Revelations in Kitzmiller v. Dover

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

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

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

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

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