Dover News carnival.


This morning, I took a few minutes to look at a number of the various news articles about the upcoming Dover Intelligent Design lawsuit. The articles that I looked at seem to present a wide range of views, and a few of them were actually quite good. Initially, I was just planning on commenting on one or two. After reading a few, I thought it might be a little more fun to present a bunch of them blog-carnival style.

Continue reading (at The Questionable Authority)


MS-NBC posted an article by Ker Than with a 9/23 dateline that–while not directly tied to Dover–does a good job of summarizing why ID is not science.

It’s a “LiveScience” article titled “Why scientists dismiss ‘intelligent design.’”

AP News photo

Interesting caption:

Dover, Pa., resident Cindy Mummert prays from her Bible in front of The Federal Court building in Harrisburg, Pa., Monday, Sept., 26, 2005…

Say, that’s a great way to show that your side is motivated by science and not religion.

I’ll bet she’s related to pastor Ray Mummert who let off this gem earlier in the year:

“We’ve been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture.

I went looking for photos like that AP one, of the area outside the courthouse. Couldn’t find any others, but I did find this description:

About 75 spectators crowded the courtroom of U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III for the start of the nonjury trial. But the scene outside the courthouse was business as usual, except for a lone woman reading the Bible.

Which is unfortunate. I want hordes of bible wavers outside, holding signs referencing biblical matters, chanting about Jesus, etc., for the judge to see when he watches the news tonight. That would really highlight the religious motives. Too bad I have a job. It would be nice to go up there and try to stir up some churches to protest.

Can’t nobody take a stand for Jesus?

I love that quote, Bayesian. Here’s some more quote goodness, courtesy of the NYT:

“This is an attempt by the A.C.L.U. to really intimidate this small-town school board,” said Mr. Thompson, who will defend the Dover board at the trial, “because the theory of intelligent design is starting to gain some resonance among school boards across the country.”

There’s nothing as funny as creationists and their unintelligently designed statements.

I might start emailing churches in the Dover area, encouraging them to go take a public stand for Jesus, at the courthouse.

I’m fairly sure the lady’s VERY LARGE copy of the Bible is for purposes of prominent media visibility, since obviously there are smaller and lighter editions available.

I just hope, though, that the poor lady doesn’t injure her poorly-“designed” back hefting this tome about…

I want hordes of bible wavers outside, holding signs referencing biblical matters, chanting about Jesus, etc., for the judge to see when he watches the news tonight.

I agree with your motive, but I wonder if a judge might avoid watching news about a case currently before his bench.

Avoiding watching the news is one thing. Ignoring the fact that 75 people are sitting in your courtroom (quite unusual for any “normal” matter) or that there’s a crowd of placard-waving folks outside the courthouse would be much more difficult. Most small-town courthouses don’t have secret tunnels, and the judges have to go in and out the same doors and climb up and down the same steps as everyone else…

I’m quite sure–whatever the judge’s personal opinions may or may not be–that it has not escaped his or her attention that this case has attracted a wider interest than many others.

Couldn’t that evidence, of who really comprises the supporting faction, be submitted in some form of amicus brief?

In principle he should perhaps. Anyway, there are other ways he could see them, such as while driving, or walking around the courthouse. It would be great if a big religious festival developed outside over the next few weeks. I mean the whole works, big crosses, skits, costumes…do christians do self flagellation? There’s some muslim ceremony where they ceremonially cut their heads with swords. That would be fantastic. Anybody called Fred Phelps? Let’s get this show on the road.

Ordinarily, amicus briefs would enter in only during the appellate stages of the proceeding.

In theory, at least, the judge here should be allowing the parties to develop whatever actual evidence they contend supports their positions. Because this is not your typical auto accident, divorce, or shoot-‘em-up case, “evidence” might well include somewhat more elaborate showings of background, motive, and pattern.

But the parties still need to connect any documents or witnesses to THIS case–was the school board motivated by or pandering to religion, rather than science? IS the “intelligent design” discussion now required by the board’s policy (including the “referral” to Of Pandas and People as an “informed” source) an appropriately “scientific” discussion or, again, just a thinly-veiled attempt at smuggling religion into the public schools?

From some of the articles that I have seen, while some of the testimony and documents may well delve more deeply into the overall “arc” of ID and creationism, a significant amount will also be focused on the particulars of what THIS particular school board did, said, and thought, as they went about their “business” in the period leading up to the adoption of the policy in issue.

As an example, as I recall from the Cobb County, GA “textbook sticker” case, testimony was elicited at trial that parents with overt religious concerns had pressured the school board. Likewise, here I understand that there is going to be testimony about whether or not some of the school board members made statements with overt religions content (allegedly along the lines of–I paraphrase: “A man died on a cross 2,000 years ago. Who’s going to stand up for him?”).

According to Google Maps, there are at least 10 churches within a couple miles of Dover, which is maybe 20-25 mins from Harrisburg. There’s hope yet, for a big crowd outside the courthouse.

Oh my god, I was watching Lou Dobbs on CNN and realized Eugenie Scott is a woman! didnt know that

Hmm, actually the trial is NOT in a small-town courthouse, but in the federal district courthouse in Harrisburg. While this may allow the federal judge to come and go with less exposure to the masses, it also means the trial is to a federal district court judge, meaning that the judge is sure to be aware of the pro-evolution precedents and to have a reasonably good handle on the broader issues.

DI signer does not support IDC Scientific support for ‘intelligent design’ disputed


Knight Ridder Newspapers

Some who signed the statement of dissent said that doesn’t mean they support intelligent design.

One signer, Stanley Salthe, a zoologist at the State University of New York in Binghamton, replied “absolutely not” when he was asked if he agrees that there must have been a supernatural designer.

David Berlinski, a mathematician and senior fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture and a sharp critic of neo-Darwinism, also signed the statement of dissent. But in an e-mail message, Berlinski declared, “I have never endorsed intelligent design.”

bizarro quote from Berlinski there.

Some who signed the statement of dissent said that doesn’t mean they support intelligent design.

Gee, I know *I* am shocked.

And when DI does NOT stop peddling its “list of 400” in light of this, well, gee, I’ll be even *more* shocked.


ICR getting in on the lie:

Dobbs omitted “intelligent design” proponent’s Christian ties, beliefs

Media Matters for America Wrote:

On the September 26 edition of CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, host Dobbs failed to inform viewers of guest Frank Sherwin’s overt support for creationism, a literal belief in the biblical account of how the universe and human life were created. Dobbs also left unchallenged Sherwin’s disingenuous statements on the views that he and his group, the Institute of Creation Research, are advocating. …

Let’s hear it for brainwashing

York Daily Record Wrote:

… During testimony on Tuesday, Barrie Callahan recalled how former board member Bill Buckingham responded to a former student Max Pell who talked during a board meeting about the merits of evolution.

Callahan said that Buckingham said, “You’re a perfectly good example of what happens to students when they go to college. They get brainwashed.” …


Several times, space aliens have been mentioned as the theoretical identity of the intelligent designer. Time-traveling cellular biologists from the future also were credited.

(Cue Twilight Zone theme music)

This week, Dover’s attorney’s also noted that some serious psychologists continue to research psychic powers, in turn suggesting that real scientists can in fact investigate subjects considered to be paranormal or supernatural.

Uh-huh. And is anyone suggesting that we should mandate the teaching of paranormal beliefs in public school science classes before any of these experiments produces a reprodicuble positive result?

Joan Ryan in

With weary regularity, my 15-year-old son flips aside his pencil and, slumping in his chair, asks why a person with no intention of becoming a physicist or mathematician should be tortured with science and algebra. He doesn’t yet see the value in learning the principles of logic, or the orderliness of the scientific method to test hypotheses.

I wipe my son’s sweaty brow.

“It’s so you don’t grow up to be an idiot like the school board members in Dover, Pa.,” I tell him. …

The press coverage for the Dover trial seems, to me, to be slacking off. I am wondering if this is because, like the earlier Kansas Kangaroo Kourt, it didn’t take long for the reporters to see how nutty the IDers really are, and lose interest in them.

Once the nutters themselves take the stand and make idiots of themselves, the press coverage will probably go back up.

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Dunford published on September 25, 2005 11:34 PM.

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