Ed Brayton posted Entry 1784 on December 20, 2005 10:51 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1779

The ruling should be available shortly, but I have just been informed by Robert Pennock, who testified at the Dover trial, that he has been told by the ACLU’s lead attorney that the ruling is a win for the good guys. Whether that win is big or small will depend on the wording of the decision. I’ll update as soon as we have the full text.

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Comment #63483

Posted by Spore on December 20, 2005 10:56 AM (e)

a bit more….

“The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy,” Jones wrote. “It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.”

Comment #63484

Posted by Jeff McKee on December 20, 2005 10:56 AM (e)

It is big … see p. 136
http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf

Comment #63487

Posted by Charles on December 20, 2005 11:02 AM (e)

My personal favorite so far:

The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is
nothing less than the progeny of creationism. (p. 31)

This is not restricted to the hamfisted approach in Dayton that the DI attempted to back away from as the trial neared, but aimed squarely at ID in general. A big win indeed.

Comment #63488

Posted by Steverino on December 20, 2005 11:04 AM (e)

Let the spin begin!!!

Yeah baby!….On to Kansas!!!

Comment #63489

Posted by SteveF on December 20, 2005 11:04 AM (e)

Check this out for a laugh:

Richard Thompson, the Thomas More center’s president and chief counsel, said Dover’s policy takes a modest approach.

“All the Dover school board did was allow students to get a glimpse of a controversy that is really boiling over in the scientific community,” Thompson said.

From:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,170417,00.html

Comment #63490

Posted by Tim Hague on December 20, 2005 11:10 AM (e)

Page 136:

The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts
of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the
Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the
seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and
moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious,
antecedents.
Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock
assumption which is utterly false
. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory
is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in
general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the
theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the
scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the
existence of a divine creator.

Comment #63491

Posted by Steve LaBonne on December 20, 2005 11:11 AM (e)

Outstanding. This will be an extra-special Christmas for everyone who cares about science.

Comment #63492

Posted by Rich on December 20, 2005 11:15 AM (e)

*pops champagne*

Anyone?

Comment #63493

Posted by scott pilutik on December 20, 2005 11:16 AM (e)

“For reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child.”

Big win. Huge congrats to the people here who worked on the case – you guys should really take a bow, b/c this opinion is evidence that you helped put on a great case before the judge. From this non-scientist (who at least knows a wolf in sheep’s clothing when he sees it), Thank You for defending reason.

~ scott

Comment #63494

Posted by Fernmonkey on December 20, 2005 11:20 AM (e)

The conclusion is worth a read, even if you don’t get time to read the whole thing:

Judge Jones wrote:

The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.

Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.
The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

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.

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.

Merry Kitzmas, everyone! I’ve made egg-nog!

Comment #63495

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on December 20, 2005 11:21 AM (e)

The concept of intelligent design (hereinafter “ID”), in its current form, came into existence after the Edwards case was decided in 1987. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child….
The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.

It goes on and on like this. It exposes the ID advocates’ equivocations and falsehoods.

It’s over. The DI must be in shambles.

Comment #63497

Posted by shenda on December 20, 2005 11:25 AM (e)

“Big win. Huge congrats to the people here who worked on the case — you guys should really take a bow, b/c this opinion is evidence that you helped put on a great case before the judge. From this non-scientist (who at least knows a wolf in sheep’s clothing when he sees it), Thank You for defending reason.”

I agree! Outstanding job by all involved! Thank You and Congratulations!

Comment #63498

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 20, 2005 11:26 AM (e)

This is not restricted to the hamfisted approach in Dayton that the DI attempted to back away from as the trial neared, but aimed squarely at ID in general. A big win indeed.

Heh. I presume you meant Dover.

Comment #63499

Posted by MartinM on December 20, 2005 11:26 AM (e)

I rather like this part, myself:

After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research.

Comment #63503

Posted by KL on December 20, 2005 11:33 AM (e)

The Discovery Institute website is strangely silent….

Comment #63504

Posted by PennyBright on December 20, 2005 11:33 AM (e)

I am literally jumping for joy here. Good news at last.

Comment #63505

Posted by Rich on December 20, 2005 11:34 AM (e)

Do any of these rulings impact the cob county appeal?

Comment #63506

Posted by Tim Hague on December 20, 2005 11:36 AM (e)

One for ‘Renard’ and Keith S, who have been having this argument on Dembski’s blog:

ID’s religious nature is evident because it involves a supernatural designer

I have argued the same in the past. Page 29.

Comment #63511

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on December 20, 2005 11:43 AM (e)

The Discovery Institute website is strangely silent….

That can’t last. My guess is they’ve already prepared some spin-casts in advance.

Comment #63516

Posted by GT(N)T on December 20, 2005 12:22 PM (e)

Wonderful news. Those of you who have stood against ignorance and superstition so long and so well, thank you.

Comment #63540

Posted by Jim on December 20, 2005 1:14 PM (e)

The DI Response

Comment #63555

Posted by Dean Morrison on December 20, 2005 2:00 PM (e)

Well done guys, I’m drinking a beer for you in England. A big, big win indeed; the Judge pulled no punches, in fact I don’t think Lenny could have been much more scathing.
A nice present for Noodlemas indeed; although I expect us all to suffer withdrawl symptoms.
The next challenge is to start educating the public so this sort of nonsense doesn’t crop up again and again - that’s going to take a bit longer I fear, but at least the DI will have zero credibility if they continue to try to confuse the masses.
Judge Jones has given you some priceless quotes for years to come; and he’s even answered some of Lenny’s questions for the DI!

Comment #63563

Posted by Russell on December 20, 2005 2:21 PM (e)

The DI response…

And it is, predictably, a hoot! A couple of highlights:

“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.

Reaching well beyond the immediate legal questions before him, Judge Jones offered wide-ranging and sometimes angry comments denouncing intelligent design and praising Darwinian evolution.

“Judge Jones found that the Dover board violated the Establishment Clause because it acted from religious motives. That should have been the end to the case,” said West. “Instead, Judge Jones got on his soapbox to offer his own views of science, religion, and evolution. He makes it clear that he wants his place in history as the judge who issued a definitive decision about intelligent design. This is an activist judge who has delusions of grandeur.”

“In the larger debate over intelligent design, this decision will be of minor significance,” added Discovery Institute attorney Casey Luskin. “As we’ve repeatedly stressed, the ultimate validity of intelligent will be determined not by the courts but by the scientific evidence pointing to design.”

I might add, in response to that last bit, that in the larger debate over what’s science and what’s not, attorney Luskin will be of zero significance.

Comment #63581

Posted by Moses on December 20, 2005 3:12 PM (e)

Dang, if I got my butt kicked as bad as the the DI did, I wouldn’t talk tough and pretend I won with an inane press release.

Comment #63652

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 20, 2005 7:19 PM (e)

Well done guys, I’m drinking a beer for you in England.

A dark beer, I hope. :>

A big, big win indeed; the Judge pulled no punches, in fact I don’t think Lenny could have been much more scathing.

I would have recommended perjury charges against the Dover Dolts. ;>

ID is dead. All that’s left is “teach the controversy”, and that will not survive Kansas.

Alas, though, in 20 years, Creationism 3.0 will be unveiled, and we will be doing this all over again …

Unless, in the meantime, the American public kicks the fundies out of their positions of political power, and rescues the US from the grip of the undemocratic right-wing kooks who are currently running it.

Comment #63653

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 20, 2005 7:21 PM (e)

I might add, in response to that last bit, that in the larger debate over what’s science and what’s not, attorney Luskin will be of zero significance.

As will Behe, Meyer, and, uh, “Isaac Newton”.

I wonder when Sal will drop in to declare victory? (snicker) (giggle)

Comment #63659

Posted by Dean Morrison on December 20, 2005 7:57 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'B'

Comment #63666

Posted by Dean Morrison on December 20, 2005 8:24 PM (e)

Congrats Lenny - and ‘proper’ beer of course!

I think the judge was wise to drop the opportunity for perjury charges. Why sully a magnificant ruling with a sideshow where upstanding, drug-taking, members of the community could cry religious persecution and confuse the issue.
Nah! just call them “LIARS THAT LIED FOR THEIR FAITH” and leave them with no come-back - far more cruel.

You can hve fun with Sal now - pasting bits of the ruling into your questions; although personally I don’t see many IDiots coming back here to be humiliated.
Dembski’s been struck dumb as far as I can see.

Well done again to all you guys who have been fighting the cause of reason over there - you should be proud of yourselves!!!!

Comment #63677

Posted by Corkscrew on December 20, 2005 9:01 PM (e)

Rev. Lenny wrote:

A dark beer, I hope.

As another Brit, I feel it is bounden upon me to guide the feet of all beer-drinkers onto the path of enlightenment (as revealed to me last night at the pub):

1) Distinguishing by colour is irrelevant. What matters is whether it’s an ale or not.
2) Proper Northern bitters may be considered in emergencies.
3) The application of lager to innocent tastebuds is completely indefensible. The only reason anyone can even stand these horrible drinks is cos the coldness numbs the mouth.
4) Pursuant to the above, it should be noted that any true British beer must, in accordance with the stereotype, be acceptable when drunk WARM.
5) Similarly, the choice of food to accompany your beer is restricted to a hearty roast with side order of thick greasy chips, or chicken tikka masala. Anything else dilutes the atmosphere generated by a decent brew.
6) Fish-based meals may be substituted in coastal regions.
7) Beer should not be gritty, sour or in any way harsh on the mouth (at least, not on the way down…)
8) Seasonal beers are by definition a Good Thing.
9) Beers with a fruity aftertaste are to be preferred
10) Never buy Australian. Think about it for a moment - why would a true brewer of beer wear a hat with wine corks dangling from it?

Any healthy scientific controversies here, or am I merely preaching drunkenly to the choir?

Comment #63684

Posted by speck on December 20, 2005 9:32 PM (e)

Ah, but once you’ve reached critical mass…. A barley pop is a barley pop is a barley pop…. Congrats to everyone!

I hear pencils frantically tapping paper over at the DI, desperate to determine when the Rapture will remove them from this humiliation….

Comment #63734

Posted by steve s on December 21, 2005 12:38 AM (e)

If I weren’t in a hotel returning from Opelika Alabama, where I’ve been at the NCAT for work, I would be tore up from the floor up.

Now I’m trying to think up a new backronym for D.I., something which conveys the general idea of ‘obliterated’.

here’s my favorite part so far:

“For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child”

in the words of Li’l Jon, “goddam GODDAM

Comment #63736

Posted by Darkling on December 21, 2005 12:44 AM (e)

To misquote Blade

“some people are always trying to skate uphill”

Comment #63740

Posted by steve s on December 21, 2005 12:53 AM (e)

Reading these Judge Jones comments, he does everything but tell John West to kiss his ass.

Comment #63742

Posted by steve s on December 21, 2005 12:57 AM (e)

We need to get over to CafePress and print some victory items.

how about:

Hey John West:

KISS MY ASS!

Comment #63772

Posted by Nachor on December 21, 2005 4:58 AM (e)

Here’s to Judge John E. Jones

The right Man
in the right Place
at the right Time

Thank you.

Comment #63789

Posted by the pro from dover on December 21, 2005 8:32 AM (e)

What interests me the most is the relentless obsesssion with “the best explanation” for whatever. It seems obvious to me that the best explanation would always be one that cant possibly be disproven. In 21st century science “detecting design” will never be good enough; how is that design made manifest through a mechanism of action will always come up. This will require a redefinition of science to avoid this “straw man” as many design advocates refer to this untestability-unfalsifiability-unpublishability of original research issue. Mr. West must be slipping as he failed to mention how Darwinism is incapable of proving the origin of matter or life through blind random forces.

Comment #63795

Posted by Keith Douglas on December 21, 2005 9:47 AM (e)

This is good news. Good work on the part of everyone involved.

Comment #63840

Posted by Carol Clouser on December 21, 2005 1:36 PM (e)

This is not meant to ruin the celebratory mood here but I am reminded of the story with Galileo. As he was forced under penalty of death to recant his statements that the earth is not at the center of the solar system and that it moves, he got up and famously muttered in Latin, “and yet it moves!” So, despite the Court’s decision, I am sure some history-conscious ID supporters out there are saying, “and yet it was intelligently designed!”

So now the status quo will be maintained in our schools. That’s what this “victory” is all about. And that means that decades from now we will still find more than half of americans subscribing to the view that life in all its diversity appeared a mere few thousand years ago, as all studies indicate they believe today. Why would that change, if the status quo is maintained? I don’t see much to celebrate in all this.

Comment #63845

Posted by Russell on December 21, 2005 1:52 PM (e)

So now the status quo will be maintained in our schools….I don’t see much to celebrate in all this.

No, I don’t suppose you do. But for a lot of us, it’s a victory that the religious right doesn’t get to redefine science for public education. As you know, the Wedge Strategy has been to replace science, as currently understood, with a new version compatible with their brand of religion. This decision is a serious blow to that strategy.

Will a large fraction of Americans remain poorly educated and ignorant of science? Undoubtedly. If you want to count that as a victory - or at least a non-defeat - then, by all means, enjoy!

But I believe this decision will have a powerful effect in reinforcing, to anyone that chooses to dwell in the reality-based community, that “intelligent design theory” is wing-nut sloganeering, not science, no matter how many people are fooled.

Comment #63859

Posted by Grey Wolf on December 21, 2005 2:38 PM (e)

that means that decades from now we will still find more than half of Americans subscribing to the view that life in all its diversity appeared a mere few thousand years ago, as all studies indicate they believe today. Why would that change, if the status quo is maintained? I don’t see much to celebrate in all this.

You can take the horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink. Half of the States’ population believes in Creationism - you, for example. That is, almost certainly, because of a poor education at school and fundamentalism at church. What this victory means is that the fundamentalists will not manage to poison the water.

Or, dropping the allegory: this victory prevents the already poor education of the States from becoming even poorer by stopping fundamentalists from lying to the children. Of course, since you want the children lied to and told things like “Noah’s ark is literal truth - and he spent both a year and only ten months at the same time” and “birds and fish appeared in the same day in God’s eyes, by God’s hand”, you don’t see this as a victory. But that’s alright - it is a free country.

Yes, thirty years from now, people who choose to believe the private opinions of Landa as facts will continue to be clueless about the real facts of our world, but that cannot be helped. At least it won’t be because they were fed false information when they were young, which I at least consider immoral.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Comment #63907

Posted by Ubernatural on December 21, 2005 4:42 PM (e)

So now the status quo will be maintained in our schools.

And that means that decades from now we will still find more than half of americans subscribing to the view that life in all its diversity appeared a mere few thousand years ago, as all studies indicate they believe today.

If “more than half of Americans” currently subscribe to a view that this court decision ruled against, how is this decision “maintaining the staus quo”???

Comment #63960

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 21, 2005 7:42 PM (e)

This is not meant to ruin the celebratory mood here but I am reminded of the story with Galileo. As he was forced under penalty of death to recant his statements that the earth is not at the center of the solar system and that it moves, he got up and famously muttered in Latin, “and yet it moves!” So, despite the Court’s decision, I am sure some history-conscious ID supporters out there are saying, “and yet it was intelligently designed!”

And I’m quite sure that the delicious irony of saying it would escape them.

Just as it has escaped you.

Comment #63962

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on December 21, 2005 7:44 PM (e)

As you know, the Wedge Strategy has been to replace science, as currently understood, with a new version compatible with their brand of religion. This decision is a serious blow to that strategy.

Which makes Carol’s blithering about Galileo all the more giggle-able.

Comment #64183

Posted by AC on December 22, 2005 3:00 PM (e)

Carol wrote:

This is not meant to ruin the celebratory mood here but I am reminded of the story with Galileo. As he was forced under penalty of death to recant his statements that the earth is not at the center of the solar system and that it moves, he got up and famously muttered in Latin, “and yet it moves!” So, despite the Court’s decision, I am sure some history-conscious ID supporters out there are saying, “and yet it was intelligently designed!”

I sincerely hope you’re presenting this merely as rhetoric, and that the difference truly isn’t too subtle.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some calculations to do. Galileo offered to let me look through his telescope, and I saw exactly what he described….