Cornell University and Paleontological Research Institution
Statement on Kitzmiller et al., v. Dover Area School District

December 21, 2005

Opinion for the plaintiffs

By barring the teaching of Intelligent Design in public school science classes, U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III has struck a blow for science and against the unconstitutional insertion of religion into the public schools. In the case of Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District, Judge Jones found that the premises of "intelligent design" (ID) are not testable by the methods of science and that no credible scientific evidence has been presented for it. Any limitations in scientific knowledge must be filled by more science, not appeals to religious belief. He also rejected the introduction of those beliefs into the curriculum, noting as he did so the mendacity of the board members who denied in court the religious motivations they flaunted outside. Many Americans view science and religion as compatible but one may not be substituted for the other in the public schools.

We would like to believe that this case will mark the end of efforts to introduce ID into public school science classes, but exhortations to "teach the controversy" are likely to persist. All who care about science, science education, and the positive role of science in contemporary society must remain vigilant against future attempts to subvert the scientific way of knowing for religious or political ends.

Warren Allmon
Director, Paleontological Research Institution, Adjunct Associate Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

Stephen Hamilton
Professor of Human Development, Associate Provost for Outreach

Full signature list:

Eric Alani, Associate Professor of Genetics

Warren D. Allmon, Director, Paleontological Research Institution, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Charles F. Aquadro, Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Robert W. Balluffi, Adjunct Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

William E. Bemis, Kingsbury Director, Shoals Marine Laboratory, and Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Ross Brann, Milton R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies

Anthony Bretscher, Professor of Cell Biology

John Bunge, Associate Professor, Department of Statistical Science

Joseph A. Burns, I.P. Church Professor of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and Astronomy

John L. Cisne, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

John E. Coleman, Professor of Classics and Director, Cornell Halai and East Lokris Project

James M. Cordes, Professor of Astronomy

Sheila Ann Dean, Visiting Scholar, Department of Science and Technology Studies, and Editor, Darwin Correspondence Project

Lou Derry, Associate Professor, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Howard Evans, Professor of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Emeritus

John W. Fitzpatrick, L. A. Fuertes Director, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

Cole Gilbert, Associate Professor of Entomology

Charles H. Greene, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Nelson G. Hairston, Jr., Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, and Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Environmental Science

Stephen F. Hamilton, Associate Provost for Outreach, and Professor of Human Development

Richard Harrison, Chair and Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Stephen Hilgartner, Associate Professor of Science & Technology Studies

Theresa E. Jordan, Chair and Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Robert Kay, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Kenneth A.R. Kennedy, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Emeritus

W. Lee Kraus, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Rabbi Aaron Levy, Campus Rabbi, Cornell Hillel: Yudowitz Center for Jewish Campus Life

James K. Liebherr, Professor and Curator of Entomology

Irby J. Lovette, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Peter L. Marks, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Amy McCune, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Andrew J. Pershing, Assistant Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Jason Phipps Morgan, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Trevor Pinch, Chair and Professor of Science and Technology Studies

Linda S. Rayor, Senior Research Associate, Department of Entomology

Nerissa Russell, Associate Professor of Anthropology

David J. Schuller, Senior Research Associate, Dept. of Molecular Biology & Genetics

David Shalloway, Greater Philadelphia Professor in Biological Sciences

Yervant Terzian, David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences

William M. Trochim, Professor of Policy Analysis & Management

Charles Walcott, Dean of University Faculty and Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior

William White, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Mariana F. Wolfner, Professor of Developmental Biology