Ruse on Kitzmiller v. Dover

There is a short list of people whose written opinions on Kitzmiller v. Dover I am particularly interested in seeing. One of them was Michael Ruse, whose review of the decision was just published in this month’s issue of Science & Spirit magazine.

Michael Ruse (2005). “Two Cheers for Darwin.” Science & Spirit, March/April 2006.

Ruse was the philosopher of science in the famous 1981 McLean v. Arkansas case where “creation science” was declared unconstitutional. As we went through the trial in Kitzmiller, the historical resonances between the two cases became more and more pronounced – and that was before Robert Gentry pitched up in Harrisburg in the last week of the trial.

Ruse approves in particular of the philosophy of science in Judge Jones’s opinion. Reading between the lines I think he is giving Rob Pennock a big compliment for threading the needle between being too “demarcationist” (which is what Ruse was accused of, unfairly in my view, by another philosopher, Larry Laudan, in an article which ID/creationists have quoted hundreds of times since – see also Ruse’s reply), while also not falling into the “anything goes” trap that many vehement anti-demarcationists end up with.