Revelations in Kitzmiller v. Dover

| 8 Comments

Some big revelations in the federal court case on “intelligent design” have just come out (see many previous PT posts on Kitzmiller v. Dover, especially the summary post, “Design on Trial”). The always on-the-ball Lauri Lebo of the York Daily Record has a story out today, “Depositions refer to creationism,” that reports on the origins of the ID policy in Dover, Pennsylvania, based on new court filings.

What court filings, you ask? Well, a brief opposing the defendants’ motion for summary judgment was filed by the plaintiffs this week. In a motion for summary judgement, the defense argues that there is no dispute about the facts, and thus no need for a trial before the judge’s decision. The plaintiffs issue a response that summarizes why there is a substantive dispute in the case, and it therefore should go to trial.

What should interest general readers is that the response summarizes the constitutional case against the Dover policy and against intelligent design in general. During the discovery period in the case, a great deal of new information about the origins of the Dover ID policy, and about the origins of intelligent design, was uncovered. Some the evidence is under seal until the trial, but some of the discoveries are summarized in the motion opposing summary judgement. I especially encourage readers to look at the stuff about Of Pandas and People, which in 1989 was the first book to systematically promote the term “intelligent design.” This adds more detail to the news reports on a dramatic pretrial hearing about the Pandas-publishing Foundation for Thought and Ethics a few weeks back.

NCSE has just set up a website, still under development, where we will be hosting this and other public documents relating to the Kitzmiller case as they become available. Links to FAQs and other relevant material are already up. It should serve as a central web resource for Kitzmiller material. Keep checking back.

[Note added in edit: In my initial summary, I was describing something closer to a motion for dismissal, instead of a motion for summary judgement. Thanks to Tim Sandefeur for the correction. As I often say, IANAL. IANAL should, by the way, be a blanket disclaimer on everything I say about detailed legal matters. I learned everything I know about the law from TV shows, so your mileage will vary.]

8 Comments

One key paragraph:

Intelligent design followed the Supreme Court’s rejection of creation science as night follows day: At the time that Edwards was decided, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (a publisher of Christian texts) had been developing Of Pandas and People as a creationist work to advance the FTE’s religious and cultural mission.44 After the Supreme Court rejected the proffered expert opinions in Edwards claiming that creation science is ‘science,’ Kenyon and FTE took their draft textbook (which advocated for creationism) and, with all the elegance of a word processor’s algorithm, replaced references to ‘creationism’ with the new label ‘intelligent design.’45 When they issued Pandas’s first edition just two years later, they presented intelligent design as if it were a new intellectual endeavor rather than merely a rechristening of creationism. But Pandas defines ‘intelligent design’ exactly as an earlier draft had defined ‘creationism.’46

44. Buell 07/14/2005 Testimony at 87; see also Forrest Suppl. Rep. at 10-13. 45. Buell 07/14/2005 Testimony at 98-99; App. IV-G; Forrest Suppl. Rep. at 4-8. 46. Buell 07/14/2004 Testimony at 98-99; Forrest Suppl. Rep. at 5.

They cite the Wedge Document too [link added]:

The cultural and religious agenda that motivated FTE to produce a creationist book and then re-label it ‘intelligent design,’ and impelled the school boards in Freiler and Selman to disclaim evolution, drives the entire intelligent-design movement and its most prominent participants, the Discovery Institute, its Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (now less provocatively renamed the ‘Center for Science and Culture’), and the Center’s fellows. Notable in this regard, the Center’s Wedge Strategy53 explicitly decries the cultural consequences of “Darwinism” and vows to replace it with “a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”54 This drive to create theistic ‘science’ also defines the work of the Discovery Institute’s fellows.55

53 App. IV-I, at 4. 54 Id. 55 See generally Forrest Rep.; Haught Rep.

Barbara Forrest clearly deserves high praise:

Plaintiffs have filed Dr. Forrest’s Supplemental Expert Report under seal. The Report analyzes documents that the Foundation for Thought and Ethics produced under the terms of a Protective Order permitting it, in good faith, to designate documents as confidential, and requiring the parties to file such documents under seal at the pleading stage. FTE has agreed that when the parties submit such documents in open court (as during the hearing on FTE’s Petition to Intervene), the Protective Order does not apply. At this juncture, plaintiffs take no position on whether the documents that Dr. Forrest describes meet the standards for confidentiality, and leaves to the Court’s discretion the decision whether the documents should remain under seal until trial.

i was just wondering what was going on in dover, AKA Dembski’s Waterloo.

The replacement of ‘creationism’ with ‘Intelligent Design’ in the textbook is an hilarious nail in the coffin of ID.

steve Wrote:

i was just wondering what was going on in dover, AKA Dembski’s Waterloo.

You’ll have to be more specific; he’s had so many.

steve Wrote:

The replacement of ‘creationism’ with ‘Intelligent Design’ in the textbook is an hilarious nail in the coffin of ID.

If you’ve actually read the book it’s no surprise at all. It’s interesting to have it verified from the early drafts.

44. Buell 07/14/2005 Testimony at 87; see also Forrest Suppl. Rep. at 10-13. 45. Buell 07/14/2005 Testimony at 98-99; App. IV-G; Forrest Suppl. Rep. at 4-8. 46. Buell 07/14/2004 Testimony at 98-99; Forrest Suppl. Rep. at 5.

Is there any way to get the full text of Buell’s testimony online? I am shocked that we would have ever gotten such a blatant admission on the creationism vs. intelligent design thing. This might be an instant candidate for a T.O. FAQ.

No, there’d be no way to get Buell’s deposition testimony online.

I have read Buell’s testimony, however it has to be released by the plaintiff legal team before I can post it on the web. I will, of course, let everyone know when that happens. It’s pretty good, as you might imagine from the news accounts.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on August 10, 2005 12:52 PM.

Chris Mooney on the origins of the Discovery Institute was the previous entry in this blog.

What’s in a phrase? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter