Ed Brayton posted Entry 1607 on October 25, 2005 09:24 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1602

A major development in the Dover trial yesterday. The Discovery Institute had submitted a brief in the case last week and Judge Jones issued an order denying that brief’s use in the case. Our attorneys had filed a motion to strike that brief from the proceedings on the grounds that it was an attempt to get the expert testimony of Stephen Meyer and William Dembski on the record in the case after they had pulled out as expert witnesses, thus avoiding being cross examined on their claims. The judge agreed, ruling:

As all parties and amici filers are well aware, both Mr. Dembski and Mr. Meyer are no longer expert witnesses for the Defendants. Over the course of this trial we have provided both parties with every opportunity to present their expert witnesses, and accordingly the parties have engaged in thorough cross-examination of the opposing experts. We thus find it to be fundamentally unfair to receive a brief that frequently references an expert report, that was originally prepared for use in this case when Mr. Meyer was to be offered as a defense expert witness, and which contains the full revised report of Mr. Meyer as an attachment to the brief. The inclusion of such information in an ad hoc unsolicited fashion, when Plaintiffs have not had the opportunity to cross-examine such expert witness is clearly inappropriate under the circumstances. In fact, “Appendix A” of the amicus brief is entitled “Revised Report of Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D., May 19, 2005” and it is clearly an expert report prepared in anticipation of Mr. Meyer’s testimony at trial. We will not countenance what is clearly a “back door” attempt to insert expert testimony into the record free of the crucible of trial and cross-examination.

In addition, after a careful review of the Discovery Institute’s submission, we find that the amicus brief is not only reliant upon several portions of Mr. Meyer’s attached expert report, but also improperly addresses Mr. Dembski’s assertions in detail, once again without affording Plaintiffs any opportunity to challenge such views by cross-examination. Accordingly, the “Brief of Amicus Curiae, the Discovery Institute” shall be stricken in its entirety.

Huge development in the case. Stay tuned for more.

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Comment #53668

Posted by sanjait on October 25, 2005 10:52 AM (e)

Hmmm…let’s see…how can we spin this?… I know: the judge is an anti-theistic materialist! This is obvious from his censorship of the Truth.

I’m guessing the DI says something like that, and does a quick search of the judges records and finds one or two that seem anti-religious or odd at first glance, then trumpet them as proof that the whole trial is biased.

Comment #53671

Posted by ex-fundi on October 25, 2005 11:28 AM (e)

Maybe someone at the trial can help here, but…

Is it just me reading too much between the lines, or does it seem the judge has just about had his fill of nonsense from the IDists?

Comment #53687

Posted by Albion on October 25, 2005 12:52 PM (e)

Bloody hell. The dishonesty of these people is breathtaking. And to think that one of the biggest reasons for pushing ID at the general public has to do with the destructive moral legacies of naturalism. If this is the sort of moral standard that’s going to replace it, I must say I’m not impressed.

Comment #53705

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 25, 2005 1:47 PM (e)

If this is the sort of moral standard that’s going to replace it, I must say I’m not impressed.

nope. it’s the same old, same old. the same “moral standard” that produced the McCarthy era.

don’t doubt that if folks with this mindset begin to control any more of our government, we will see a return to those times, as if putting a black-and-white rerun into the VCR.

People in general seem to have very short memories.

Comment #53713

Posted by RPM on October 25, 2005 2:07 PM (e)

Aren’t Meyer and Demski PhDs? Can we read into it at all that the court refers to them as Mr. Meyer and Mr Demski, not Dr? Is this the normal practice in the judicial system?

Comment #53714

Posted by K.E. on October 25, 2005 2:09 PM (e)

Sir Toe_jam ….wot a mere 50 years ?

Around 500 AD Emperor Justinian closed down the pagan Greek schools and replaced Greek science which around 800 years earlier yes around 275 BCE !!!! already found the earth revolved around the sun and calculated the diameter of the earth and the moon to within a few percent and replaced them with Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 which set back Western Civilization 1000 years.

The Islamic Arab world were world leaders in science and medicine for 500 years until the Islamic leaders who had an infallible Divine imprimatur declared “The Word of God” in the Koran (Yes good old Genesis )was the only source of truth. Scientific thought led to “loss of belief in the origin of the world and in the Creator” Islam came to a standstill and has never recovered not to mention the damage to the Arab world and science.

Comment #53716

Posted by shenda on October 25, 2005 2:12 PM (e)

“nope. it’s the same old, same old. the same “moral standard” that produced the McCarthy era.

don’t doubt that if folks with this mindset begin to control any more of our government, we will see a return to those times, as if putting a black-and-white rerun into the VCR.”

Ummm…. What about Gitmo and holding US citizens indefinitely without charge or evidence because one (1) person says they are “enemy combatants”? How about deporting 2 teenage girls that have legally lived in the US since they were infants because they *might* become suicide bombers? What about the Patriot Act and the abuses that are beginning to come out?

This is all happening live and in colour.

Comment #53727

Posted by Albion on October 25, 2005 3:13 PM (e)

nope. it’s the same old, same old. the same “moral standard” that produced the McCarthy era.

Indeed. I was meaning replacing the current moral standard, which is supposed to be so destructive because it’s based on naturalism (never mind that the country is almost exclusively theistic), with this one of theirs that’s supposed to be so vastly superior but which has a strong flavour of “the end justifies the means” about it, which isn’t that impressive a moral standard.

Comment #53728

Posted by Greg Peterson on October 25, 2005 3:26 PM (e)

A recent study demonstrated that on key indicators of “morality” (teenage pregnancy, STDs, violent crime, etc.) the more secularized countries, including Scandinavian countries, were much better than religious America is. Now, that’s an association, not a proof of causality. It could be that BECAUSE the U.S. is such a morally dangerous place, people turn more to religion for strength and comfort, and not that religion MAKES people less moral. The fact remains, though, that to associate materialism (which I’m using as a proxy for secularism) with immorality is not founded by the best evidence. Of course, that comes as no surprise to regular PT readers.

Comment #53741

Posted by Jeff Chamberlain on October 25, 2005 4:16 PM (e)

Why do you think this is a “huge development?”

Comment #53749

Posted by ex-fundi on October 25, 2005 4:30 PM (e)

Greg Peterson wrote:

Now, that’s an association, not a proof of causality. It could be that BECAUSE the U.S. is such a morally dangerous place, people turn more to religion for strength and comfort, and not that religion MAKES people less moral.

Except the Barna Group, while trying to prove Christians are more moral than the general public, instead seems to show the exact opposite.

Comment #53751

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on October 25, 2005 4:33 PM (e)

Does anyone know what the DI response to this is? I’ve tried their web-site (ID the future), but I can’t get a connection. This morning, it listed the amicus very positively.

Comment #53757

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 25, 2005 4:45 PM (e)

If I read the court order correctly, the amicus brief on behalf of the Discovery Institute was thrown out, but the amicus brief signed by 78 “professional scientists” was not.

That other brief contains discussion of political events involving Dembski, von Strenberg, etc. Is it unusual that an amicus brief would cover stuff like that outside the area of expertise of the signees?

——————–

Someone needs to start a thread about Nord dropping out, so we can comment on how strange it would have been to have him testify that more religion should be taught in schools when the defense’s posture is that IDC is not religion.

Comment #53758

Posted by Mona on October 25, 2005 4:45 PM (e)

I’m guessing the DI says something like that, and does a quick search of the judges records and finds one or two that seem anti-religious or odd at first glance, then trumpet them as proof that the whole trial is biased.

Yeah, no doubt. But Jones is a recent Bush 43 appointee, a Republican, and has a long history of involvement with that most anti-religion organization of all, the Boy Scouts. Nevertheless, he sure seems to have a clue about ID antics. (To my relief as one who, for narrow reasons, voted for Bush in ‘04.)

Comment #53781

Posted by ben on October 25, 2005 6:20 PM (e)

Your relief? Yeah, too bad about the Supreme Court being stacked by religious fanatics, the government giving corporations hundreds of billions of dollars to destroy the environment, and thousands of American youth killed, maimed and traumatised in an illegal war built on pre-planned lies. But at least Bush appointed a judge in Pennsylvania who has a clue about ID antics. What a relief!

Comment #53787

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 25, 2005 7:03 PM (e)

yeah, i figured there would be an extrapolation on the simple example i provided. hell, there are endless examples in almost every country and every generation, eh?

how’s that saying go about freedom and vigilance…

Comment #53799

Posted by Mona on October 25, 2005 7:56 PM (e)

Ben writes: Your relief? Yeah, too bad about the Supreme Court being stacked by religious fanatics, the government giving corporations hundreds of billions of dollars to destroy the environment, and thousands of American youth killed, maimed and traumatised in an illegal war built on pre-planned lies. But at least Bush appointed a judge in Pennsylvania who has a clue about ID antics. What a relief!

I disagree with much of the above. But more to the point, we have a two party system, de facto. Libertarians like me are therefore forced to choose between what we regard as the lesser of two evils, unless we waste a vote on a third party candidate.

That all said, while I do prefer GOP court appointments in general, there are some issues where that is not so. Establishment Clause cases are one of those exceptions.

I don’t expect you to like, approve of, or even understand my politics. But libertarians who basically support Bush’s foreign policy are well-represented online, and we are overwhelmingly opposed to ID.

Comment #53809

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 25, 2005 8:43 PM (e)

But libertarians who basically support Bush’s foreign policy are well-represented online, and we are overwhelmingly opposed to ID.

Of course, radical leftists (all ten of us) who think Bush’s foreign (and domestic) policies are proto-fascist are also well-represented online (well, sort of – lots of people apparently tend to see us in all sorts of places where we’re really not), and we are also overwhelmingly opposed to ID. :)

Heck, me and Mona both detest Stalinists and Leninists – me probably more than her, though, since they shot most of my intellectual forefathers, and almost none of hers.

(Mona, here’s the part where you get to scream “STALINISTS KILLED LOTS OF PEOPLE !!!!!!!!” I know you’re just *itching* …. )

Comment #53812

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 25, 2005 8:56 PM (e)

basically support Bush’s foreign policy

overwhelmingly opposed to ID.

hmm, interesting. sounds like the stronger of Mona’s two descriptors is that they are against ID. sounds like quite a bit more division on whether they support the Bush “foreign policy” (which isn’t really a foreign policy at all, by most standards).

but, i’m not a member of the libertarians against ID crowd, so i can’t comment further than that.

perhaps i’ll stop instead and take lenny’s advice in his post to newbies in his newsgroup.

Comment #53814

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 25, 2005 9:03 PM (e)

perhaps i’ll stop instead and take lenny’s advice in his post to newbies in his newsgroup.

Oh, I’m just yanking Mona’s chain to see if she’ll still bark. :>

Comment #53823

Posted by Mona on October 25, 2005 9:46 PM (e)

Oh, I’m just yanking Mona’s chain to see if she’ll still bark. :>

Bark? Do I do that?

But you are correct that Stalin killed tens of thousands (hell, likely millions) of leftists, up to and including the ice pick in Trotsky’s head; Joseph Stalin killed more Communists and/or progressives than anyone, except maybe Mao. It is also true that there always were Western leftists who were appalled by Stalin – Emma Goldman being but one example (well, she was Russian, but she considered herself Western). However, until well after the fact, this leftist minority was not the sanctioned view in the major leftist enclaves of the West.

Lenny, you and I are in very serious political disagreement. I’d like a truce, and have us just agree to focus on ID. Sincerely, I do not seek to bait you or anyone else who disagrees with me politically.

If you want to post a link that we will not argue about, where I can learn why you believe as you do, I will read it without comment here. I have one of my own that explains why I am so disinclined to believe in any aspirations of the modern radical left – but I do NOT want to argue about it. I’ll extend you good faith, and hope that will be a reciprocal offer.

Comment #53827

Posted by Mona on October 25, 2005 9:57 PM (e)

hmm, interesting. sounds like the stronger of Mona’s two descriptors is that they are against ID. sounds like quite a bit more division on whether they support the Bush “foreign policy” (which isn’t really a foreign policy at all, by most standards).

It is more that a lot of us are not necessarily convinced that Iraq was well-executed in many respects.

Comment #53835

Posted by Sir_Toejam on October 25, 2005 10:16 PM (e)

can’t disagree with that.

Comment #53853

Posted by Dave Cerutti on October 26, 2005 1:35 AM (e)

The DI’s idthefuture weblog is still lsiting this brief as filed with the court–not mentioning the fact that the brief was thrown out, as of this evening, Tuesday Oct. 25.

Comment #53859

Posted by Red Right Hand on October 26, 2005 4:11 AM (e)

Mona’s right, folks. The GOP has had a problem in recent years, due to the influence of certain anti-rational elements within its ranks; but my own party (Dems) haven’t been completely free from similar internal pressures in the past. What’s important is that on this issue, we have common ground. Don’t let them divide us - remember the Wedge!

Of course, having said that…Have a Merry Fitzmas everyone!

Sorry, couldn’t resist…! :)

Comment #53867

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 26, 2005 7:03 AM (e)

Oh, I’m just yanking Mona’s chain to see if she’ll still bark. :>

Bark? Do I do that?

But you are correct that Stalin killed tens of thousands (hell, likely millions) of leftists, up to and including the ice pick in Trotsky’s head; Joseph Stalin killed more Communists and/or progressives than anyone, except maybe Mao. It is also true that there always were Western leftists who were appalled by Stalin — Emma Goldman being but one example (well, she was Russian, but she considered herself Western). However, until well after the fact, this leftist minority was not the sanctioned view in the major leftist enclaves of the West.

There’s the “bark”. ;>

Lenny, you and I are in very serious political disagreement. I’d like a truce, and have us just agree to focus on ID. Sincerely, I do not seek to bait you or anyone else who disagrees with me politically.

Relax, Mona, I’m just yanking your chain.

Comment #53890

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on October 26, 2005 10:45 AM (e)

The DI’s idthefuture weblog is still lsiting this brief as filed with the court—not mentioning the fact that the brief was thrown out, as of this evening, Tuesday Oct. 25.

I noticed that. And nothing has been posted so far on the rejection. I suspect they will simply ignore it, or remove the entry on their blog.

Comment #53933

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 26, 2005 3:24 PM (e)

Trotsky was assassinated with an ice ax. I’m sure an ice pick could also have been effectively used, but it is a restaurant or kitchen tool, much like a screwdriver with a sharpened tip (and thus similar to a prison “shank”).

An ice ax, the actual murder weapon, is a mountaineering tool. It looks like this:
http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=11261236&parent_category_rn=4500691&vcat=REI_SSHP_CLIMBING_TOC
As you can see, an ice ax has three sharp “ends,” an adze (used for cutting steps in steep ice or snow) and a pick (used for arresting a fall and for securing holds on steep hard ice and snow), both mounted on the “head” of the ax, and the spike (used as a balance aid, for belaying a slip which has not yet become a slide, and for steering and braking during the deliberate form of sliding called glissading).

It’s not unreasonable to assume that the assassin held the shaft and swung the ax like an ax or hammer, driving the pick end into Trotsky’s head. Perhaps this is where Mona got her notion of “ice pick.” But an ice ax remains a very different tool than the kitchen ice pick. They are also considerably different in size and mass–one could think of an ice ax as more of a “stand-off” weapon, whereas using the smaller ice pick would require a certain degree of finesse, and might also require the assassin to come within the victim’s reach.

One may also wonder how the assassin managed to locate an ice ax in Mexico City, but the city is located near tall volcanoes which are often snow-capped year around.

Comment #53934

Posted by geogeek on October 26, 2005 3:33 PM (e)

Just out of curiosity, what time zone are the post times in?

Comment #53936

Posted by geogeek on October 26, 2005 3:34 PM (e)

Now that I’ve done one, it must be Central Time (currently Daylight).

Comment #53939

Posted by Rilke's Granddaughter on October 26, 2005 3:49 PM (e)

And based on a recent trip to “ID the Future”, they are simply going to ignore the fact that the Amicus has been denied. Fascinating.

Comment #53941

Posted by Flint on October 26, 2005 4:00 PM (e)

RGD:

That’s probably the optimal way to spin the rejection, everything considered. At least until after a decision is rendered. Don’t want to antagonize the judge before that. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the DI people think they are winning the case handily. If Paul Nelson is any indication, these guys spin reality to fit ideological requirements at the hindbrain level, instinctively. Their conscious mind doesn’t even get the opportunity.

Comment #54004

Posted by Dave Cerutti on October 26, 2005 11:52 PM (e)

It seems that the DI is going the “ignore it” route, and has left the amicus brief up on their wbesite. Well, I suppose it IS true that the filed it with the court, but incomplete information, particularly when the remainder of the information that you have speaks pertinently but not pleasantly to what you’ve presented, is tantamount to lying.

Comment #54005

Posted by Dave Cerutti on October 26, 2005 11:55 PM (e)

Indeed, they’ve now posted a second blog entry on their already dead amicus brief. Ludicrous!

Comment #54007

Posted by Dave Cerutti on October 27, 2005 12:07 AM (e)

Sorry to spam, but I thought I’d trot on over to rightreason and post a bit about my filing of an amicus brief to the Supreme Court concerning Bush vs. Gore. The content of the brief can be summarized as “bad voting materials do not imply an incompetent electorate, and besides George is an indigent loon.” It’s very important that this information be received by the court, and its even more important that a lot of publicity surround my giving the court this information.

Comment #54052

Posted by Alexey Merz on October 27, 2005 12:10 PM (e)

The ice “axe” used to kill Trotsky was most likely an ice adze made for breaking up the blocks of ice used in refrigeration, not a mountaineering axe.

Comment #54249

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 28, 2005 5:51 PM (e)

Alexey, what are your sources? Here are mine, and it sure looks like a mountaineering ice ax to me (though with the wooden, rather than a metal, shaft, as would be expected from the era in which the crime was committed:
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/murder-in-mexico/2005/07/12/1120934216181.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4103306.stm
http://auto_sol.tao.ca/node/view/1465
(The preview suggests that something is hinky with the third url–you may need to cut and paste.)
One of the articles specifically identifies the weapon as a mountaineering tool, though all the articles do–rather sloppily–refer to it an “ice pick,” which is perhaps the source of Mona’s nomenclature and your own supposition.

Comment #54482

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 31, 2005 10:17 AM (e)

And based on a recent trip to “ID the Future”, they are simply going to ignore the fact that the Amicus has been denied. Fascinating.

Just like the ‘Santorum amendment’. I attended a local ID debate recently in which an IDEA Club member read the Santorum amendment and tried to pass it off as an official congressional pronouncement.

Just more evidence of censorship by the Evil Atheist Conspiracy, I guess.

Comment #54891

Posted by morbius on November 2, 2005 10:21 PM (e)

too bad about the Supreme Court being stacked by religious fanatics, the government giving corporations hundreds of billions of dollars to destroy the environment, and thousands of American youth killed, maimed and traumatised in an illegal war built on pre-planned lies. But at least Bush appointed a judge in Pennsylvania who has a clue about ID antics. What a relief!

I disagree with much of the above.

And creationists disagree with evolution; it’s easy to simply disagree with the facts. But I share her relief that the GOP judges she favors aren’t entirely bad on every issue. Whew!

libertarians who basically support Bush’s foreign policy are well-represented online

Not principled ones.

It is more that a lot of us are not necessarily convinced that Iraq was well-executed in many respects.

As Saturday Night Live put it, 66% of Americans disapprove of Bush’s handling of Iraq, and the other 34% think Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs.