Skip to comments.Dover Intelligent Design Decision Criticized as a Futile Attempt to Censor Science Education
Posted on 12/20/2005 12:12:16 PM PST by truthfinder9
SEATTLE "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. He has conflated Discovery Institutes position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.
A legal ruling can't change the fact that there is digital code in DNA, it cant remove the molecular machines from the cell, nor change the fine tuning of the laws of physics, added West. The empirical evidence for design, the facts of biology and nature, can't be changed by legal decree."
In his decision, Judge John Jones ruled that the Dover, Pennsylvania school district violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by requiring a statement to be read to students notifying them about 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."
"Anyone who thinks a court ruling is going to kill off interest in intelligent design is living in another world," continued West. "Americans don't like to be told there is some idea that they aren't permitted to learn about.. It used to be said that banning a book in Boston guaranteed it would be a bestseller. Banning intelligent design in Dover will likely only fan interest in the theory."
"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 design will be determined not by the courts but by the scientific evidence pointing to design.
Luskin pointed out that the ruling only applies to the federal district in which it was handed down. It has no legal effect anywhere else. The decision is also unlikely to be appealed, since the recently elected Dover school board members campaigned on their opposition to the policy. "The plans of the lawyers on both sides of this case to turn this into a landmark ruling have been preempted by the voters," he said.
"Discovery Institute continues to oppose efforts to mandate teaching about the theory of intelligent design in public schools," emphasized West. "But the Institute strongly supports the freedom of teachers to discuss intelligent design in an objective manner on a voluntary basis. We also think students should learn about both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwin's theory of evolution."
Drawing on recent discoveries in physics, biochemistry and related disciplines, the scientific theory of intelligent design proposes that some features of the natural world are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. Proponents include scientists at numerous universities and science organizations around the world.
Ah, the creationist spin has begun....
That's the neat thing about REAL science. It works whether you believe in God or not.
U.S. District Judge John Jones who is he
Would that be the creationist creation?
Oh, man. Thanks. That was good for a laugh.
Another no-name judge deciding what our schools should teach and what science should say. What happened to schools being accountable to the taxpayers?
"U.S. District Judge John Jones who is he"
The "activistjudge!activistjudge!" was appointed to the bench by George W. Bush.
I think it's great when kids decide for themselves that ID is real science and evolution is an anti-religious conspiracy. After all, the world needs ditch diggers too and I like my fries nice and hot.
The schools were definitely accountable to the taxpayers, who threw out the board that brought the suit in the last election.
Censors science? Since when has metaphysics been part of science. Is the state required to accomodate voodoo too?
Exactly in his judgement Jones points out who the real activists are and rightly so. The whole bunch also got voted out, so are the voters activists also (spin spin spin away)
The taxpayers voted the school board members out. Is PA a red or blue state? I can't remember.
Taxpayers can have a say in what gets taught at their schools but they don't get to have a say on what is science and what isn't. In science, facts are determined by evidence and experimentation, not by popular vote.
If the school wants to teach about ID or creationism that's okay but find some other class to do it in besides science classes. Cause it ain't science. Period.
To which taxpayers? Islamists have more kids than Anglos. In 50 years do you want a majority Muslim sets of parents ruling the holocaust was a hoax and that there is but one God and that is Allah.
Dover is in a very red area of an (ultimately) blue state. Here's the map:
Good talking points, but many scientists do think ID is science. It's funny how the Darwin Fundies in the trial never addressed the science that the ID supporters presented.
Lots and lots of people are successful and probably make more money than you do, who do not understand evolutionary theory. Your post is humorous, but not very accurate.
The bottom line is judges should not be deciding what is taught in schools (and I would think this would be the conservative viewpoint). The local taxpayers should decide.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.