officials, “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” follows the celebrated federal case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District.
There’s a great companion website at pbs.org/nova/id where Senior Executive Producer Paula Apsell explains why and how NOVA took on the contentious issue behind Kitzmiller v. Dover. Other resources include:
In Defense of Intelligent Design — Phillip Johnson, the father of ID, on the Wedge Strategy, why evolution “comes up short,” and more
In Defense of Evolution – Biologist Ken Miller on why ID is a “science stopper,” why evolution matters, and more
Board vs. Teachers – Read the Dover School Board’s controversial disclaimer on evolution and the memo science teachers wrote in response.
The Judge Speaks – Listen in as Judge John Jones reads key excerpts from his landmark ruling.
Defining Science – Hear seven experts briefly describe the essence of science and how it differs from religion.
Darwin’s Predictions – Over 150 years later, science continues to confirm most of Darwin’s conjectures.
Fossil Evidence – Examine five different species transitions that have filled critical gaps in the fossil record.
Video and Audio Extras – Hear an interview with Judge Jones, witness the evolution of a species, and more.
Also, Links & Books, a Teacher’s Guide, the Discussion Board, the program transcript and more: