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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site

Caught in their own Wedge

By Pim van Meurs

Posted December 23, 2005

Judge Jones wrote:

Plaintiffs' science experts, Drs. Miller and Padian, clearly explained how ID proponents generally and Pandas specifically, distort and misrepresent scientific knowledge in making their anti-evolution argument.

and yet the DI continues to argue (and misrepresent)

Jonathan Witt wrote:

Dover's Darwinist Judge Rules Against Competing Theory of Intelligent Design

Only a small problem here: there is no competing theory of intelligent design. This is not only obvious to scientists but also to many ID proponents who have lamented about the lack of much of any scientifically relevant contribution of ID.

The Judge seemed to have grasped how desperate ID proponents are in their flawed arguments that ID is somehow scientific. While Judge Jones commented on Panda's he may as well have been commenting on "Icons of evolution" or various other ID propaganda.

In this light the following observations by Judge Jones gain even more relevance

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.

The real purpose behind the ID policy has been well established by Barbara Forrest et al. No wonder the DI has to dismiss this excellent review of the history of ID as 'mythological'.

The judge however considered the evidence presented by Forrest et al hardly to be 'mythological', and for good reasons. The book by Forrest et al, "Creationism's Trojan Horse", provides an in depth and well documented case.
The Judge observed

Judge Jones wrote:

She [Forrest] has thoroughly and exhaustively chronicled the history of ID in her book and other writings for her testimony in this case. Her testimony, and the exhibits which were admitted with it, provide a wealth of statements by ID leaders that reveal ID's religious, philosophical, and cultural content.

Forrest et al's work were instrumental as they documented in full detail the Wedge approach.

Judge Jones wrote:

Dramatic evidence of ID's religious nature and aspirations is found in what is referred to as the "Wedge Document." The Wedge Document, developed by the Discovery Institute's Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (hereinafter "CRSC"), represents from an institutional standpoint, the IDM's goals and objectives, much as writings from the Institute for Creation Research did for the earlier creation-science movement, as discussed in McLean.


Judge Jones wrote:

The Board relied solely on legal advice from two organizations with demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions, the Discovery Institute and the TMLC.

As others have commented before, the 139 pages of the Judge's ruling provide much quotable material and will help provide for a nice foundation for future legal interactions.
That ID proponents keep misrepresenting ID as having a scientific relevance is not only detrimental to science but also to religious faith as it gives the impression to school board members and others that ID presents a scientific theory when in fact it clearly does not.
While many scientists and science publications have exposed this fact, now the judicial branch has helped bring home the message. ID failed as a science and thus failed in court.

Interesting thought: What if the new board (despite having successfully replaced the pro-ID board) takes the issue to the appeal courts, knowing very well how solid the ruling by Judge Jones is? In other words, the board may be able to force the opinion to become relevant to a wider audience?
The ACLU may even want to sponsor such an action :-)

Originally posted on the Panda's Thumb weblog.