The opening of the landmark case that will decide whether intelligent design has a place in public schools began in Pennsylvania yesterday.
The first witness to take the stand was Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller, who was called forth by lawyers that are suing the Dover Area School District on behalf of eight families on the basis that intelligent design violates the separation of church and state.
Miller, whose biology textbook is widely used throughout the nation, including Dover said, "Intelligent Design is inherently religious," reported the Boston Globe, and added that scientific organizations in the United States upholds Darwin’s theory.
Intelligent design holds that Darwin’s theory of natural selection cannot fully explain the origin of life, and the complexities of a human being, while saying that it can best be explained by an intelligent hand or creator.
Dover is believed to be the first school in the nation that openly teaches intelligent design to its students, exposing them to a statement that says that Charles Darwin's theory has flaws.
Attorneys from the Thomas More Law Center, a Christian non-profit legal group, in defense of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, argued that several of the leading intelligent design theorists are respected scientists and professors and that the school board only opened another viewpoint to science students, according to the Boston Globe.
The Eleven parents are trying to block the school board from requiring science teachers to read the statement to science students.
Meanwhile, the Thomas More Law Center said that the statement of intelligent design is about freedom of speech.
"The case is about free inquiry in education, not about religious agenda," Patrick Gillen, an attorney for Thomas More, told the Associated Press.
The court cases are expected to last two to three weeks, with witnesses that will include scientists, philosophers, teachers, and parents.