Tuesday, December 20, 2005


First Amendment 1, IDiots 0

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III has ruled that teaching "Intelligent Design" in science classes would violate the First Amendment prohibition against government sponsorship of religion. The ruling is one long dope slap. From the conclusion:

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. [...] 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.
Since the voters of Dover, PA, threw 8 of the 9 IDiots off the school board (the 9th wasn't up for re-election) last November, it's unlikely the ruling will be appealed. And anybody inclined to screech "liberal activist judge" will come up against the cold, hard fact that Judge Jones was appointed by George W. Bush.
I saw this on CBS News tonight and was about to rush over here to blog it -- but you beat me to it.

I can't wait to scoot over to PZ Myers' place and see how he likes the ruling! It reads as if Myers himself wrote the thing. The judge actually dared to call the ID people what they are: LIARS.
I haven't seen a ruling like this since the British judge presiding over David Irving's libel lawsuit wielded the cluestick around Irving's earhole. It's lovely.
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