Cobb to decide on appealing

| 16 Comments

According to a report in the AJC, the Cobb County Board of Education will decide Monday in a closed door meeting with their lawyers whether to appeal Judge Cooper’s ruling. I am hopeful that, if their real intention was to improve science education, the board will accept the decision of the Court and that of biologists and biology educators that the disclaimer hurts biology education and should be removed.

16 Comments

Something tells me the lawyers will tell them to appeal. Something about billable hours.….

Meanwhile, in Rapid City, South Dakota, apparently giddy from the elections still, the local paper ran a poll on the decision in the case:

A federal judge ruled Thursday that an Alabama school system must remove stickers from high school biology textbooks that say evolution is “a theory, not a fact.” Was the judge wrong to declare the stickers unconstitutional?

Yes 62% No 34% Don’t know 4%

How could anybody make this stuff up? http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/art[…]s/news01.txt

You mean the poll results aren’t believable?  I think we should all be familiar with the amount of misinformation, disinformation and erroneous desire to be “fair” or “balanced” that goes into these things.

True, the lawyers may want more billable hours. On the other hand:

  • Cobb County Board of Education may feel like they’ve blown enough taxpayer money defending the defacing of taxpayer-purchased textbooks, defaced in order to appease a bunch of anti-science creationists.
  • Now they can blame the sticker removal on the ACLU and those nasty activist courts.
  • Cobb County is evidently becoming much more politically moderate demographically due to imigration.
  • The legal and scientific guns aimed at the stickers will get much bigger at the appeals court stage.
  • And, my vague understanding is that getting an appeal heard requires some major finding of error on the part of the trial court judge, which is fairly rare

If the Discovery Institute or the Thomas More Law Center was running things, I bet they would appeal, since they are true believers. But the county has already shown that it is not listening to the the DI (judging by the Discovery Institute’s carping about this). This supports the idea that the interests of the county and the interests of the Discovery Institute diverge significantly.

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Nick

Cobb County Board of Education may feel like they’ve blown enough taxpayer money defending the defacing of taxpayer-purchased textbooks, defaced in order to appease a bunch of anti-science creationists.

The pro-sticker people are taxpayers in their school district. They have as much right as anyone else to participate in the political processes that decide how to spend those taxes.

The legal and scientific guns aimed at the stickers will get much bigger at the appeals court stage.

Possibly. Yesterday I wrote to each member of the Cobb County Board of Education and urged them to create a website asking for donations to support the cost of appeal if such cost was a large issue in their decision. I also said I’d be among the first to contribute. The Clintonista Judge Clarence Cooper needs to get taken down a notch and I’d bet there’s millions of people just like me all over these United States willing to pay to have it done.

I’m not a religious person myself but I’m deeply offended when I see attacks made not on ideas but instead on the people who hold them. The first rule taught in Civil Disagreement 101 - “attack ideas not the people who hold them”. Attacking the sticker because the people most likely to support it are Christians is anathema to everything the United States stands for. The constitution guarantees that people will not be discriminated against due to religious belief and that’s exactly the type of discrimination that’s going on here. Judge Clarence Cooper should be removed from the bench if you ask me for his wanton disregard for such a basic civil right as freedom of religion and freedom from persecution for religious beliefs. His job was to make a decision based on prima facie evidence not the supposed religious bias of the people in Cobb County. Judge Clarence Cooper is incompetent.

Is it acceptable for the school board to have a closed meeting? They are an elected governmetal entity. Any applicable sunshine laws? Will transcripts be available afterwards?

It is acceptable because they are talking with their lawyers. I have heard that it will be possible to learn how the board voted in the meeting, or maybe they’ll come out and do the vote.

DaveScot writes:

I’m deeply offended when I see attacks made not on ideas but instead on the people who hold them

Are these examples of attacking ideas not the person?

The Clintonista Judge Clarence Cooper needs to get taken down a notch

Judge Clarence Cooper is incompetent.

just curious.

The ignorant troll David Scott Springer writes

Yesterday I wrote to each member of the Cobb County Board of Education and urged them to create a website asking for donations to support the cost of appeal if such cost was a large issue in their decision. I also said I’d be among the first to contribute. The Clintonista Judge Clarence Cooper needs to get taken down a notch and I’d bet there’s millions of people just like me all over these United States willing to pay to have it done.

Would you mind posting a copy of the letter you sent here, Dave?

Attacking the sticker because the people most likely to support it are Christians is anathema to everything the United States stands for.

I agree. Of course, that’s not why the sticker was removed. When is the last time you had your IQ checked Dave? I think there must be something in the air around your “waterfront property” that is damaging your brain. While I’m certain it was never as high as you claimed, I’d guess you’re hovering around 75 or 80 now.

The first rule taught in Civil Disagreement 101 - “attack ideas not the people who hold them”.

Of course, a disagreement ceases to be civil when one side is full of garbage and habitually lies. Take you, for instance. You’ve been a dishonest tool since the day you showed up here. Most of your “ideas” have been shown to be worthless misconceptions or plain falsehoods. At this point, discussing your idiocy and dishonesty hardly amounts to an “attack.” You’re just one more thick brick in the enormous wall that separates ID creationism from credibility.

I do not agree with anything that DaveScot says but I have to say his opinions, however flawed they may be, does liven things up a bit.

Dave, please review what you are going to say before hitting the Post button. The personal attacks on the Judge were exactly what you were bitching about.

It makes me wonder about you, I truly think that you are not who you say you are, but are instead a gifted satirist having some laughs at the storms you stir up with your inane rantings.

Besides the judge made the right call, the sticker was not only badly worded but put in place because they admittedly put it there to appease the christian parents who were complaining.

I will be publishing a commentary on the Cobb County case sometime next week. As soon as it’s up and accessible, I will link it on the blog to which I contribute, Southern Appeal.

Frank

Nick suggested the Cobb County school board may decide to cut its financial losses and not appeal.

Dave Scot said:

The pro-sticker people are taxpayers in their school district. They have as much right as anyone else to participate in the political processes that decide how to spend those taxes.

A right to participate in the political process is obtained on one’s own – generally, public officials who pursue a personal grudge with public money are dismissed. If the school board decided to buy champagne and caviar for their lovers, no one would question that it is illegal and unwise. That this board chooses to romance a different mistress doesn’t make the romance any more wise.

If taxpayers wish to participate in the political process, they should do it with their own money, on their own time.

Ultimately, Dave, it’s good to see you confess this is a political exercise, and that it has nothing to do with science.

Dave Scot also said:

The Clintonista Judge Clarence Cooper needs to get taken down a notch and I’d bet there’s millions of people just like me all over these United States willing to pay to have it done.

I’m not a religious person myself butI’m deeply offended when I see attacks made not on ideas but instead on the people who hold them. The first rule taught in Civil Disagreement 101 - “attack ideas not the people who hold them”. Attacking the sticker because the people most likely to support it are Christians is anathema to everything the United States stands for. The constitution guarantees that people will not be discriminated against due to religious belief and that’s exactly the type of discrimination that’s going on here. Judge Clarence Cooper should be removed from the bench if you ask me for his wanton disregard for such a basic civil right as freedom of religion and freedom from persecution for religious beliefs. His job was to make a decision based on prima facie evidence not the supposed religious bias of the people in Cobb County. Judge Clarence Cooper is incompetent.

Well, that’s about as clear a statement as we could ask for – telling us that the intelligent design flap is designed to smoke out anyone who doesn’t hold to the government-authorized orthodox religion. Judge Cooper has been smoked out as discriminating against religion, though the school board had argued that they were not in fact promoting a religious view. Rather than rail against those who flout the constitutions of the nation and Georgia, Dave turns on those who defend the constitution as somehow unreligious enough.

Yeah, we knew ID was a religious exercise all along, Dave. That was the point of the lawsuit.

Dr. Beckwith said:

I will be publishing a commentary on the Cobb County case sometime next week. As soon as it’s up and accessible, I will link it on the blog to which I contribute, Southern Appeal.

What became of Moteworthy?

Moteworthy is still there. I just don’t post on it as much given the traffic on Southern Appeal.

Here’s a preview of my article, to whet your appetite:

.…Nevertheless, I believe that Judge Cooper rightly concluded that the sticker was unconstitutional, but for the wrong reason. He should have argued that the sticker’s assertion about evolution—“it’s a theory, not a fact”—is a claim about evolution’s factual status that the Board cannot know is true unless evolution is not a fact. But one cannot say that evolution is not a fact and at the same time suggest to students that they should have an open mind on the subject, since having an open mind requires that one critically consider the possibility that evolution is a fact. That is, the policy was not narrowly tailored to achieve its purpose—critical thinking—and it needlessly imported language (“evolution is a theory, not a fact”) from sources whose objections to evolution are for the most part religious.

Beckwith writes

That is, the policy was not narrowly tailored to achieve its purpose—critical thinking—and it needlessly imported language (“evolution is a theory, not a fact”) from sources whose objections to evolution are for the most part religious.

I agree with this, although it might be more accurate to say that the policy was not effected as broadly as it reasonably should have been if its stated purpose was sincere.

That is, putting a sticker in every book of every class that says “Think critically” or merely announcing to the entire student population at the beginning of the year: “Think Critically” is obviously constitutional.

Would this satisfy the Johnsonite Christians? If not, why not? And how does the answer square with what Beckwith claims is the genuine “purpose” (i.e., “critical thinking”) of the stickers?

The answers to these questions are obvious. But wouldn’t it be special to hear them articulated reasonably, cogently and passionately by an evangelical Christian for a change?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on January 16, 2005 6:58 PM.

The ACLU is against thinking was the previous entry in this blog.

ID Advocates Turning the Media Off-Target is the next entry in this blog.

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