PZ Myers posted Entry 1789 on December 20, 2005 12:54 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1784
The Discovery Institute has responded to the Kitzmiller decision, hurling out a thunderbolt of a press release. What else would they do?
"The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won't work," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation's leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design.
Their criticism has two predictable prongs: it was an activist judge, and this is censorship. Both objections have already been preempted by Judge Jones.
He was not an "activist judge", but was responding to reckless activism by "ill-informed" creationist activists. Judge Jones, by the way, was appointed by GW Bush.
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.
It was also not censorship. The judge goes out of his way to say that the creationists should be free to continue to study their ideas…they are just so poorly formed and without foundation that they do not meet the standards required to justify teaching it in a public school.
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.
The DI is going to have to go shopping for a new schtick. "Intelligent Design" has just been rubbished in the courts. Can we expect "Sudden Appearance Theory" to suddenly become fashionable?
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