ID Loses at the Ballot Box... Wins at Vatican?
All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the intelligent design policy.And B16 had some relevant comments at today's audience
Among the losing incumbents on the Dover, Pa., board were two members who testified in favor of the intelligent design policy at a recently concluded federal trial on the Dover policy: the chairwoman, Sheila Harkins, and Alan Bonsell.
The election results were a repudiation of the first school district in the nation to order the introduction of intelligent design in a science class curriculum. The policy was the subject of a trial in Federal District Court that ended last Friday. A verdict by Judge John E. Jones III is expected by early January.
"I think voters were tired of the trial, they were tired of intelligent design, they were tired of everything that this school board brought about," said Bernadette Reinking, who was among the winners.
The election will not alter the facts on which the judge must decide the case. But if the intelligent design policy is defeated in court, the new school board could refuse to pursue an appeal. It could also withdraw the policy, a step that many challengers said they intended to take.
"We are all for it being discussed, but we do not want to see it in biology class," said Judy McIlvaine, a member of the winning slate. "It is not a science."
The pope quoted St. Basil the Great, who in the fourth century warned that some people, "fooled by the atheism that they carry inside them, imagine the universe deprived of direction and order, as if at the mercy of chance."Heady stuff.
Speaking extemporaneously to the crowd in St. Peter's Square, the pope said St. Basil's words had "surprising relevance" today.
"How many people are there today who, fooled by atheism, think and try to demonstrate that it would be scientific to think that everything is without direction and order," he said.
"Through sacred Scripture, the Lord reawakens the reason that sleeps and tells us that in the beginning is the creative word, the creative reason, the reason that has created everything, that has created this intelligent project," he said.
The pope said it was important to understand that "the cosmos is also love." He said Psalm 136 correctly points to the created world as the place to find visible signs of divine charity.
"The signs of God's love are seen in the marvels of creation and in the great gifts he has given to his people. The Fathers of the Church teach us to recognize in created things the greatness of God and his merciful love toward us," he said.