Waterloo In Dover: The Kitzmiller v. DASD Case

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NCSE KvD resources

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2005/12/20: PLAINTIFFS PREVAIL! Judge Jones passed down a 139 page ruling which finds for the plaintiffs. Jones found the DASD policy violated both purpose and effect prongs of the Lemon test, asserts that “intelligent design” is not science, and that the policy also violates the Pennsylvania state constitution. The PDF is linked from the NCSE KvD site.

Judge John E. Jones Wrote:

The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

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.

To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID. We will also issue a declaratory judgment that Plaintiffs’ rights under the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been violated by Defendants’ actions.

Defendants’ actions in violation of Plaintiffs’ civil rights as guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the United States and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 subject Defendants to liability with respect to injunctive and declaratory relief, but also for nominal damages and the reasonable value of Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ services and costs incurred in vindicating Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT: 1. A declaratory judgment is hereby issued in favor of Plaintiffs pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201, 2202, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 such that Defendants’ ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and Art. I, § 3 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 2. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 65, Defendants are permanently enjoined from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District. 3. Because Plaintiffs seek nominal damages, Plaintiffs shall file with the Court and serve on Defendants, their claim for damages and a verified statement of any fees and/or costs to which they claim entitlement. Defendants shall have the right to object to any such fees and costs to the extent provided in the applicable statutes and court rules.

s/John E. Jones III John E. Jones III United States District Judge

2005/11/04: (Warning: approximate quotes ahead.) At close, Pat Gillen remarked to Judge Jones, “Your honor, by my reckoning we have been here 40 days. That seems an auspicious number.” Jones replied, “So it seems, but it was not designed!” At which point the courtroom burst out in applause. Jones let that go on for about 15 seconds, then adjourned the court. And that finished off the testimonial, in-court phase of this case.

During that last day, the cross-examination of Scott Minnich continued. Stephen Harvey explored a number of issues with Minnich, such as whether the “tests” that Minnich and Behe have proposed were actually being performed by anyone (they aren’t), whether there could be multiple designers (there could be), and whether there might be an … evil … designer (yes, there could be). On that last, though, Harvey did not, at any time, hold his pinky up to the corner of his mouth.

Following lunch, the lawyers plotted out the remainder of the issues, such as the schedule for briefs (two weeks for initial, one week for revisions/responses). Judge Jones mentioned that it was his intention to provide a ruling on this case this year, meaning that the lawyers would be held to a tight schedule.

Exhibits… there were a number of exhibits entered into the record, including several things produced by Barbara Forrest that were not directly referred to in testimony. Among those items, one will find (once they go online) that in a draft of OPAP, there was an incomplete erasure of the word “creationist”, with an insertion of “design proponents” into it, meaning that students might have had the opportunity to learn the position of “cdesign proponentsists” on these matters. This verbal intermediate fossil was uncovered through the patient digging of Dr. Forrest.


Kitzmiller et alia: Plaintiffs in the case, parents of children in the school district

DASD: Dover Area School District, the defendants in the case, including the school board and the school administrators

TMLC: Thomas More Legal Center, counsel for the defense, doing this job pro bono for the DASD

ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union, cooperating counsel for the plaintiffs (Blog)

AU: Americans United for Separation of Church and State, cooperating counsel for the plaintiffs

DASD: Dover Area School District, defendants in KvD

FTE: Foundation for Thought and Ethics, publishers of the textbook, Of Pandas and People, that is being used by the DASD

Judge John E. Jones: Judge for KvD

NCSE: National Center for Science Education, consultants for the plaintiffs

OPAP93: Of Pandas and People, “intelligent design” supplemental text published by FTE and used in DASD “intelligent design” policy

Pepper Hamilton LLP: Law firm representing the plaintiffs

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania: court where KvD is being tried

2005/11/03: Testimony of Mike Baksa finished up. The defense put on Robert Linker, a Dover biology teacher who watched one of the ID videos. He said that it was the first time that he had seen “gaps in evolution” presented and found it “neat”. But he still thinks that ID is religious, not science, and doesn’t belong in the classroom. Later, Scott Minnich started testifying about… tada… the bacterial flagellum. ID is science, isn’t religion, and all that. Somewhere in there, they tried to slip in the Meyer 2004b paper and referred to a newspaper article, which garnered a ‘hearsay’ objection. Judge Jones and Robert Muise had some back and forth concerning whether the reference was a public record. Jones sharply told Muise, “Don’t insult my intelligence.” The objection was sustained. Steve Harvey got in fifteen minutes of cross-examination, where he showed a 1994 Creation Research Society Quarterly article about… tada… the bacterial flagellum. After going over the contents a bit, Minnich agreed that the same argument as he is making now was made then.

Update on Gentry: Robert Gentry was in the courtroom in the morning, and noticed me sitting with the plaintiffs. At a break, he told me that he was retracting his permission for me to provide his papers on my website. Along the way, he made a rather insulting insinuation that I would alter his materials in some way. Now, back at that press conference, Gentry complained that scientists did not want people to see his papers. I made a good faith offer to host them. I hosted “scientific creationism” files on my BBS back in the old days of direct dial-up, and I certainly did not alter those. I’m a scientist, and I definitely want to rebut the notion that I’m somehow engaged in keeping people from seeing the arguments made by antievolutionists. Far from it. I think antievolution materials make the case for keeping non-science out of science classrooms quite well.

2005/11/02: I arrived in Harrisburg, PA today. I got to listen to the testimony of Alan Bonsell, Sheila Harkins, and Mike Baksa. I’m not the only person who showed up in Harrisburg, PA today: Robert V. Gentry, final defense witness of the McLean v. Arkansas case, set up a press conference in the capitol rotunda to talk about the talk that he gave elsewhere this evening. He says his polonium halo work proves a young earth. He also said that scientists were censoring him and would not allow him to distribute his papers. After the press conference broke up, I offered to host his papers on the AE site. He said I could get them from his website… which I will do when I get some more moments all together.

2005/10/28: The last week of the trial approaches. This phase of KvD should wind up by November 4th.

2005/10/27: Former school board member William Buckingham testified today and promptly contradicted his sworn deposition. MSNBC has the details on his testimony and Ed Brayton shows how it conflicts with his sworn deposition. Buckingham seems to have a magical memory as well. Statements he couldn’t recall making during his deposition, he suddenly remembers making and even remembers his precise state of mind when he made them.

In his deposition earlier this year, Buckingham said he did not know the source of the $850 donation to buy 60 copies of the book “Of Pandas and People” - an intelligent design textbook Dover students were referred to as part of the curriculum policy change.

Then Harvey produced a cancelled check from Buckingham for $850 to a Dover school administrator clearly marked for the purchase of the textbook and Buckingham confirmed it came from his church.

“You lied to me in your deposition didn’t you Mr. Buckingham?” Harvey said.

“How so?” replied Buckingham.

“When I asked if you knew where the money came from,” Harvey said.

“I did not take a collection,” he said.

(The State (South Carolina))

2005/10/26: Today, William Buckingham is set to testify. This is the highly controversial school board member who justified the ID policy by speaking about “someone” who “died on a cross 2000 years ago” and the need to “stand up for Him.”

2005/10/25: Warren Nord withdrew as a defense witness. That leaves, who, just Scott Minnich remaining on the defense roster as an expert witness. (William Dembski, John Angus Campbell, Stephen Meyer, Dick Carpenter, and Warren Nord have withdrawn; Michael Behe and Steven Fuller have testified; and Scott Minnich is their only expert left who might yet testify.)

2005/10/25: Two major developments in the case. First, the judge has struck a brief filed by the Discovery Institute because it was an attempt to get the expert testimony of Stephen Meyer and William Dembski into the record without having to be cross examined in court. Both of them pulled out as witnesses before the trial began. Second, the defense called Steven Fuller to the witness stand yesterday and he proceeded to help our side immensely. He actually testified that ID should be taught in schools despite the fact that it was still on the “fringe” of science and did not have testable theories developed, because that would help them recruit young people to work on their ideas. He proposed a sort of “affirmative action” program for fringe ideas in science. Ed Brayton has more here.

2005/10/24: Yes, Dick Carpenter was withdrawn as an expert witness, so on Friday, the court got to listen to Richard Nilsen failing to remember much at all. The defense said that Carpenter’s testimony was no longer needed, according to the ACLU blog. On Monday, the defense brought in Steve Fuller, to give the postmodernist version of why “intelligent design” should be taught in the classrooms of Dover, Pennsylvania. Did you hear about the mafioso who studied French deconstructionist philosophy? He goes around making people offers that they can’t understand. Well, Fuller at least was comprehensible when he told the court that what science needed was “affirmative action for fringe ideas”. Vic Walczak queried, “But is the ninth grade science classroom the right place to apply that affirmative action?” I’ve been told that Fuller’s cross-examination was helpful to the plaintiffs’ case on several issues concerning the status of “intelligent design” in the scientific community.

Oh, yes, Fuller also made the inexplicable claim that no evolutionary biologist had been awarded the Nobel Prize. While the Nobel Prize doesn’t have an explicit evolutionary biology topic under which it makes awards, there have been several awards under the “Physiology or Medicine” topic that concern findings that touch upon evolutionary biology, going back to Thomas Hunt Morgan, forward through Muller, then Watson and Crick, and most recently Hartwell, Hunt, and Nurse. On the Nobel site you will learn that Nurse’s research establishes that cyclin dependent kinase is conserved during evolution. When one turns to the Crafoord Prize in the Biosciences, an award also administered by the Swedish Academy of Sciences, one finds such people as Daniel H. Janzen, Edward O. Wilson, William D. Hamilton, John Maynard Smith, Ernst Mayr, George C. Williams, and Carl Woese have won that prize. Judging a whole scientific field by the idiosyncracies of one social institution seems anomalous behavior for a social scientist, and especially one who casts himself as a champion of pluralism.

2005/10/21: The York Daily Record reports:

The defense decided to continue with Dover Area Supt. Richard Nilsen’s testimony this morning rather than call expert witness Dick Carpenter, an assistant professor of leadership, research and foundations at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

So, is Carpenter just slipping back in the schedule (they’d need to put him up somewhere over the weekend), or has Carpenter bailed after noting Behe’s cross-examination?

2005/10/19: “Is there a distinction to be made between science and science fiction?” Eric Rothschild asked Michael Behe. “Yes,” responded Behe. “I have no further questions,” said Rothschild. And with those words (or ones quite similar – we’ll get precision with the transcript release), Eric Rothschild laid to rest the remains of Behe’s scientific credibility. Preceding that, there was a day full of cross examination, in which one would learn that Behe wasn’t as familiar with the scientific literature on the immune system as one might hope for someone billed as an “expert”, that rigorous peer review in “intelligent design” can be obtained in a ten-minute telephone interview – without the reviewer even having to see the manuscript, that the blood-clotting system can be reduced to a “core” of four parts – except that when one does so the result is claimed to be lethal, and much more. Why did the cross-examination of Behe sound so much like the lawyers were reading from the TalkDesign web site? Well, at least part of that would be due to the advice that the plaintiffs’ lawyers received from NCSE Public Information Director Nicholas Matzke, aka “Nic Tamzek” from the early TalkDesign days and regular PT contributor. By almost all accounts*, the TalkDesign material on various issues concerning Behe’s “irreducible complexity” was put to good use. Expect a more complete eulogy for Behe’s scientific career – and a post-mortem, as it were, of the terminal handling it received on Tuesday and Wednesday – to be posted here later, after we have the transcripts in hand.

What has to be considered for the future is whether the on-the-stand demolition of Behe will influence the remainder of the slate of TMLC experts. They had a pretty high withdrawal rate pre-trial, and now that the preparation of the plaintiffs’ legal team has been shown, vividly, will all the rest of TMLC’s scheduled experts actually show up for a big helping of what Behe had?

* As one might expect, the DI thinks Behe weathered cross-examination without any trouble whatsoever, but when one’s reports are apparently filed from Cloud Cuckoo Land, I think that we are permitted to “consider the source”.

2005/10/18: A Philadelphia Inquirer article reports on cross-examination of Michael Behe. Eric Rothschild is apparently taking the time to have Behe address the inconsistencies within “intelligent design” advocacy. This could take a while to get through:

Behe also said intelligent design does not maintain that life began abruptly, and does not specify God as the unidentified designer.

But plaintiffs’ attorney Eric Rothschild produced documents, including Behe’s own writings, that suggested otherwise.

2005/10/16: A quick checkup on the last few days of the trial. First, the second part of Barbara Forrest’s testimony is now available for download. The plaintiff’s attorneys wrapped up their case with their last two witnesses testifying. Brian Alters, an expert in science education, broke down the school board’s mandated statement phrase by phrase and showed why it undermines quality science education. Then Kevin Padian, a paleontologist, essentially gave a seminar on why we know evolution to be true and why many of the scientific claims in Of Pandas and People are false (reports here and here). The defense will begin calling witnesses on Monday.

The defense needs to defeat the plaintiffs’ arguments concerning both the purpose and the effect of the “intelligent design” policy. For the second, they are most likely to try to convince Judge Jones that “intelligent design”, and specifically the policy adopted by the DASD, are scientific in character, and thus have a place in the science curriculum regardless of any secondary effect they might have in the way of having implications for religious belief. We heard at the outset the apparent defense strategy concerning dealing with “purpose”: paint the outspoken religious statements of school board members as not having any appreciable effect upon the board’s deliberations in adopting the “intelligent design” policy. It is difficult to imagine Judge Jones buying that given what has been presented by the plaintiffs so far, but it should be entertaining to see the defense give it a go.

It is expected that the defense will call Discovery Institute Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture Senior Fellow and Lehigh University professor Michael J. Behe on Monday. Behe will testify as to the scientific character of “intelligent design” and try to address the testimony of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, especially that of Miller, Padian, and Alters. Behe has already given an expert report, a rebuttal report, and a deposition, so the plaintiffs should have a good idea of what is up.

2005/10/12: Not much to report lately. The trial took two days off and resumes today with Dover science department chair Bertha Spahr finishing her testimony. Two more plaintiffs witnesses to go this week, then the defendants begin their case. The York Dispatch has an interesting article on the question of whether the Supreme Court would take this case if it gets appealed that far and what the possible outcome might be.

2005/10/10: PT contributor Burt Humburg is profiled and interviewed in this story in the York Daily Record. Burt seems to always be wherever there’s a breakout of anti-evolution activity (first Kansas, then Minnesota, now Pennsylvania) and frankly we’re beginning to wonder if he’s really a spy from the Dark Side sent to get us drunk and loose lipped. We’d noticed that he does like to buy endless rounds of Protostome Pilsners (“Protostome Pilsner - in one end, out the same end”) for everyone else while he sips his white wine spritzers.

2005/10/07: The transcript of the direct examination of Barbara Forrest is now available from this page (and OCR’d etext on AE). The cross examination portion should be available shortly. The defense spent hours trying to discredit her to the judge and failed, finally being admonished for continually trying to bring up irrelevant things like the positions of groups she belongs to on totally unrelated subjects. The defense was absolutely desperate to throw mud at her and they failed.

2005/10/06: Yesterday brought perhaps the most contentious day of testimony yet, as Dr. Barbara Forrest took the stand for the plaintiffs. She testified on the history and development of the intelligent design movement and showed that the entire movement began primarily as a strategic response to the courts ruling “creation science” out of public schools. There are multiple reports on her testimony available online. The ACLU-PA blog has two reports, here and here. The York Daily Record has one report on Forrest’s testimony and another on the defense’s frantic attempts to attack her testimony. The defense attorneys spent all morning objecting to her testimony but were repeatedly overruled by Judge Jones, then they tried to make an issue out of Forrest’s own views on religion, which are clearly not relevant in court, and were overruled again.

Ed Brayton has an analysis of that strategy and points out that it contradicts what the DI has been saying in their attempts to undermine her testimony. The DI went so far as to issue a press release attacking Forrest yet again, which can only mean that they recognize how damaging her testimony, particularly the examination of the book Of Pandas and People showing that the book simply replaced “creation” with “intelligent design” during the writing process, is to their side. This is desperation in action, folks.

2005/10/04: The latest NCSE Podcast, discussing the testimony of Georgetown theology professor John Haught, is available here.

A group of scientists has filed a brief asking the court not to rule on the question of what is and is not legitimate science because they fear it will violate academic freedom and inhibit future research. This is the standard line coming from the Discovery Institute and Ed Brayton debunks it here.

2005/10/01: The York Daily Record has a brief report on the testimony of Georgetown theology professor John Haught. Ed Brayton argues that TMLC attorney Richard Thompson inadvertantly showed by his questioning exactly why ID is not falsifiable.

2005/09/29: The court has now made the transcripts of day 1 of the trial available. You can download them in PDF format from the NCSE website - AM session and PM session.

2005/09/30: PT: Why didn’t they tell us?, where Nick Matzke covers some more of the evidence that “intelligent design” is just another label for the same old creationism.

2005/09/30: News roundup: The York Dispatch: Meetings were like revivals, York Daily Record: Mural at issue, The Patriot-News: Dover board members pushed creationism, witnesses testify, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Ex-official: Board broke with curriculum policy, The Philadelphia Inquirer: Intelligent design a religious notion, scientist testifies.

2005/09/29: NCSE Podcasts for 2005/09/29.

2005/09/29: The court has now made the transcripts of day 1 of the trial available. You can download them in PDF format from the NCSE website - AM session and PM session.

2005/09/28: On Thursday, the primary witness was Carol Brown, a former member of the Dover school board for 10 years until she resigned in protest of the new intelligent design policy. She testified to the repeated statements of Bill Buckingham, chair of the curriculum committee, and Alan Bonsell, chair of the school board, that they were seeking equal time for creationism in science classrooms. She detailed a year’s worth of proselytizing by members of the school board, their outspoken opposition to the separation of church and state, and much more. She testified that the search for an ID textbook began because several members of the board objected to the biology textbook (Ken Miller’s textbook, Biology) on the grounds that it did not give equal time to creationism or mention God. This follows on the heels of almost identical testimony from other former board members and teachers, including Bryan Rehm and Barrie Callahan.

On 2005/09/28, the expert witness Robert Pennock of Michigan State University testified for the plaintiffs. He delineated the difference between methodological naturalism and philosophical naturalism, produced evidence showing that the ID advocates recognize that their arguments cannot work within a framework of methodological naturalism, and defended the role of methodological naturalism in the practice of science during the cross-examination. (See the post concerning a quote of Nancy Pearcey’s that Pennock referred to in his testimony and check out the NCSE Podcast about Pennock’s testimony.)

Meanwhile, the Discovery Institute is going spare over the imminent demise of its ‘wedge strategy’ concerning “intelligent design”, offering up a press release wherein they offer the explanation that whatever the plaintiffs discuss inside the courtroom, it isn’t the real, true, honest-to-God, no-foolin’, double-dog-dare-ya “intelligent design”. Pathetic. Perhaps the committee charged with finding the next label for antievolutionists to apply to the same old tired antievolution arguments is having some difficulty. Nick Matzke covers some more of the evidence that “intelligent design” is just another label for the same old creationism.

2005/09/27: The plaintiffs brought in three fact witnesses, plaintiffs Tammy Kitzmiller and Aralene “Barrie” Callahan, and Brian Rehm, a Dover science teacher. Kitzmiller testified to the choice her daughter had to make about staying or opting out of listening to the DASD “intelligent design” statement, where staying could be confusing concerning science, and leaving would expose her to possible ridicule and peer pressure. Callahan, a former school board member, testified to the school board’s insistence that ‘equal time’ be given to creationism when evolution was taught. Rehm testified to being pressured by the school board to downplay or not teach evolution in classes. (NCSE Podcast available.)

2005/09/27: NCSE Podcast about KvD opening day, about fifteen minutes of commentary on KvD and events of the opening day. More NCSE Podcasts on opening day and Ken Miller’s testimony.

The KvD trial got underway yesterday with opening statements from plaintiffs and defense, and Dr. Kenneth Miller of Brown University testifying as an expert for the plaintiffs.

Eric Rothschild’s opening statement for the plaintiffs charged that “intelligent design” is simply an adaptation of creationism, and a concept without any legitimate scientific standing. He also strongly commended evolutionary biology as a well-established scientific field of study.

Pat Gillen, arguing for the defense, claimed that “intelligent design” is science, not religion, and that the DASD didn’t pay much attention to Bill Buckingham, former school board member and fulminator for creationism there. This goes against news reports at the time, such as the one reporting Yingling’s resignation as a result of pressure she felt to support the curriculum change.

Yingling voted for the measure, but later said she did it only because she was called “un-Christian” and pressured to vote with the majority.

(York Dispatch)

Gillen also claimed that the DASD policy was a modest one, which rather goes against the content of a TMLC press release of 2005/01/18 that states, “a revolution in evolution is underway”.

Reports I’ve gotten from attendees have said that Ken Miller was “magnificent” and “a fabulous witness”. In other words, Ken was having another ordinary day for him. Miller paid particular attention to Of Pandas and People, pointing out its deficiencies in terms of accurate reporting of biology and its clear creationist wellspring of arguments.

2005/09/27: Satire from Swift Reports: New Law Says Science Teachers Must Recite “Footprints in the Sand”

2005/09/27: PT: Blogging the Dover Trial, where Ed Brayton points out blogs of the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Jonathan Witt blogging for the DI. Ed also explains why ID advocates continue to be confused over the concept of “falsifiability”.

2005/09/27: News Roundup: Stuck at Court, with no Circus in Sight, York Daily Record, Defense: It Isn’t About Religion, York Daily Record, Dover’s Test Begins, York Daily Record, Institute: Both Sides Wrong, York Daily Record, Media Views on Dover, York Daily Record

2005/09/26: News roundup: NCSE’s Executive Director Dr. Eugenie Scott interviewed on Lou Dobbs, CNN (9:30 PM EDT, 6:30 PM PDT). Washington Post, York Dispatch, L.A. Times, WGAL, Collective Bellaciao, France, CivilRights.org, Orlando Sentinel, York Daily Record, York Daily Record, Family News in Focus, NC News and Observer, Minneapolis Star Tribune.

2005/09/26: Trial begins: opening arguments from both sides, then plaintiffs call Prof. Ken Miller of Brown University. Miller gives direct testimony, and part of the cross-examination by the defense.

2005/09/25: News roundup: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, York Daily Record, New York Times, LA Times, Independent UK, MSNBC, New Scientist, People’s Daily Online.

2005/09/24: PT: Of Pandas and People: Creation Relabeled, reports on the oral testimony taken earlier that shows that “creation” and “intelligent design” share the same definition, going from a draft of Of Pandas and People to the published version.

2005/09/23: As of September 13, 2005, the Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District case was headed for trial in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania starting on September 26, 2005. Judge John E. Jones III denied the Thomas More Law Center motion for summary judgment in an order delivered on September 13, clearing the way for the full trial. This post will provide a convenient place for links to articles and commentary on the Kitzmiller v. DASD proceedings. Not since the 1981 McLean v. Arkansas trial has there been a legal case of this size and complexity on the subject, with a slate of expert witnesses on each side scheduled to give testimony.

Back in 2004, the Dover school board held a series of meetings in which they discussed putting creationism into the science classes. Former board member Bill Buckingham was reported to have said, “Two thousand years ago, someone died on a cross. Can’t someone take a stand for him?” Later, Buckingham vehemently denied making that statement in discussion of the science curricula. The school board first approved the acceptance of nearly sixty copies of the “intelligent design” textbook, Of Pandas and People (OPAP), for the school library. They then also adopted an “intelligent design policy”, that was to inform the students in ninth-grade science classes about “intelligent design” and the availability of OPAP in the library. Following this, several parents sued the DASD over the “intelligent design policy”. After several months of discovery, depositions, and other legal paperwork, the suit is now ready for trial.

2005/09/13: Judge Jones denies TMLC motion for summary judgement.

2005/08/11: PT: Sandefur on defense motion for summary judgment

2005/08/10: PT: Revelations in Dover

2005/08/06: PT: Design on Trial, reviews the state of play concerning KvD and OPAP93.

2005/07/16: PT: Creationist Credibility, reports on the FTE motion to intervene in KvD.

2005/06/25: PT: Dembski threatens to sue Dover defense, reports on Dembski delivering a $20K+ bill to TMLC for his services, which they are no longing using.

2005/06/20: PT: Conflicting Explanations for Withdrawal of Dover Experts?, reports on the start of differing explanations for the withdrawal of three DI Fellows as experts by TMLC.

2005/06/19: PT: ID Experts Withdraw from Dover Trial, reports on TMLC withdrawing three Discovery Institute Fellows as experts in the case because they insisted on having separate legal representation for themselves.

2005/03/28: PT: Dover, PA Experts Revealed

2005/03/20: PT: Dover Dithers Over Donations, reports on donations of science books to Dover school library and the DASD resistance to accepting those books.

2005/03/13: PT: New news from Dover, reports that the Rutherford Institute motion to intervene in KvD was denied, and that Of Pandas and People 1993 edition would not have been recommended to the Dover school board by its own publisher.

2005/01/28: PT: Dover science teachers take a stand, reporting on science teachers refusing to deliver the administration’s prepared speech on “intelligent design” to 9th grade science classes.

2005/01/12: PT: This just in: Plaintiffs give up in Dover, comments on hilariously false religious reporting that confused the plaintiffs not having filed a motion to stop the DASD from implementing its “intelligent design” policy with their having dropped the KvD lawsuit.

2005/01/07: PT: Another twist on the Dover story, reports on the Dover science teachers’ letter to the administration stating their intention to opt out of reading the “intelligent design” policy statement to children in science classes.

2005/01/06: PT: More PA scientists speak out against ID, reports on scientists at the University of Pennsylvania taking issue with the DASD “intelligent design” policy.

2004/12/21: PT: More Dover reports on the DASD and the likelihood that the Thomas More Law Center would represent them in the lawsuit.

2004/12/15: PT: Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District, reports on the filing of the lawsuit against DASD.

2004/12/11: PT: Doverian doings, reports on area responses to the DASD policy and criticism of OPAP93.

2004/12/07: PT: Analysis of Dover Biology Curriculum, looks at claims made by the DASD “intelligent design” policy.

2004/12/07: Panda-monium: NCSE Resources Page on Pandas, points to the NCSE resources page on OPAP.

2004/12/06: PT: Dover School Board Done to a Crispy Crunch, links to an op-ed by Paul Gross and Barbara Forrest concerning the Dover school board’s “intelligent design” policy.

2004/12/05: PT: Science Teachers Balk at Dover Decision.

2004/11/23: PT: Dover School District Wades Into Troubled Waters, reports on the DASD adoption of its “intelligent design” policy and how that will very likely lead to a lawsuit.

2004/11/12: PT: Dover creationism update, reports on the legal liability that DASD will be taking on by adoption of its “intelligent design” policy.

Comments in this thread are for pointers to KvD resources only; all others will be deleted at the PT administration discretion and convenience. Please utilize the After the Bar Closes forum area for wider-ranging comments.

11 TrackBacks

New evolution spat in U.S. schools goes to court A new battle over teaching about man’s origins in U.S. schools goes to court for the first time next week, pitting Christian conservatives against educators and scientists in a trial viewed as t... Read More

Dover on Deck from reality based community - scott pilutik on September 25, 2005 10:50 PM

Since the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case starts up today, I ambled around the interthing and found a host of original articles, hinting that this case, expected to last about 6 weeks, is going to be heavily covered.... Read More

The Dover trial starts Monday, and Panda's thumb has a plethora of information discussing it. Read More

Utah State Senator Chris Buttars on the Kitzmiller vs. Dover School District evolution case: The campaign to eliminate God from the public forum has been going on for decades, having accelerated greatly since the Supreme Court’s ill-advised dec... Read More

I think I'm liking the Kitzmiller case. Not only is it looking like the creationist side is going to go down hard, but it's also accomplishing something very useful: it's exposing the incompetence, hypocrisy, and pariah status of one of ... Read More

This is just cool! from c u l t u r e k i t c h e n on October 24, 2005 8:50 PM

I've always had an interest in the creation/evolution wars. They've been heating up again, what with Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District being argued in court the past few weeks. While I started reading sites like PZ Meyer's Pharyngula (I also lik... Read More

Over at The Panda's Thumb, Wesley R. Elsberry, who had been attending the Dover trial, reports the following: Robert Gentry was in the courtroom in the morning, and noticed me sitting with the plaintiffs. At a break, he told me that he was retra... Read More

Intelligent Design has been on trial in Dover, PA for the last month. The trial is over, and ID supporters seem to have been on the ropes the entire time. Read More

Just a short overview on the Dover trial plus the election news, in Hungarian. Read More

It is time to take stock of what is going on in the Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC) front in the... Read More

Orson Scott Card has written a long essay defending Intelligent Design. Oy, but it is depressing. It's a graceless hash, a cluttered and confusing mish-mash of poorly organized complaints about those darned wicked "Darwinists". He lists 7 arguments. T... Read More


The DI posturing continues:

Dr. John West of the Discovery Institute, which sponsors research on intelligent design, said the case displayed the ACLU’s “Orwellian” effort to stifle scientific discourse and objected to the issue being decided in court.

“It’s a disturbing prospect that the outcome of this lawsuit could be that the court will try to tell scientists what is legitimate scientific inquiry and what is not,” West said. “That is a flagrant assault on free speech.”

Huh? This trial isn’t about what research can be done, it’s about what should be taught in the public school science classes.

I’m going to remind people that comments in this thread *must* be pointers to resources about KvD, and general commentary should be routed to this thread. I’ll give people a little time to re-post comments made so far there before I delete them here.

I think if you want some info on resources about KvD, one of the sources to consider is one of the local sources. The York Daily Record has a whole section devoted to the Dover case.

Of special interest are some of the recent arguements regarding attempts to question reporters from both the The York Daily Record and the York Dispatch.

Speaking now of the latter publication, the York Dispatch has a decent timeline leading up to the trial.

Steven Laskoske,

Yes, your comment is the sort that has a home in this thread. I’ve updated the top sidebar with that information. Thanks.

Thank you. Living in nearby Lancaster, PA, I’ve been interested in this case. Since York is so close to Dover, the York papers are an invaluable resource.

Is the book really THAT THAT THAT bad?

Or is it only this bad?

Interesting the way this is being reported on CNN: on CNN:

A new battle over teaching about man’s origins in U.S. schools goes to court for the first time next week, pitting Christian conservatives against educators and scientists in a trial viewed as the biggest test of the issue since the late 1980s. …

So much for the ‘ID is not about religion’ angle.

Did you see this piece in the Washington Post?


NPR story from this morning. The audio will appear sometime around 10 A.M. Eastern.

This thread is about resources for news in Dover? For lies and distortions about Dover, there’s always http://uncommondescent.com/

Ken Miller was the first witness called by the plaintiffs. The Discovery Institute’s blog has a summary of Miller’s testimony by Jonathan Witt: link.

The Grauniad is nicely scathing about the trial (in their education section). I think they’ve generally been good about reporting on the UK creationists too. I doubt they’ll be in a position to uncover much which the US sources don’t already have though.

new MSNBC story:

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A school district is undermining science education by raising false doubts about evolution and offering “intelligent design” as an alternative explanation for life’s origins, a biologist testified at the start of a landmark trial.

“It’s the first movement to try to drive a wedge between students and the scientific process,” said Brown University’s Kenneth Miller, the first witness called Monday by lawyers for eight families suing the Dover Area School District.


The Pennsylvania ACLU is blogging the trial.

(Hat tip to Splat on Infidels)

The Pennsylvania ACLU is blogging the trial.

Do you have contacts there? That link says Miller is speaking at Lehigh on 8 Oct 2005. The correct date is 12 Oct.

DI is whining about Dover already:


An excerpt:

“Most of Dr. Miller’s testimony today against intelligent design was simply based upon a misrepresentation of the scientific theory of intelligent design,” said scientist Casey Luskin, program officer for public policy and legal affairs with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture.

Wow, you mean Discovery Institute NOW has a scientific theory of intelligent design, after telling us for years that it DOESN’T ????? Can I see it, please?

Or, is Luskin just lying to us. Again.

“Dr. Miller’s testimony is disturbing because it demands that the Court rule on the nature of science and the validity of scientific theories – matters which should be left to scientific experts and not be decided by courts,” added Luskin.

That’s pretty funny, since (1) it is the IDers who are currently trying to change the definition of ‘science’, in Kansas, (2) the “validity of the scientific theory of ID” has ALREADY been decided by “scientific experts” — they think it’s full of crap, and (3) it is the ID/creationists, and ONLY the ID/creationists, who are attempting to pass laws forcing their religious opinions into public school classrooms and textbooks.

More whining from DI:



Luskin said Miller inaccurately characterized intelligent design as a concept that focuses on what evolution doesn’t explain. Luskin said intelligent design stands on its own as an explanation of life and the origins of species.

Hey, everyone, lookie!!!!! Luskin says he has a scientific theory of ID, one that explains life and the origin of species!!!!!!

Can one of the DI luminaries here explain to us all, please, what this scientific theory of ID is, and how it explains life and the origin of species?

(sound of crickets chirping)

What, according to this scientific theory of ID, did the designer do, specifically?

What mechanisms did the designer use to do whatever the heck this scientific theory of ID postulates that it did?

Where can we see any of the mechanisms postulated by this scientific theory of ID in action doing … well … anything?

And how can we test any of this using the scientific method?

Hello? Paul? Sal? Bill? Davey?



(sound of more crickets chirping)

Yep, that’s what I thought. DI is just lying to us. Again.

Here you go, Lenny. Luskin explains “intelligent design” in this DI press release:

Monsters from the ID

Why wont the IDers just admit that they are really rooting for the Grand Old Designer?

Because of Edwards v. Aguillard. It is already illegal to teach “creation science” in a public school.

That “big tent theory” mentioned today (9/28) in the trial may refer back to this from a 2001 National Post article:[…]lient=safari

“That this theory could be immensely appealing to many people, there can be no doubt. Which is why, given the Bush presidency, and the fact that members of the Bush team were, last spring, extensively briefed on intelligent design, the battle has been joined in the popular press. Make no mistake, despite that East coast sheep’s clothing, Bush is a big middle, red-state robust Methodist with evangelical leanings, who knows that any group with authority to tell a culture’s creation story functions as a kind of priesthood. Intelligent design, because it travels light, is a big tent theory, which has begun to collect around itself such disparate groups as young earth creationists, Hare Krishna, Muslims and Jewish intellectual editors who write for Commentary.

Just how big tent, is not hidden by Dr. Meyer and his colleagues at the Discovery Institute. Intelligent design is nestled in that branch of the Discovery Institute called the Center for Renewal of Science and Culture, which claims that the materialism of the last 100 years has denied objective moral standards, claiming that right and wrong evolved to suit societal needs and personal preferences, that materialism undermined belief in personal responsibility, devised utopian political schemes, and advocated coercive government programs that promised heaven on earth, but produced oppression and genocide.”

So they’re going to try and show ID is a big tent theory that everyone can compromise around?

Tim Broderick wrote

That “big tent theory” mentioned today (9/28) in the trial may refer back to this from a 2001 National Post article:

The “big tent” approach specifically applied to ID Creationism was articulated by Philip Johnson. See this review by Nancy Pearcey, a Discovery Institute hanger-on.


Please help out with comment maintenance here by entering discussion comments directly into the AE BB thread for them. Repeatedly entering commentary instead of resources in this thread may get you banned! Enough said.

Petition for relevant scientists to be presented to the judge of the Dover trial.

I don’t know if you have seen this yet.

“If Charles Darwin could have attended a meeting in Dover on Thursday, he would have been shocked by the disrespect shown his theory, according to his great-great-grandson Matthew Chapman. Chapman was among about 150 people, including about 20 members of the media, who came to Dover Fire Station (6) for a presentation involving a video of “More Reasons Why Evolution is Stupid.”…


The amusing thing is not the article, but the UFO in the background of the photo, lol.

Dr. Dembski is already starting the post-mortem on the Dover trial at Uncommon Descent (http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]archives/371). I don’t think that he likes how well the Dover school board president Mr. Bill Buckingham connected the dots between creationism and ID.

Wesley: I hope this is relevant. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen it discussed elsewhere. This:


describes how a janitor in the Dover high school burned a mural depicting evolution because it offended him, with the full approval of two of the school board members.

First murals, then books, and eventually witches.

Surry, I wade a misteak riting thut privious commet. It twas suposed to be claer thot it wus in riply ta dis.

“Some are so badly designed that they can’t spell ‘intelligent’.”

Surry, I wade a misteak riting thut privious commet. It twas suposed to be claer thot it wus in riply ta dis.

“Some are so badly designed that they can’t spell ‘intelligent’.”

er, not that i advise dancing in the streets or anything, but here’s a nice spin on the vote in dover:


For anyone who is still suffering withdrawl symptoms and, like me, is missing the wonderful Mike Argento - don’t despair - he’s posted his summing up of the C.A.R.E.S victory today on the YDP. It doesn’t appear on the Dover trial section but at: Shock and Awed There is also entertaining local comment at Mike’s front stoop at: a Pat on the back including the thought provoking:

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because he might not be there.”

If that’s what Mr. Robertson would say to the good citizens of Dover, we shudder to think what he’d say to the bad. (Scott Fisher)

The T.O. Dover Intelligent Design Trial now has all transcripts up in HTML. Do note that one should be able to link to every paragraph in the trial. All stuff like “Q:”, “THE COURT:”, “MR. WHOEVER” should all be links that will look like links if one puts one’s mouse pointer over them. Click them (they link to themselves) and the address window will have the URL. Other paragraphs without any all-caps can be tabbed to. (Tab will send you from one link to another.) The vast majority of times the links are in order: #day4am333 will be followed by #day4am334. If all else fails, one can always view the HTML source.

nice job, Michael!


Once again, sorry to screw up a perfectly good page by introducing logic & observation. My compliments to those contributors who do their bit to make the world both a happier and more enjoyable place. Doubtless there are contributions above that fall into that category. Correct me if I am mistaken: your heading, which attracted my attention, is provided by someone classifying himself as, quote, “a scientist”. As I have previously brought to the attention of our gentle viewers, Lord Kelvin says that science is honour bound to investigate every question fairly presented to it.

1). Species were unrolled in sequences, yet each species is reproductively self-contained. Explain the role of devices such as the immune system, DNA/RNA, and the reproductive system, in this phenomenon. Presumably we have to do with a species lock, and information input that trips the lock.

2). Describe the chain of events involved in a species transformation - say, from one member of the horse-series to another. Account for re-programming of DNA with discreet new species information. Account for birth and rearing of the first members of the new species.

3). Either provide the reference(s) to, or provide, yourself, the detailed mathematically-based model which conclusively shows that selective environmental pressure adds new information to any random collection of organic chemicals.

4). Such a model obviously can be built if it is assumed that environmental pressure acts merely as a trigger. It relies however upon the organic chemicals either containing latent information within themselves (which the trigger activates) or upon the triggering of a bonding with information-carrying devices which already exist in the biosphere. Can you add to this?

5). Are you willing to discuss the rational, mathematically-based processes of species actuation? Will you do so?

Things not to do: Don’t say, “Evolution did it.” The universe is mathematical, not mystical. Don’t say there can be no mathematically-based model of species actuation. Apart from the life aspect, a species is an expression of maths-statistics. We are dealing with information technology. Don’t say, “We don’t have enough information.” We have very little information, but the little we have clearly points the way. And don’t say, “Scientists are Darwinists”. History speaks another language.

We have from here to the end of Cyberspace - if some of the more verbally volumetric havn’t already filled it - to show the world the calibre of this “science” we keep hearing about. Yours etc., P.H..

Philip Bruce Heywood

I’ve got a better idea

Why don’t you do it ?

And if not, why do IDists pathologically have to prove that they can’t do and won’t do science or even do a simple google search but instead offer only the argument from ignorance or “god of the gaps,”.

Justify to me your laziness please.

Since you put up some questions, here are a few from me. (Which I am happy to speculate on for you if you want, after you have answered your own rhetorical questions; I’ll make it easy for you. Present both a for and against argument for your rhetorical questions, which side you choose and why. And I’ll do the same, you fist)

1. What do you think Lord Kelvin would make of the fact that Paley’s arguments have been categorically defeated time and time again as a “god of the gaps” argument from ignorance and Darwin’s TOE has been categorically confirmed again and again over the last 150 years as the true revelation of nature.

2. What do you think Lord Kelvin would make of this

Cardinal Paul Poupard, who heads the Pontifical Council for Culture


. . “But we also know the dangers of a religion that severs its links with reason and becomes prey to fundamentalism,” he said.

“The faithful have the obligation to listen to that which secular modern science has to offer, just as we ask that knowledge of the faith be taken in consideration as an expert voice in humanity,” he said.

Lord Kelvin says that science is honour bound to investigate every question fairly presented to it.

And ID has nothing to present.

See how simple that was?

Do you disagree? Then please please pretty please with sugar on it, by all means go ahead and tell us (1) what the designer did, (2) what mechanisms the designer used to do whatever the heck you think it did, and (3) where we can see the designer using these mechanisms to do … well . . anything.

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yep, that’s what I thought. Another pit yorkie. All yap and no bite.

Hey Mr Heywood, was Casey Luskin lying to us when he claimed:

Many critics of intelligent design have argued that it’s merely a negative argument against evolution. This could not be further from the truth.

If he was, why.

If he wasn’t, would you mind showing us this “positive scientific theory of ID”, the one that’s NOT “merely a negative argument against evolution” (like your post was)?

Thanks in advance for not answering my question.

Most contributors to this site are capable both of pressing on a link and of thinking, so I won’t waste cyberspace pointing out the obvious. – However, in response to what Lord Kelvin would think of a pontifical council – bless them all – Kelvin being now left us, and not in the way of being able to answer for himself – Forgive me, Sir William, if I get you wrong here – him being a good protestant and all, a man of the Word, he might say, Bless them all. Anyone else got any ideas, what Kelvin might make of a pointifical council? I’m bushed. P.B. Heywood.

Mr. H. Jabloumee,

One of the most painfully dull experiences is the one you seem to be attempting to specialize in: being a self-admiring, self-described “wit.” You must be able to kill parties within a 50-mile radius must die faster than an entire accounting firm could ever hope. To retort with wit at your own, borrowed, level: if your [sic] so smart why aint’ [sic] you rich? ===================================

Dear others,

What’s the worst kind of creationist? The plain nutcases (all YECs and Bible-literalists, as well as all “lonegunmen” theorists) of course have their charm, when they are neither neighbors nor elected officials at least. The bores (like Heywood here: three times self-awarded winner of the “Wile E. Coyote: Super-genius” Prize) are easily recognized, tagged, and released back into the wilderness of obscurity. No real harm, no foul. The professional politicians who chime in on these issues are despicable, but they are despicable in every other possible way as well. It’s the “intellectual” farts that presents me with something I can find neither humor nor a moral lesson worth learning. Hearing people like WD, SM, and MB say things they clearly do NOT believe, flat-out lying, evidently because they enjoy the attention and filthy lucre, really makes me feel that a certain percentage of humanity is rotten by choice, rather than by nature or nurture. What awful people they present themselves as being! I wish them every minor unhappiness, and such wishes are bound to come true.

Other amusing opinions?

Most contributors to this site are capable both of pressing on a link and of thinking, so I won’t waste cyberspace pointing out the obvious.

Glad to hear it.

Now then, about this “positive scientific theory of design” that Luskin says he has . … ?

I wish to take this opportunity to commend and thank the founders and organizers of this Page. Democracy relies on free speech, which you maintain. You are leading the world in this arena, at least partly by practicing free speech. (Free speech in its political sense, not the personal sense.) “The Reverend Doctor” is a free speech man who may well have been on the right side at Galileo’s trial - I can’t say which side I would have been on - to partially quote the Doctor, “Who the — is Luskin?” I’m bushed again. Not familiar. If he said anything usefull about DNA or the geologic column, fill me in. You are doing something right if you maintain (political) free speech. P.H..

Philip Bruce Heywood

Just what is your problem? Let me guess

Earlier I said

Posted by k.e. on November 17, 2005 11:20 PM (e) (s) …

.…. why do IDists pathologically have to prove that they can’t do and won’t do science or even do a simple google search but instead offer only the argument from ignorance or “god of the gaps,”.

Justify to me your laziness please.

To which you replied

Posted by Philip Bruce Heywood on November 18, 2005 06:29 AM (e) (s)

Most contributors to this site are capable both of pressing on a link and of thinking, so I won’t waste cyberspace pointing out the obvious.

??? What links, what arguement ? Pathological laziness?


Hey Mr Heywood, was Casey Luskin lying to us when he claimed:

Many critics of intelligent design have argued that it’s merely a negative argument against evolution. This could not be further from the truth.

If he was, why.

If he wasn’t, would you mind showing us this “positive scientific theory of ID”, the one that’s NOT “merely a negative argument against evolution” (like your post was)?

Posted by Philip Bruce Heywood on November 19, 2005 08:49 AM (e) (s)

“Who the —- is Luskin?” I’m bushed again.Not familiar. If he said anything usefull about DNA or the geologic column, fill me in.

Pathological Stupidity?

Get cracking there are only 48,000 links on Google

The Reverend Doctor” is a free speech man who may well have been on the right side at Galileo’s trial

Don’t BS me, Heywood.

Is there a positive scientific theory of ID that does NOT consists merely of negative argumetns against evolution, or isn’t there.

If there is, let’s see it.

If there’s not, then why do IDers keep talking about something (a theory of ID) that doesn’t exist.

Latest doings in Dover…

School Board member Napierskie says let’s drop ID statement and offer $1 in damages as new Board won’t require statement anyway. Board denies motion..

Judge John E. Jones III said the election results don’t figure into his ruling…

Board’s attorney Thompson says dropping suit would “short-circuit the entire legal strategy that was put in place by the Thomas More Law Center,” as they want to appeal to the Supreme Court…

Thompson accuses DI of pushing Napierske…

Napierske says he talked with DI, but they didn’t influence his decision. He got his advice from another attorney who said he saw a substantial risk that the judge would rule against the Board…


Clarification: By “dropping suit” I meant “filing a motion to dismiss suit.”

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 1, column 473, byte 473 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/mach/5.18/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

philip bruce heywood Wrote:

Account for birth and rearing of the first members of the new species.

Unless you are of the belief that evolution leads to sudden (single-generation) change from one species into another (such as cats giving birth to dogs), then how is this question even relevant?

My suspicion is that you are attempting some form of clumsy satire, but it’s often difficult to tell these days.

Anyone hear what Bill O’Reilly had to say on the matter? Apparently he feels that Judge Jones is yet another of those damnable liberal activist judges, trying to stifle freedom of speech! In spite of the fact that, at least according to the CNN scroll, Judge Jones is personally a supporter of ID. But hey – CNN is just part of that crazy liberal media, after all!

Gerard, I had not heard a whole lot on the mural-burning issue apart from a caretaker having done it. I was not expecting the issue to be mentioned in the judgment that came out today.

Judge Jones Wrote:

In the midst of this panoply, there arose the astonishing story of an evolution mural that was taken from a classroom and destroyed in 2002 by Larry Reeser, the head of buildings and grounds for the DASD. At the June 2004 meeting, Spahr asked Buckingham where he had received a picture of the evolution mural that had been torn down and incinerated. Jen Miller testified that Buckingham responded: “I gleefully watched it burn.” (12:118 (J. Miller)). Buckingham disliked the mural because he thought it advocated the theory of evolution, particularly common ancestry. (26:120 (Baksa)). Burning the evolutionary mural apparently was insufficient for Buckingham, however. Instead, he demanded that the teachers agree that there would never again be a mural depicting evolution in any of the classrooms and in exchange, Buckingham would agree to support the purchase of the biology textbook in need by the students. (36:56-57 (Baksa) (emphasis added))

That’s pretty horrifying. I’ve heard of some pretty bad administrators over the years, but even the dysfunctional school board here which was dissolved and re-formed six years ago wouldn’t pull anything on that scale.

On another note, we get some pretty odd things happening up here in Alberta every now and again. We have a very cool palaeontological theme in the airport here. Lots of little fossil tiles and inlays. Every now and again, someone puts a little folded cross on top of them. What the hell?

“WAD still has the thing up, though he’s temporized a bit in his comments section. Undergraduate physics and chemistry majors learn to solve the equation of motion of the hydrogen atom, and any one of them could tell Bill why you can’t do what the article claims to do. One has to simply conclude he doesn’t understand sophomore level physics, which is a bit sad for a Math Ph.D.”

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on December 20, 2005 10:00 AM.

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