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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Checking ID

From Dover, Pennsylvania, where the Enlightenment has been (you should pardon the expression) born again:

We first note that since ID is not science, the conclusion is inescapable that the only real effect of the ID policy is the advancement of religion.  (133-34)

Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false.  Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general.  Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.  (136-38)

Well, now, it really wasn’t an utter waste, was it?  We get it in writing that fundamentalist members of the Dover school board “lie to cover their tracks,” and that their decision to drive their little ID wedge into the science curriculum is “breathtaking” in its “inanity.” So come on already—let’s look on the bright side, people!

But what about Judge Jones’s claim that “those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge”?  Do you think?

Let’s ask the Discovery Institute what they think:

“The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won’t work,” said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation’s leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design. . . .

“This is an activist judge who has delusions of grandeur.”

Whoa!  Judge Jones was, like, so accurate!  He not only disposed of ID, he predicted the future! This guy totally rocks.  Hell, if I could predict the future word-for-word like that, I’d have me some delusions of grandeur too.

But you know what was coolest about the decision?  The part where Jones looked at the text of Of Pandas and People and pointed out that approximately 150 times, the word “creation” is crossed out and the words “Intelligent Design” are written in in crayon (32).

Hey, does anyone remember this blog saying that it would never post pictures of dancing badgers?

Me neither.

There are those who say that dancing badgers are so complex that they could not have arisen on this blog simply by means of natural blog selection.  These people, advocates of what is known as “Intelligent Web Design,” claim that this blog could only have developed dancing badgers by stealing them from Sadly, No!’s recent Weblog Awards celebration.  Well, let’s hope Judge Jones sends those people packing as well.

But for those of you who find dancing badgers to be, how shall I say, an intellectually thin response to Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, The Dancing Panda’s Thumb just might have a post or two or twenty on the subject.  Go check ‘em out.

Posted by Michael on 12/21 at 07:48 AM
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