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US Federal Court Rules 'Intelligent Design' Cannot be Taught in Public School

A U.S. federal judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that "intelligent design", the idea that a supernatural power guided the origins of life, cannot be taught in a public school district in the state.

In 2004, Pennsylvania's Dover Area School Board had mandated that its high school biology students be told that Darwin's theory of evolution does not fully explain the evolution of mankind, and that "intelligent design" offers an alternative explanation.

Parents brought a lawsuit, arguing that "intelligent design" is a disguised form of creationism, the belief that a biblical God created the universe. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 banned teaching creationism in public schools as an unconstitutional mixing of church and state.

School board members had argued that students are merely being made aware of another theory besides evolution.

The federal judge ruled that school board members violated the U.S. Constitution, and said several of them lied to conceal their motives. The dispute was the latest in a long-running debate over the teaching of evolution in American public schools.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.