Caught in their own Wedge

| 25 Comments | 4 TrackBacks
Judge Jones Wrote:

Plaintiffs’ science experts, Drs. Miller and Padian, clearly explained how ID proponents generally and Pandas specifically, distort and misrepresent scientific knowledge in making their anti-evolution argument.

and yet the DI continues to argue (and misrepresent)

Jonathan Witt Wrote:

Dover’s Darwinist Judge Rules Against Competing Theory of Intelligent Design

Only a small problem here: there is no competing theory of intelligent design. This is not only obvious to scientists but also to many ID proponents who have lamented about the lack of much of any scientifically relevant contribution of ID.

The Judge seemed to have grasped how desperate ID proponents are in their flawed arguments that ID is somehow scientific. While Judge Jones commented on Panda’s he may as well have been commenting on “Icons of evolution” or various other ID propaganda.

In this light the following observations by Judge Jones gain even more relevance

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.

The real purpose behind the ID policy has been well established by Barbara Forrest et al. No wonder the DI has to dismiss this excellent review of the history of ID as ‘mythological’.

The judge however considered the evidence presented by Forrest et al hardly to be ‘mythological’, and for good reasons. The book by Forrest et al, “Creationism’s Trojan Horse”, provides an in depth and well documented case. The Judge observed

Judge Jones Wrote:

She [Forrest] has thoroughly and exhaustively chronicled the history of ID in her book and other writings for her testimony in this case. Her testimony, and the exhibits which were admitted with it, provide a wealth of statements by ID leaders that reveal ID’s religious, philosophical, and cultural content.

Forrest et al’s work were instrumental as they documented in full detail the Wedge approach.

Judge Jones Wrote:

Dramatic evidence of ID’s religious nature and aspirations is found in what is referred to as the “Wedge Document.” The Wedge Document, developed by the Discovery Institute’s Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (hereinafter “CRSC”), represents from an institutional standpoint, the IDM’s goals and objectives, much as writings from the Institute for Creation Research did for the earlier creation-science movement, as discussed in McLean.

and

Judge Jones Wrote:

The Board relied solely on legal advice from two organizations with demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions, the Discovery Institute and the TMLC.

As others have commented before, the 139 pages of the Judge’s ruling provide much quotable material and will help provide for a nice foundation for future legal interactions. That ID proponents keep misrepresenting ID as having a scientific relevance is not only detrimental to science but also to religious faith as it gives the impression to school board members and others that ID presents a scientific theory when in fact it clearly does not. While many scientists and science publications have exposed this fact, now the judicial branch has helped bring home the message. ID failed as a science and thus failed in court.

Interesting thought: What if the new board (despite having successfully replaced the pro-ID board) takes the issue to the appeal courts, knowing very well how solid the ruling by Judge Jones is? In other words, the board may be able to force the opinion to become relevant to a wider audience? The ACLU may even want to sponsor such an action :-)

4 TrackBacks

YOU Teach Your Children from Threads from Henry's Web on December 20, 2005 9:57 PM

There are plenty of comments on the Dover decision going around right now. I’d like to recommend just a couple of them, though these are only examples of many good comments. Both provide some good links to more information. Best Possible Resu... Read More

The blogosphere responds to the decision ruling intelligent design's infusion into the science curriculum unconstitutional: Religion Clause links to editorials across the country and reminds us why an appeal is unlikely in this case. The Panda's Thumb ... Read More

The blogosphere responds to the decision ruling intelligent design's infusion into the science curriculum unconstitutional: Religion Clause links to editorials across the country and reminds us why an appeal is unlikely in this case. The Panda's Thumb ... Read More

Justice in Dover from The Original Blog on December 21, 2005 3:05 PM

The court’s ruling that Intelligent Design is nothing more than a sham was better than I’d expected: A “hypothetical reasonable observer,” adult or child, who is “aware of the history and context of the community and forum” is al... Read More

25 Comments

ok, it must be said…

They gave themselves a wedgie.

sorry

Does jubilant properly describe us? ID trashed on scientific, philosophical, religious, and even ethical (some of the plaintiffs lied)grounds - and rejected by an uncommited federal judge as, simply, never to be taught as science. And Barbera Forrest’s testimony unlocked it all. Let’s just hope that the Cobb County judges are paying attention.…Woohoo!

I didn’t mean plaintiffs I meant of course defendants. We are the ones complaining here!

Let’s just hope that the Cobb County judges are paying attention.…

They had BETTER be … Judge Jones cited the Cobb County _Selman_ decision at least a dozen times in his ruling.

It’s the Kansas Kooks that had better be reading very carefully. They are next on the firing line. If they’re stupid enough to step into it.

And I think they are.

With the leaders’ credibility now in ruins it is time the second line took over. Sal are you listening? You could help give this kooky ‘mentality’ of IDC a decent burial and stop the farce.

From the end of a 9:30pm EST AP story:

The new school board president, Bernadette Reinking, said the board intends to remove intelligent design from the science curriculum and place it in an elective social studies class. “As far as I can tell you, there is no intent to appeal,” she said.

If the intent is to “teach” ID and undercut the science curriculum, than we still have a problem in Dover. Making the class elective doesn’t change anything.

You cannot stop the teaching of ID any more than you can stop the teaching of Christianty, Islam, Hindu, etc. Do to so would violate the 1st Amendment to the USC. What they are going to do AFAIK, is teach ID along with other religions and views that would not promote or deride any one over the other, so as not to violate the establishment clause.

Teaching about the different religions is necessary in this day and age, they still cause tensions, spark wars and ruin the lives of millions. Even being an athiest, such a class sounds interesting. Ignorance doesn’t fix anything.

What they are going to do AFAIK, is teach ID along with other religions and views that would not promote or deride any one over the other, so as not to violate the establishment clause.

Alas, it will be the fundies who go gaga over this. What they want is for THEIR religious opinions, and no one ELSE’S, to be taught.

They emphatically will NOT support any “comparitive religions” class that includes any religions other than their own.

Dembski FINALLY chimes in…And pleads the 5th it seems…Cat suddenly got his tongue and he won’t let go…

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]archives/594 From December 20, 2005 The Significance of the Dover Decision Judge Jones rendered his verdict in the Dover case today. On September 30th I blogged what I thought would be ultimate significance of Dover — go here. Even though media and bloggers are now analyzing the decision in depth (for the full decision, go here or here), I have little to add to what I wrote in September, so I’ll just leave it there.

Dembski is suddenly speechless?

Dembski got the boot instead of being able to strut his “stuff” at that trial (second time, no less - same thing happened at Cobb), so I’m sure he will be busy chewing a mouthful of sour grapes for a while. OTOH, I heard he got paid anyway, even tho he didn’t testify, and that’s what really matters to him anyway, so maybe he just doesn’t care what happened in Dover.

to borrow from lenny…

*shrug*

Dembski is suddenly speechless?

His bootlickers are all awfully quiet, too . … . .

Even though media and bloggers are now analyzing the decision in depth

How long does it take to analyze “IDers are dishonest liars who tried to get around earlier court decisions by pretending that their religious opinions are really science”?

My nine year old niece understood Judge Jones’s decision perfectly. What part of the decision does Dembski need to have “analyzed”? Maybe I can ask Shelby to explain it to him.

Dembski is suddenly speechless?

Indeed. I’ve just tried his site and he’s exceeded his bandwidth.

You naughty boys!

Bob

If the new board appeals the decision, and I doubt that they will, it’s only to set up a probable elevation to the Supreme Court which would finally put ID in its coffin.

USMC Ex Sgt Springer fulminates on the weakness of the defence and suggests

2) The expert witnesses on our side should be industrial design engineers not biologists. What are biologists doing testifying about design?

Makes sense to me ;)

Alas, it will be the fundies who go gaga over this. What they want is for THEIR religious opinions, and no one ELSE’S, to be taught.

They emphatically will NOT support any “comparitive religions” class that includes any religions other than their own.

Which will never come to pass as such a policy would be a (far more) direct violation of the Constitution, and which any judge would smack down immediately.

Mel Wrote:

From the end of a 9:30pm EST AP story:

The new school board president, Bernadette Reinking, said the board intends to remove intelligent design from the science curriculum and place it in an elective social studies class. “As far as I can tell you, there is no intent to appeal,” she said.

If the intent is to “teach” ID and undercut the science curriculum, than we still have a problem in Dover. Making the class elective doesn’t change anything.

I think we should cut Ms. Reinking a break. “Intelligent Design” is in the news - especially in Dover. That makes it fair game for current events, social studies, that sort of thing.

Our newspaper reported the decision by writing:

A federal judge’s ruling that intelligent design cannot be mentioned in a Pennsylvania public-school district…

I haven’t read all the fine print, but I doubt that. I think the decision is that it can’t be taught as science.

Surely in this day and age, it’s not only OK, but really desirable that kids learn about phishing, high-tech fraud, modern day equivalents of offers of candy to get in the stranger’s car… and scams like ID.

Interesting thought: What if the new board (despite having successfully replaced the pro-ID board) takes the issue to the appeal courts, knowing very well how solid the ruling by Judge Jones is? In other words, the board may be able to force the opinion to become relevant to a wider audience? The ACLU may even want to sponsor such an action :-)

I’ve already expressed an alternative a couple times: The delusional folks at the TMLC really really want to appeal this all the way to the Supreme Court under the misguided impression that they will win. They could offer to pay the resulting financial obligations of the school board IF the board agrees to allow the TMLC to appeal. Then everybody wins! The local school is relieved of that $million+ attourney fees burden, the TMLC gets to feel important as they appeal, and the rest of us get a nation-wide precedent! It’s win-win-win!

a well-meaning but misguided fellow Wrote:

What are biologists doing testifying about design?

Quite a bit of unintentional hilarity there. Unfortunately the sarge will probably never consider that he is simply “on the wrong side”. And I’m pretty sure any competent design engineer, industrial or otherwise, would note that similarity of function does not imply similarity of mechanism. Furthermore, biology is the product of billions of years of refinement. Our crude machines are not even playing the same game, much less on the same field.

Russell Wrote:

I think the decision is that it can’t be taught as science.

Tack “in a public school” onto the end of that, and you’ve got it exactly. That “cannot be mentioned” phrasing either plays into or follows from the martyr affectation verbalized by West in the DI statement.

Mel Wrote:

“Making the class elective doesn’t change anything.”

Actually, making it social studies changes everything. That’s where comparative religion belongs.

Russell wrote:

I think the decision is that it can’t be taught as science.

AC added:

Tack “in a public school” onto the end of that, and you’ve got it exactly. That “cannot be mentioned” phrasing either plays into or follows from the martyr affectation verbalized by West in the DI statement.

That should summarize it.

If you’re teaching history or social studies in a public school (for argument’s sake, in a district where nearly 100% of the kids come from Christian families), and you describe to your students the historical contexts of other religions such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc., you’re neither promoting nor denigrating any specific religion, nor religion in general. You’ve merely stated a set of historical facts, which are (or should be) completely appropriate in a history class. An art teacher is also completely free to discuss paintings based on religious themes like Bible stories or Greek mythology.

What you can’t do in a U.S. public school is deliberately confuse students about the merits of a specific, evidence-based discipline in favor of an “alternative” based solely on religious doctrine. The Dover decision, thankfully, has made this clear.

I think the reason they never want Demski to testify is because it’s way too easy to simply ask him about the titles of his books.

Q: Dr. Demski, can you read me the title of this book of which you are the author?

A: Yes, it’s titled Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology.

Q: Do you think that students in public schools should find the bridge between science and theology in their Biology classes?

A: Ah, erm, yes, of course, why not?

Q: No further questions, your honor.

And does anyone else besides me notice that there are an awful lot of creationist arguments being spouted by Demski’s minions in the comments. ID is definitely not creationism repackaged, right? Right?

(Advise: Please, whenever you see someone saying they are an IDot and you hear a creationist argument coming from them, call them on it. If they don’t admit they are creationists, you have every right to call them dishonest.)

My “they are now caught in their own wedge” contribution:

Does the Cobb County Georgia public schoool system have any copies of Pandas and People in their libraries?

Since IDC has now been found to be creationism/religious and of Pandas and People has been found to be creationist propaganda (and not science), shouldn’t a sticker be required to be put on the front of Pandas and People?

The textbook of Pandas and People is only a creationist theory and it not a fact nor is it considered scientific.

Speaking of getting caught in their own wedge.…

http://www.pennlive.com/news/patrio[…]l&coll=1

Prosecutor seeks perjury evidence Thursday, December 22, 2005 BY JOHN BEAUGE AND BILL SULON Of The Patriot-News

WILLIAMSPORT - A federal prosecutor said testimony in the Dover Area School District’s intelligent design case is under review to determine if perjury charges should be pursued.

U.S. Middle District Attorney Thomas A. Marino said yesterday that decision will take time because there is “a lot of reading to do” to determine if the statements rise to the level of a crime.

“I want to question a couple of people who were present,” he said. They will not include Judge John E. Jones III, who presided over the case, he said.

Marino’s comments came a day after Jones struck down the school district’s policy of telling ninth-grade biology students Darwin’s theory of evolution is not fact and intelligent design is an alternative explanation of the origin of life.

In his opinion, Jones accused some of those who testified during the six-week trial in Harrisburg of lying, singling out former board members Alan Bonsell and William Buckingham, the leading proponents of the policy.

Both men testified during the trial, which ended last month, and both gave sworn statements in depositions on Jan. 3. During the trial, Jones and lawyers for parents opposed to the policy confronted the men about the discrepancies and evasiveness in their answers to questions about their motivations and efforts to raise money for a pro-intelligent design textbook, “Of Pandas and People.”

During the trial, after questioning by Jones and lawyers, Bonsell and Buckingham acknowledged that Buckingham raised money for the books in his church, then wrote a check for $850 to Bonsell’s father, who bought the texts and donated them to the school district. Neither man disclosed the transaction in their deposition.

“The inescapable truth is that both Bonsell and Buckingham lied at their Jan. 3, 2005, depositions about their knowledge of the source of the donation for Pandas. … ,” Jones said in his ruling. “This mendacity was a clear and deliberate attempt to hide the source of the donations by [Bonsell and Buckingham] to further ensure that Dover students received a creationist alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution.”

“Pandas” is a pro-intelligent design book written by creationists.

Jones also questioned the “credibility” of statements by other school officials and former board members.

In an interview, Buckingham called Jones a liar and denied making false statements. Bonsell has said he “tried to be as truthful” as he could.

Witold Walczak, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented parents opposed to the policy, said any decision to bring perjury charges would be made by the prosecutor’s office.

Bonsell has said he “tried to be as truthful” as he could.

Without giving the whole game away, anyway.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on December 20, 2005 7:48 PM.

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