The teaching of ID in the public schools, like creation science before it, was evaluated in a court of law for its constitutionality. In Dover, Pennsylvania, the attempt by a school board to teach ID resulted in a full trial in a federal district court. The judge, following the Lemon decision and the endorsement test, ruled that there was no secular reason for teaching ID, and, because it was a religious view, it could not legally be taught. Kitzmiller v. Dover was a landmark decision, and though not appealed to a higher court, will nonetheless be highly influential in any future trials involving ID.

Antievolutionism is thriving even in the absence of a legal warrant to teach ID. The most recent strategy involves denigrating evolution—a two-model approach in which denigrating evolution is seen as promoting creationism. Common phrases associated with this approach include evidence against evolution, strengths and weaknesses of evolution, critical analysis of evolution, and teach the controversy. Intelligent design proponents also have been encouraging a permissive approach by which teachers are not required to teach ID but supposedly will be protected from lawsuits or negative treatment by superiors if they do.

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