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Ashford 3: – Week 2 – Assignment

Teaching “Intelligent Design” in the Public

Write your paper about a hypothetical proposal that is
before the elected school board for the public schools in your city. The
proposal stirs deep controversy in the community. Opponents claim that it would
violate the Constitution’s prohibition against an “establishment of religion.”
The proposed mandatory regulation states:

“The theory of ‘intelligent
design’ shall be taught in the public schools of this city in all classes where
the theory of evolution is taught. The theory of ‘intelligent design’ shall be
taught as a possible scientific explanation for life, and other aspects of the
universe, and as an alternative to the scientific explanation offered by the
theory of evolution. For purposes of this regulation, ‘intelligent design’ is a
theory that certain features of the universe and living things ‘are best
explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural
selection’ as claimed by the theory of evolution.” [See: IDEA Center. (2004). Intelligent design theory in a nutshell. Retrieved
from http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1136].

your paper from the perspective of a community member listed below. In other
words, for this assignment, you will assume a role. Imagine yourself as
one of the following people:

  1. The superintendent of the public schools in your community.
  2. The chair-person of the local elected school board.
  3. A little known candidate running for mayor, who is challenging the
    long-time, highly popular mayor.
  4. The president of the citywide Public School Parents Association.
  5. The pastor of a local mega-church who believes in the literal interpretation
    of the Bible, including every aspect of the creation story.
  6. A high school science teacher who is the elected president of the citywide
    teachers’ union.

Write your paper as if it will be read by a
public audience who are likely to be interested in your views given your role in
the community. With this in mind, write clearly and persuasively for that
audience. You are not required to take a position that your audience agrees
with; but you should write with the purpose of informing and persuading that
audience. If you know someone who plays a role like this in your community, it
might be interesting to discuss this assignment with that person.

paper must clearly state your position on the constitutionality of the
proposed school regulation. Your paper should not address broader questions
about the merits of the regulation; but it should focus on whether or not the
regulation would violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. You
must clearly explain and apply an interpretation of the Establishment
Clause and justify your position using part of the rationale of at least one of
the four different opinions authored by various Justices of the Supreme Court in
the case of Edwards v. Aguillard (1987). However, the paper must be
written in your own words without lengthy quotation from outside
sources. Briefly quoting a few words for emphasis or special effect is
acceptable. If you paraphrase the words or use ideas from any source, you must
cite the source according to APA style.

The paper must be at least 800
words in length and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least
three scholarly resources (including Edwards v. Aguillard and also one
of the assigned scholarly articles) other than the textbook to support your
claims and subclaims. Cite your resources in text and on the reference page. For
information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing
Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.


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