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I pulled this from the Wikipedia page which was deleted in 2010 -


Below are summaries of key documents from Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first direct challenge brought in United States federal courts against a public school district that required a statement to be read to 9th grade science students endorsing intelligent design as an explanation of the origin of life. The plaintiffs claimed that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and the school board policy thus violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The defense claimed that the statement mentioning intelligent design as a challenge to evolution does not violate the Establishment clause because it does not mention or promote religion in any way, that intelligent design is based on inferences from empirical observation, and that the mention of it can only enhance a child's science education by teaching critical thinking. On 20 December 2005, Judge John E. Jones III found in favor of the plaintiff and ruled that the teaching of intelligent design was unconstitutional.

Trial Materials[edit]

Most of the trial materials are in PDF format.

Docket information from the Federal Court website


Official complaint[edit]

Expert Witness Pre-Trial Statements[edit]


Withdrawn from Plaintiff[edit]

  • Jeffrey Shallit (May 16, 2005)
    • Shallit was originally to be a rebuttal witness for defense witness William Dembski. After Dembski withdrew from the trial, the defense had filed a motion to exclude Shallit on grounds that it was unfair to allow Shallit to testify since Dembski would not testify and they were not allowed to introduce a replacement witness. The opposing sides came to an agreement that the plaintiffs would not call Shallit but reserved the right to call him in rebuttal if Dembski's materials were used by the defense and the defense could make a challenge to any such use of Shallit. See the judge's September 22 order. William Dembski wrote in his blog that Shallit was withdrawn because "his obsessiveness against me and ID made him a liability to the ACLU." This brought angry responses from critics of intelligent design [1] [2].


Withdrawn from Defense[edit]


Amicus curiae filings[edit]

On October 3, the Discovery Institute filed an amicus curiae brief in which 85 scientists asked the judge not to rule on the question of what is and is not science [3]. The brief was written by institute fellow David DeWolf. The brief argues that the court should not address the scientific validity or invalidity of ID; "intelligent design should not be stigmatized by the courts as less scientific than competing theories", and that if the court rules on the validity of ID it could destroy careers and have other far-reaching effects.

Critics of the brief characterize the brief as employing dishonest rhetoric, that though the brief claims that ID is a "theory based upon a scientific evaluation of the empirical evidence." (p. 6), that there are no testable ID theories and cites that the brief admits there are none: "the current formulation of intelligent design theory," " still in its youth.... For that very reason it is premature to conclude that one side has triumphed and the other has lost." They argue: "The brief makes no scientific argument at all, and gives no indication of where the court might look to find a scientific argument." [4]. Others claim the brief makes false factual claims [5].

The Discovery Institute also filed its own amicus curiae (brief, appendix A, and appendix B) on October 17.

An additional amicus curiae (JSPAN Brief) was filed on behalf of the Jewish Social Policy Action Network, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action.

On October 24, Judge Jones ruled that the amicus curiae of the Discovery Institute be struck since it would allow a "backdoor" for William A. Dembski and Stephen C. Meyer, who previously withdrew from the case, to testify as expert witnesses without being subject to cross-examination. Judge Jones allowed the amicus curiae of the scientists to remain on the record though the plaintiffs had requested that it too be struck. (Judge Jones' Order).

Transcripts of the trial[edit]

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Transcript Sources[edit]