- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 30, 2005

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Charles Darwin’s great-great-grandson has been attending a landmark federal trial over whether intelligent design can be mentioned as an alternative to evolution in public school biology classes.

Freelance writer Matthew Chapman is one of 75 persons from the United States and other countries covering the trial involving schools in Dover, Pa. He is writing about it for Harper’s Magazine and working on a British Broadcasting Corp. documentary.

Mr. Chapman said he is surprised about the debate in the United States. “Evolution is such a nonissue everywhere else in the world,” he said.

The Dover Area School District School Board is defending its decision a year ago to require students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution, saying Darwin’s theory is “not a fact” and has inexplicable “gaps.”

Intelligent-design supporters argue that natural selection cannot fully explain the origin or emergence of highly complex life forms and that life on Earth was the product of an unidentified intelligent force.

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