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15.6 Repercussions

The campaigns of Intelligent Design proponents have been disruptive, divisive, and expensive for the affected communities. In pursuing the goal of establishing Intelligent Design at the expense of evolution in public school science classes, Intelligent Design groups have threatened and isolated high school science teachers, school board members and parents who opposed their efforts. Teachers are put in the difficult position of arguing against their employers while the legal challenges to local school districts are costly, diverting funding away from education and into court battles. For example, as a result of Dover trial, the Dover Area School District had to pay $1,000,011 in legal fees and damages.

Four days after the six-week Dover trial concluded, all eight of the Dover school board members who were up for re-election were voted out of office. Televangelist Pat Robertson in turn told the citizens of Dover, “If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God. You just rejected him from your city.” Robertson said if they have future problems in Dover, “I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.”

According to published reports, the non-profit Discovery Institute received grants and gifts totalling $4.1 million for 2003 from 22 foundations. Of these, two-thirds had primarily religious missions. The institute spends more than $1 million a year for research, polls, lobbying and media pieces that support Intelligent Design and their Teach the Controversy campaign.