Kitzmas is Coming!

The tenth anniversary of the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, which came out on December 20, 2005, is right around the corner. There have already been some good retrospectives, including a series of pieces by the York Daily Record, another series in Reports of the National Center for Science Education, and a “What If Intelligent Design Had Won?” discussion by Eugenie Scott and Kenneth Miller in York College, Pennsylvania, in November. There will undoubtedly be more to come; please post links in the comments when you see them come out.

Of course, the Discovery Institute is still around, still desperately trying to re-write history, claiming that they never supported teaching ID in public schools (when they clearly did, as even the Thomas More Law Center noted), that they never supported what the school board in Dover was doing (never mind that it was the DI’s care package of ID materials, particularly Icons of Evolution stuff, that ginned up the school board in the first place, which was exactly the intent of all of the emotional language about “fraud” etc. in Icons), that the Dover Area School Board was a bad place for a test case because of obvious religious motivations (never mind that ID is and always has been mostly a wing of apologetics for conservative evangelicals, and in fact that audience is still the only one where ID events, books, etc. have much of an audience today), and that ID isn’t creationism relabeled (when it literally is - search cdesign proponentsists; I’m pretty sure that despite thousands of articles put out by the Discovery Institute over the years, none of them can bear to admit to their innocent readership that cdesign proponentsists happened).

All of the Discovery Institute’s talking points – mostly Casey Luskin’s unique views on all these matters, actually, but whatever – are being assembled in a 10 days of Kitzmas series at the Discovery Institute Media/Judge Jones/Reality Complaints Division. Here are part 1 and part 2. I felt slight stirrings in my soul to write a comprehensive rebuttal like it was the good ol’ days, but really, I said most of the things I thought were worth saying in articles I authored/coauthored after Kitzmiller, and most of these have never even received acknowledgement, let alone detailed rebuttal, from the Discovery Institute (this would carry the danger that DI followers would actually read them). So, why bother? But if you are inspired on certain points, post them here. Mostly these days, when I feel the itch, I can scratch it by posting under the #IDerrors hashtag. For example:

PS: If the DI ever has aspirations for moving forward, it will have to stop doing rearguard actions and forthrightly admit some things. Top of my list would be (a) admitting common ancestry and phylogenetics are well-supported, (b) admitting that, yes, evolution can produce new genes with new functions, through gene duplication and modification, and and thus at least some new information, (c) copping to the creationist origins of ID, starting with who knew about the word switcheroo in the Of Pandas and People drafts, and when did they know it? It’s pretty hard to believe that people like Stephen Meyer and Paul Nelson, who were closely connected to Charles Thaxton and other proto-ID people in the 1980s, never saw drafts of Pandas. It is much more plausible that Meyer, Nelson etc. were well aware, but figured it was better to hide that history than admit to it, thus setting the fuse for the bomb that went off in Kitzmiller v. Dover.