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When Real Judicial Conservatives Attack [Dover ID opinion]
The UCSD Guardian ^ | 09 January 2005 | Hanna Camp

Posted on 01/09/2006 8:26:54 AM PST by PatrickHenry

If there’s anything to be learned from the intelligent design debate, it’s that branding “activist judges” is the hobby of bitter losers.

For those who care about the fight over evolution in biology classrooms, Christmas came five days early when the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District ruling was handed down. In his decision, Judge John E. Jones III ruled that not only is the theory of intelligent design religion poorly dressed in science language, teaching it in class is an outright violation of the First Amendment.

The ruling was a concise and devastating demonstration of how law, precedent and evidence can come together to drive complete nonsense out of the courtroom. But if the aftermath of the event proves anything, it proves that nine times out of 10, if someone accuses a judge of being an “activist,” it is because he disagrees with the ruling and wants to make it clear to like-minded followers that they only lost because the liberals are keeping them down. Gratuitous overuse has, in just a few short years, turned the phrase “judicial activism” from a description of an actual problem in the legal system into a catch-all keyword for any ruling that social conservatives dislike.

During the months between the initial suit and the final decision, a high-powered law firm from Chicago volunteered some of its best to represent the plaintiffs pro bono, defenders of evolution and intelligent design mobilized, and few people really cared other than court watchers, biology nerds and a suspicious number of creationist groups. The trial went well for the plaintiffs: Their witnesses and evidence were presented expertly and professionally, and it never hurts when at least two of the witnesses for the defense are caught perjuring themselves in their depositions. Advocates for teaching actual science in school science classes were fairly confident that Jones was going to rule in their favor.

When it came, the ruling was significant enough to earn a slightly wider audience than the aforementioned court watchers, biology nerds and creationists. What drew interest from newcomers was not the minutiae of the trial, but the scope of Jones’ ruling and the scorn for the Dover School Board’s actions that practically radiated off the pages. He ruled both that intelligent design was a religious idea, and that teaching it in a science class was an unconstitutional establishment of religion by the state. He didn’t stop there, however.

“It is ironic,” he wrote, “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 intelligent design policy.”

Such harsh language might provoke some sympathy for intelligent design advocates, if they hadn’t immediately demonstrated how much they deserved it by responding — not with scientific arguments for intelligent design or legal precedent to contradict Jones’ ruling — but with ridiculous name-calling. The Discovery Institute, the leading center of ID advocacy, referred to Jones as “an activist judge with delusions of grandeur.” Bill O’Reilly also brought out the “A” word on his show. Richard Land, spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and noted drama queen, declared him the poster child for “a half-century secularist reign of terror.” The American Family Association, having apparently read a different ruling than the rest of America, insisted that judges were so eager to keep God out of schools that they would throw out even scientific evidence for Him. Funny how so many creationist groups seemed to have missed the memo that intelligent design isn’t supposed to be about God at all.

It was depressingly predictable that the intelligent design crowd would saturate the Internet with cries of judicial activism regardless of the actual legal soundness of the ruling. In only a few years, intellectually lazy political leaders have morphed an honest problem in the judiciary that deserves serious debate into shorthand for social conservatism’s flavor of the week. The phrase has been spread around so much and applied to so many people that it only has meaning within the context of someone’s rant. It is the politico-speak equivalent of “dude.”

Only when one learns that Jones was appointed by George W. Bush and had conservative backers that included the likes of Tom Ridge and Rick Santorum can one appreciate how indiscriminately the term is thrown around. Jones is demonstrably a judicial conservative. In fact, he’s the kind of strict constructionist that social conservatives claim to want on the bench. Their mistake is in assuming that the law and their ideology must necessarily be the same thing.

In the end, no one could defend Jones better than he did himself. He saw the breathless accusations of judicial activism coming a mile away, and refuted them within the text of the ruling. In his conclusion he wrote:

“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 intelligent design, 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.”

Jones knew his name would be dragged through the mud and issued the correct ruling anyway. One can only hope that the utter childishness of the intelligent design response will alienate even more sensible people, and that the phrase “judicial activism” will from now on be used only by those who know what they’re talking about. No bets on the latter.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: childishiders; creationisminadress; crevolist; dover; evolution; idioticsorelosers
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Link to the opinion: Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al..

This article is a good analysis of the attitude of the losing side. [Bold, underlining and color-blocking added by me.]

1 posted on 01/09/2006 8:26:55 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 330 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

2 posted on 01/09/2006 8:28:15 AM PST by PatrickHenry (ID is to biology what "Brokeback Mountain" is to western movies.)
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To: PatrickHenry

If teaching religion is forbidden in the classroom, why is my child taught in school about Mecca, the beliefs of Islam, and some of their practices? Why is the creation story of the Cheyenne taught in school, but the creation story of Christians forbidden?

Must be some more of that mystery fine print in the constitution that only liberals can read.


3 posted on 01/09/2006 8:41:38 AM PST by kingu
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To: PatrickHenry

It's also a good analysis of the encroaching uselessness of the term "judicial activist." As the author noted, judicial activism is an actual problem, with an actual definition. Unfortunately, it is quickly becoming a meaningless epithet tossed at any and all judges whose rulings don't happen to coincide with a particular ideology.


4 posted on 01/09/2006 8:41:50 AM PST by Chiapet
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===> Placemarker <===
5 posted on 01/09/2006 8:42:16 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: PatrickHenry
Funny how so many creationist groups seemed to have missed the memo that intelligent design isn’t supposed to be about God at all.

This dissimulation over religion has been at once the funniest and most disturbing aspect of this whole affair.

This same mindset is going to torpedo Samuel Alito. The last thing he needs is a bunch of--dare I say it--activists holding rallies in churches, braying about how the confirmation of Alito is the first step in bringing religion back into the public sphere. With friends like these, Alito needs no enemies.

6 posted on 01/09/2006 8:42:48 AM PST by Physicist
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To: PatrickHenry

Driving "nonsense" out of the classroom, huh?

Until evolutionists can demonstrate how a strand of DNA can self-assemble, survive in a hostile chemical environment, and purposelessly begin to reproduce and form the form the first living cell, I'd say the theory is baloney.

People need to learn to think for themselves and reject the "received knowledge" from evolutionists with their own stubborn belief system.


7 posted on 01/09/2006 8:42:59 AM PST by Elpasser
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To: kingu

Don't expect an answer from our evo friends.


8 posted on 01/09/2006 8:43:57 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: kingu
If teaching religion is forbidden in the classroom, why is my child taught in school about Mecca, the beliefs of Islam, and some of their practices? Why is the creation story of the Cheyenne taught in school, but the creation story of Christians forbidden?

Because teaching about religion in the context of history and culture is not forbidden.

9 posted on 01/09/2006 8:44:03 AM PST by Antonello (Oh my God, don't shoot the banana!)
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To: PatrickHenry

There are at least two separate issues here, although they are interlinked.

First of all, there is NO SUCH PHRASE in the Constitution as "Wall of separation between Church and State." That phrase was in a private letter from ONE of the numerous authors of the Constitution, is not part of the Constitution, and cannot be used to define the First Amendment EXCEPT BY ACTIVIST JUDGES.

The First Amendment says that there shall be no "establishment of religion" on a national level. The meaning of "establishment" historically is well known. It means a single state church, a single official church. The model the Founders were clearly thinking of was the Church of England, which at times the English monarchy had tried to foist on the American colonies as their official church.

At a secondary level, they were probably thinking of the Catholic Church in France, also an established national religion at that time, or the Lutheran Church in one of the Protestant German states.

The Constitution could and did permit establishment of religion within the states, if the citizens of those states chose to do so. Massachusetts had an established religion, as did several other states, and people who didn't like it were welcome to move to Rhode Island and Connecticut with Anne Hutchinson.

In later times, the citizens of the states freely and by their own votes ended these established churches. But there is nothing in the Constitution that would prevent them from reestablishing a religion in any state in the unlikely event that they chose to do so.

Still less is there anything in the Constitution that forbids praying in public, putting up Christian monuments on state or municiple land, or (probably) putting up nondenominational Christian monuments on federal land. There is nothing to forbid teaching of or about religion in the public schools. There is nothing to forbid saying that God created the universe. That was taught in all of our public schools until activist judges and closed minded fanatics managed to outlaw it.

The second issue is whether Darwinism has a monopoly on the truth, and should be enabled to demand that no competition will be permitted. I don't think so. But I've argued that on other threads and will not do so here. All I will say is that every one of these threads make it evident that Darwinists are closed minded, refuse to brook any competition, insist on a monopoly to brainwash our children who must never be permitted to hear any alternative views or questions, and ARE CLEARLY NOT CONSERVATIVE on any of these issues.

Perhaps they should wonder why they inevitably find themselves allied with the ACLU every time the issue of public school teaching arises.


10 posted on 01/09/2006 8:45:59 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Elpasser

"Until evolutionists can demonstrate how a strand of DNA can self-assemble, survive in a hostile chemical environment, and purposelessly begin to reproduce and form the form the first living cell, I'd say the theory is baloney. "



Until IDers can demonstrate the existence of a Designer (and address who designed the Designer), I'd say that the idea of ID (because it's not a theory) is baloney.

Until Creationists can demonstrate the creation of a young-Earth and prove the Earth is <10,000 years old (i.e. Biblical Creationism), I'd say that Creationism as scientific theory is baloney.


11 posted on 01/09/2006 8:46:03 AM PST by Blzbba (Sub sole nihil novi est)
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To: PatrickHenry
This is an activist decision...but because of anything to do with the substance of the decision

The real issue is not whether ID is science or creationism disguised as science...the real issue is who decides what students are taught...local school boards or federal courts.

What goes in a school in Dover, PA is a purely local issue. The Establishment Clause of the US Constitution has been so perverted since the 1947 Everson case that most people do not know that it applies to Congress and the federal government only. It would matter not one bit if the Dover schools spent an entire semester teaching about birth of Jesus...that is a state and local issue...and the federal government has no authority here. Granted courts, since 1947, have pretended that the First Amendment applies to local schools, towns and states...but it does not....and that is an easily provable fact. Applying the Constitution's prohibition on federal establishment of religion to state and local issues is judicial activism in every sense of the phrase

12 posted on 01/09/2006 8:46:10 AM PST by Irontank (Let them revere nothing but religion, morality and liberty -- John Adams)
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To: PatrickHenry
In his decision, Judge John E. Jones III ruled that not only is the theory of intelligent design religion poorly dressed in science language, teaching it in class is an outright violation of the First Amendment.

Well, I guess the issue is settled then. We all know that people with law degrees are completely qualified to make arbitrary determinations regarding what is and isn't scientific. By the way, that was sarcasm, people.

The author of this article shows her ignorance right off the bat by declaring the term "judicial activism" to be a false one, while immediately lauding an instance of that judicial activism. Whether intelligent design is a legitimate science or not is not the question. The question is whether it is within the jurisdiction of the court system to determine such a thing. Add to that the fact that the study of religion-related issues is not the same as promoting the religion itself. For instance, one could have a class completely devoted to the study of the Bible, as it is the most influential book in history, without it being a state-endorsed religion. In fact, any school that doesn't teach anything about Judeo-Christianity and the Bible isn't worth a damn, because no accurate history, literature, or law class would be complete without it.
13 posted on 01/09/2006 8:47:08 AM PST by fr_freak
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To: Elpasser
Until evolutionists can demonstrate how a strand of DNA can self-assemble, survive in a hostile chemical environment, and purposelessly begin to reproduce and form the form the first living cell, I'd say the theory is baloney.

Is there another theory that demonstrates how a strand of DNA does this?
14 posted on 01/09/2006 8:47:13 AM PST by drjimmy
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To: Physicist
This dissimulation over religion has been at once the funniest and most disturbing aspect of this whole affair.

It's also one of the dumbest. The entire purpose behind the construct of ID was to somehow slip creationism past the First Amendment radar detectors of the federal courts, while at the same time it would be enthusiastically supported by creationists' buying the books and tapes.

15 posted on 01/09/2006 8:52:10 AM PST by PatrickHenry (ID is to biology what "Brokeback Mountain" is to western movies.)
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To: kingu
If teaching religion is forbidden in the classroom, why is my child taught in school about Mecca, the beliefs of Islam, and some of their practices?

Last time I checked, none of this is taught in biology class.

Why is the creation story of the Cheyenne taught in school, but the creation story of Christians forbidden?

It is not forbidden. When I was in high school, we read the Bible in literature class. Some high schools have comparative religion class, in which the Christian story is compared to various others.

The only thing forbidden is attempting to pass off religion as science, which is exactly what happened in Dover.

16 posted on 01/09/2006 8:52:30 AM PST by curiosity
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To: Cicero
But there is nothing in the Constitution that would prevent them from reestablishing a religion in any state in the unlikely event that they chose to do so.

Exactly right...but, unfortunately, few people seem to get this (not so complicated) nuance of Constitutional law...and the federal courts now have 60 years of illegitimate rulings behind them which they can cite as some kind of authority for interjecting themselves in every local issue state-religion issue

17 posted on 01/09/2006 8:52:53 AM PST by Irontank (Let them revere nothing but religion, morality and liberty -- John Adams)
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To: PatrickHenry
....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 intelligent design, 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.
[emphasis added]

When a Bush appointed conservative Republican judge rules against ID with language like that, you know IDs time has come and gone. Defendants who lied under oath, expert defense witnesses who admitted there was no positive evidence for ID published in peer-reviewed science journals nor any experiments or research to back it up, and an activist law firm that shopped ID policy to school boards around the country to "gen up" a court challenge; ID's demise was orchestrated by a conspiracy of clowns, nitwits, and agenda-driven fanatics -- all of whom were on the pro-ID side.

Stick a fork in ID; in time, Dover will be seen as ID's Waterloo..... ID's demise will be recorded as a case intellectual suicide.

18 posted on 01/09/2006 8:53:41 AM PST by longshadow (FReeper #405, entering his ninth year of ignoring nitwits, nutcases, and recycled newbies)
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To: Irontank

Bingo on who decides.


19 posted on 01/09/2006 8:53:54 AM PST by Madeleine Ward
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To: fr_freak
From the article: "Gratuitous overuse has, in just a few short years, turned the phrase “judicial activism” from a description of an actual problem in the legal system into a catch-all keyword for any ruling that social conservatives dislike."

You: "The author of this article shows her ignorance right off the bat by declaring the term "judicial activism" to be a false one, while immediately lauding an instance of that judicial activism."

Spin only works if it has some resemblance to the subject being "spun".

20 posted on 01/09/2006 8:55:19 AM PST by atlaw
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To: Cicero
from ONE of the numerous authors of the Constitution
Not even that. Jefferson, the writer of that letter, was our ambassador to France at the time of the Constitutional Convention. And was suspicious of what was going on there . . .

21 posted on 01/09/2006 8:56:05 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: fr_freak
Whether intelligent design is a legitimate science or not is not the question. The question is whether it is within the jurisdiction of the court system to determine such a thing.

The question is whether the school board was trying to promote a sectarian a religious doctrine on its students. To establish this, the court must decide whether ID is science or religion.

Add to that the fact that the study of religion-related issues is not the same as promoting the religion itself. For instance, one could have a class completely devoted to the study of the Bible, as it is the most influential book in history, without it being a state-endorsed religion.

Agreed, but irrelevent to the topic at hand.

22 posted on 01/09/2006 8:56:26 AM PST by curiosity
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To: Blzbba

As I understand it, Creationism and ID are not the same.



23 posted on 01/09/2006 8:57:16 AM PST by Madeleine Ward
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To: Irontank
You've never heard of the 14th Amendment, I see.
24 posted on 01/09/2006 8:57:40 AM PST by curiosity
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To: Madeleine Ward
As I understand it, Creationism and ID are not the same.

ID is one kind of creationism among many.

25 posted on 01/09/2006 8:58:33 AM PST by curiosity
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: kingu
"If teaching religion is forbidden in the classroom, why is my child taught in school about Mecca, the beliefs of Islam, and some of their practices? Why is the creation story of the Cheyenne taught in school, but the creation story of Christians forbidden?

Can't even get this strawman correct? Pity.

The entire exercise has been about teaching religion in science class, no one has complained about teaching Christianity in comparative religion classes.

27 posted on 01/09/2006 9:00:07 AM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: Irontank

True. It will take some really fine conservative justices to reverse 50 or 60 years of bad constitutional law. But it should and must be done. The two worst problems are Roe v. Wade and so-called separation of Church and State, but there are others as well, most especially the clause that reserves to the states all powers not explicitly given to the federal government.

It can be done. It won't be easy, but it must be done, because arbitrary rule by unelected judges is nothing but tyranny.


28 posted on 01/09/2006 9:03:17 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero
In later times, the citizens of the states freely and by their own votes ended these established churches. But there is nothing in the Constitution that would prevent them from reestablishing a religion in any state in the unlikely event that they chose to do so
. . . but then, on that reading there's nothing that would prevent the State of New York from requiring that newspapers have to have licenses to operate in New York - since the First Amendment doesn't say that it can't, only that Congress can't.

29 posted on 01/09/2006 9:04:21 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: Elpasser
"Until evolutionists can demonstrate how a strand of DNA can self-assemble, survive in a hostile chemical environment, and purposelessly begin to reproduce and form the form the first living cell, I'd say the theory is baloney.

Who said anything about DNA self assembling? The original pre-life would be much simpler than DNA. As far as 'purposelessly reproduce', that is simply what RNA and DNA does. There are a number of other complex molecules that spontaneously replicate such as amino adenosine triacid ester (AATE).

30 posted on 01/09/2006 9:07:26 AM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: All
For those moaning and wailing that the judge had no juristiction (although the school board's lawyers don't agree with you), here's what the opinion says. Some of the links don't work, but they do at the original website, linked below:
This Court's jurisdiction arises under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition, the power to issue declaratory judgments is expressed in 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202. This Court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' cause of action arising under the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. Venue is proper in this District under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because one or more Defendants reside in this District, all Defendants reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the events or omissions giving rise to the claims at issue occurred in this District.

[snip]

As we will review the federal jurisprudential legal landscape in detail below, we will accordingly render only an abbreviated summary of that terrain by way of an introduction at this juncture. The religious movement known as Fundamentalism began in nineteenth century America as a response to social changes, new religious thought and Darwinism. McLean v. Ark. Bd. of Educ., 529 F. Supp. 1255, 1258 (E.D. Ark. 1982). Religiously motivated groups pushed state legislatures to adopt laws prohibiting public schools from teaching evolution, culminating in the Scopes "monkey trial" of 1925. McLean, 529 F.Supp. at 1259; see Scopes v. State, 154 Tenn. 105 (1927) (criminal prosecution of public-school teacher for teaching about evolution).

In 1968, a radical change occurred in the legal landscape when in Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968), the Supreme Court struck down Arkansas's statutory prohibition against teaching evolution. Religious proponents of evolution thereafter championed "balanced treatment" statutes requiring public-school teachers who taught evolution to devote equal time to teaching the biblical view of creation; however, courts realized this tactic to be another attempt to establish the Biblical version of the creation of man. Daniel v. Waters, 515 F.2d 485 (6th Cir. 1975).

Fundamentalist opponents of evolution responded with a new tactic suggested by Daniel's reasoning which was ultimately found to be unconstitutional under the First Amendment, namely, to utilize scientific-sounding language to describe religious beliefs and then to require that schools teach the resulting "creation science" or "scientific creationism" as an alternative to evolution.

In Edwards v. Arkansas, 482 U.S. 578 (1987), five years after McLean, the Supreme Court held that a requirement that public schools teach "creation science" along with evolution violated the Establishment Clause. The import of Edwards is that the Supreme Court turned the proscription against teaching creation science in the public school system into a national prohibition.

If you want to express your own views, that's fine, but at least you should read the opinion and try to comprehend it:
Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al..
31 posted on 01/09/2006 9:07:53 AM PST by PatrickHenry (ID is to biology what "Brokeback Mountain" is to western movies.)
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To: b_sharp

Don't be a hypocrite. The argument that religion must not be taught in science classes is nonsense. The courts have ruled, in the first place, that religion cannot be taught in the schools at all, unless it is somebody else's religion, like Islam or Aztec human sacrifice. The present decision which the Darwinists are all celebrating is based on the principle that no Christianity is allowed in the schools at all, not even on the football field.

Second, the sharp distinction between religion and science is artificial. If God exists, then arbitrarily ruling out all discussion of that fact hardly contributes to teaching the truth.

Religion and science have their separate areas, but Christianity traditionally believes that there can be no contradiction between true religion and true science. Darwinists, of course, although they will pretend otherwise, are basically atheists.

I'm not talking about partial evolution within species, which is really not controversial. I'm talking about Darwin's General Theory of Evolution, which was his only real "contribution." The general theory is a hypothesis, not a proven fact, and frankly, the accumulation of evidence over 150 years argues persuasively that it is false. The only way it can maintain itself is by striking what amounts to a kind of Muslim assertiveness. Darwinism must never be changed and never questioned. It must be taught to children in their formative years, and they must hear nothing to put it into question.


32 posted on 01/09/2006 9:09:45 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Madeleine Ward
"Bingo on who decides.

School boards should be able to determine what is taught as science?

33 posted on 01/09/2006 9:10:50 AM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: Syncretic
The issue in this case was simply "Who will be the master?" Will it be a group of Christians or the enlightened followers of the Science/Materialism Cult?

Thus, your objection is not what they teach in science class, but the fact that there is a science class at all.

34 posted on 01/09/2006 9:12:02 AM PST by Physicist
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To: Cicero
Still less is there anything in the Constitution that forbids praying in public, putting up Christian monuments on state or municiple land, or (probably) putting up nondenominational Christian monuments on federal land.
. . . and what are crosses marking the graves of deceased veterans in Arlington, but "Christian monuments on federal land?"

35 posted on 01/09/2006 9:14:35 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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To: kingu; mlc9852
If teaching religion is forbidden in the classroom, why is my child taught in school about Mecca, the beliefs of Islam, and some of their practices?

Teaching *about* religions (including Christianity) is fine. Teaching in a way to *advocate* a religion (or religions) is not.

Why is the creation story of the Cheyenne taught in school, but the creation story of Christians forbidden?

You're mistaken -- it's not forbidden to describe the "creation story of Christians". It was covered in *my* public school without any problem. What *is* forbidden is *pushing* any religion's tenets, as the Dover school board was attempting to do.

[mlc9852 wrote:] Don't expect an answer from our evo friends.

mlc9852 is wrong *again*, but I suppose he must be getting used to that by now.

36 posted on 01/09/2006 9:15:04 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: PatrickHenry
Congratulations: your thread has managed to draw out the fulminating fact-free spin fanatics to rale against Judge Jone's ruling. Amid all their fury and emotion, nary a word can be found to show where Judge Jones deviated from established Supreme Court established jurisprudence, which he as trial judge was bound to follow -- for him to do otherwise would have made him the very "activist judge" his detractors now accuse him of being.

As usual, for the anti-Evo whiners, a conservative Republican judge becomes "judicial activist," the protection of fundamental Individual rights by federal courts becomes an "invasion of federal heavy-handedness," and mendacious, perjurious defendants become martyrs and heroes. They might as well cut to the chase and tell us "black is white." Nothing they say makes sense, or comports with objective reality

37 posted on 01/09/2006 9:15:28 AM PST by longshadow (FReeper #405, entering his ninth year of ignoring nitwits, nutcases, and recycled newbies)
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To: b_sharp
School boards should be able to determine what is taught as science?

Actually, I suppose they can teach just about any pseudo-science they want. A deranged school board could banish evolution and teach Lysenkoism (Stalin's favorite biology theory). The only constraining rule (other than a state's own constitution) is the First Amendment. They can't use a science class to establish a religious doctrine.

38 posted on 01/09/2006 9:16:22 AM PST by PatrickHenry (ID is to biology what "Brokeback Mountain" is to western movies.)
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To: Elpasser

"Until evolutionists can demonstrate how a strand of DNA can self-assemble, survive in a hostile chemical environment, and purposelessly begin to reproduce and form the form the first living cell, I'd say the theory is baloney. "

On the other hand, why would God choose so complex a mechanism as DNA to spark life?

There is no inconsistency in believing in both God and some form of evolution. He gave us the brains to figure out how He did it.


39 posted on 01/09/2006 9:17:07 AM PST by Buck W. (Yesterday's Intelligentsia are today's Irrelevantsia.)
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To: b_sharp
Can't even get this strawman correct? Pity.

But an opportunity to belittle someone else doesn't escape you at least. It isn't a strawman, it was what my daughter was taught before Christmas vacation in school, hence why it was fresh in my mind and part of my comment on the article.

The entire exercise has been about teaching religion in science class, no one has complained about teaching Christianity in comparative religion classes.

History is a major component of virtually every biology coursebook I have ever examined. How one teaches 'intelligent design' as anything other than 'this is another explanation' I don't understand. It has a place in at least the historical context and should have equal footing with the descriptions of medieval beliefs that snails turned into swans or whatever it was (been a few years since I took biology.)

In the context of the Dover trial - the school board operated like morons. In the context of the history of biology, creationism has a place. Do I think it should go so far as to say that every mutation has the hand of God? No, I don't. Can it go so far as to say that some believe that the diversity of the biosphere leads some to see the hand of God? Absolutely.
40 posted on 01/09/2006 9:18:31 AM PST by kingu
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To: PatrickHenry; kingu; mlc9852
This is probably a good thread on which to post an excellent short summary of the Dover decision, posted by recently by R. Baldwin on the talk.origins newsgroup:
It is not the questioning of the Theory of Evolution that is unconstitutional, it is the teaching in public schools of religious concepts for religious reasons. The book "Of Pandas and People" was shown by trial evicence to be a creationist book through and through, published by a religious organization for religious purposes and containing a religious message. It was introduced by the Dover Area School Board for religious reasons to accomplish a religious goal. The Dover community understood that the controversy was over a religious question, as the judge noted by pointing out that letters to the editor in the York newspapers (both pro and con) where overwhelmingly discussing the religious aspects of the controversy.

41 posted on 01/09/2006 9:18:54 AM PST by Ichneumon
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Comment #42 Removed by Moderator

To: Cicero
The present decision which the Darwinists are all celebrating is based on the principle that no Christianity is allowed in the schools at all, not even on the football field.

So why no protests when the football players thank Jesus for a touchdown? Although I do admit to being perplexed that they don't seem to blame Jesus for turnovers and drive-killing holding calls.

43 posted on 01/09/2006 9:19:39 AM PST by Physicist
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To: longshadow

Be careful what you wish for. The "Conservatives" did get a non-activist judge and they don't like it.


44 posted on 01/09/2006 9:21:01 AM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Syncretic
Perhaps Physicist knows that Sir Isaac Newton was a devout Christian.

Perhaps Syncretic does not know that Sir Isaac was an Arianist heretic. What was that about opposing a cult?

45 posted on 01/09/2006 9:21:12 AM PST by Physicist
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To: PatrickHenry
“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.

Like an activist judge is going to admit to being one. Only an activist judge would feel a need to offer up such a comment.

46 posted on 01/09/2006 9:21:51 AM PST by connectthedots
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To: kingu
If teaching religion is forbidden in the classroom, why is my child taught in school about Mecca, the beliefs of Islam, and some of their practices?

Is it (Islam) being taught in science class as an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution?

Must be some more of that mystery fine print in the constitution that only liberals can read.

Physician, heal thyself...

47 posted on 01/09/2006 9:24:13 AM PST by Ol' Dan Tucker (Karen Ryan reporting...)
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To: connectthedots
Only an activist judge would feel a need to offer up such a comment.

Taking Supreme Court precedents and the First Amendment seriously is pure conservatism. Tossing out precedent and the Constitution to please a gaggle of theocrats isn't any sane person's idea of what a conservative judge should do.

48 posted on 01/09/2006 9:25:54 AM PST by PatrickHenry (ID is to biology what "Brokeback Mountain" is to western movies.)
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: Cicero
There is nothing to forbid saying that God created the universe. That was taught in all of our public schools until activist judges and closed minded fanatics managed to outlaw it.
That is implicit, or more than implicit, in the Declaration of Independence. The legitimacy of the government - and of the currency and coin of the realm - actually ultimately depend on that premise.

50 posted on 01/09/2006 9:29:34 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters but PR.)
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