Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Where Science Fails, Financial Intimidation Wins

The “science” of evolution can’t withstand even mild criticism so they resort to financial intimidation to win the day. Cobb county, Georgia, didn’t teach evolution at all in their high schools. A few years ago they decided to start teaching it and placed the following sticker in the textbook: This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered. The ACLU sued the school district, won in the lower court, the ruling was appealed, and the higher court remanded the case back down to the lower court for a do-over saying the original trial evidence was flawed. Read More ›

Flatulence removed from “The Judge Jones School of Law”

The Rembrandt of flash animation and I are working to enhance “The Judge Jones School of Law.” As a first step we have made the animation less offensive to more refined sensibilities. All the overt flatulence has therefore been removed. Go to www.overwhelmingevidence.com for the less objectional version of this animation (we are keeping the original, however, so that when the history of evolution’s demise is written, all versions of this animation will be available to historians).

Plagiarism: The Letter of the Law Versus the Spirit of the Law

Judge Jones — by accepting widespread praise for the most salient and important part of his decision in its written form, without acknowledging the true authors — has implicitly taken credit for what was not his. In my view, this constitutes de facto plagiarism, and it should be called what it is. What say you?

Judge Jones — plenary speaker at scientific meeting

ID is dead and has been defeated by real science. But if so, why is Judge John E. Jones III the plenary speaker at the big Botany & Plant Biology Joint Congress this summer (see below)? Could it be that the scientists at this meeting have failed to defeat ID on scientific grounds and thus are looking to do it in on legal and political grounds? Plenary Speaker Judge John E. Jones III Plenary Address Sunday, July 8, 7:30 pm Title & Location to be Announced ———————————— In 2005 Judge Jones presided over the landmark case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District, after which he held that it was unconstitutional to teach intelligent design within a public school science curriculum. Read More ›

Judge Jones: Towering Intellectual or Narcissistic Putz?

Judge Jones tours the American countryside seeking the adulation of our intellectual elite and extolling the genius of his Kitzmiller v. Dover decision. The press release below indicates that Jones let the ACLU essentially dictate his decision. Instead of original and impeccable reasoning, Jones uncritically took extensive material from the ACLU’s proposed “findings of fact and conclusions of law” and either copied it directly or modified it ever so slightly. Outside the legal system this is called plagiarism. But since judges are allowed to draw on briefs of the parties, this is called legal scholarship. Even so, courts frown on decisions in which judges extensively copy and paste from other briefs — which is exactly what Jones did! Wired Magazine voted Jones one of the sexiest geeks of 2005. Time characterized him as a legal genius. Truth be told, Jones is a narcissistic putz.

In case you have trouble downloading the Discovery article cited below, i.e., “A Comparison of Judge Jones’ Opinion …”, I’ve uploaded it on the UD server here: www.uncommondescent.com/documentation/Comparing_Jones_and_ACLU.pdf.

“Masterful” Federal Ruling on Intelligent Design Was Copied from ACLU

Seattle — The key section of the widely-noted court decision on intelligent design issued a year ago on December 20 was copied nearly verbatim from a document written by ACLU lawyers, according to a study released today by scholars affiliated with the Discovery Institute. [Go here.]

“Judge John Jones copied verbatim or virtually verbatim 90.9% of his 6,004-word section on whether intelligent design is science from the ACLU’s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’ submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling,” said Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.

“Ironically, Judge Jones has been hailed as ‘an outstanding thinker’ for his ‘masterful’ ruling, and even honored by Time magazine as one of the world’s ‘most influential people’ in the category of ‘scientists and thinkers,'” said West. “But Jones’ analysis of the scientific status of intelligent design contains virtually nothing written by Jones himself. This finding seriously undercuts the credibility of a central part of the ruling.”

The study notes that, while judges routinely make use of proposed findings of fact, “the extent to which Judge Jones simply copied the language submitted to him by the ACLU is stunning. For all practical purposes, Jones allowed ACLU attorneys to write nearly the entire section of his opinion analyzing whether intelligent design is science. As a result, this central part of Judge Jones’ ruling reflected essentially no original deliberative activity or independent examination of the record on Jones’ part.”

Jones’ copying was so uncritical that he even reprinted a number of factual errors originally made by ACLU attorneys.

For example, Jones claimed that biochemist Michael Behe, when asked about articles purporting to explain the evolution of the immune system, responded that the articles were “not ‘good enough.'” Behe actually said the exact opposite: “it’s not that they aren’t good enough. It’s simply that they are addressed to a different subject.” Jones’ misrepresentation of Behe came directly from the ACLU’s “Findings of Fact.” Read More ›

Ken Miller up to his old tricks . . .

This just in from a colleague and posted with his permission. For the record:

  1. I did not withdraw from the Dover case — the Thomas More Law Center fired me over a perceived conflict of interest relating to my role as academic editor of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (the publisher of the book in question — OF PANDAS AND PEOPLE). I was frankly looking forward to being deposed by the ACLU and staring them down at the trial. Perhaps another trial is in the offing, and Ken and I can finally have our day in court.
  2. The Vise Strategy was first announced here and posted on my designinference.com website after the trial (http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.11.Vise_Strategy.pdf), yes, but I wrote it for the Thomas More Law Center prior to the trial to assist them in their preparation (I didn’t post it till afterward so as not to advantage the other side).
  3. For a movement that is in its death throes, I, as one of its principal advocates, am looking at more speaking engagements than I can fulfill and very generous honoraria (I suspect more than Ken Miller receives). A good gauge for when a movement enters death throes is when people stop talking about it being in death throes and simply ignore it as something that is of no consequence and indistinguisable from something that doesn’t exist. In short, when Ken Miller stops giving public talks against ID, we’ll know that the movement is in its death throes (that, or he’ll have converted to our side).

Wednesday’s annual Cultural Lecture by Ken Miller at
the NIH was on ID vs. SCIENCE. As told in mainly a
historical narrative, we were taken to Bill Dembski’s
blog, shown files from the Discovery Institute, the
cover of “The Lie” by Ken Ham, cartoons from Answers
in Genesis, shown textual modifications in “Of Pandas
and People”, arguments from horse, whale and fish
fossils, chromosmal differences between humans and
chimps, and accounts of the Dover trial—which
included deposition lawyers finding a smoking gun at a
Texas hotel, as Bill Dembski mysteriously didn’t
show—he speculated that DI told everyone but the 3
pro-ID witnesses to drop out of the trial, because
they realized that no one could actually defend ID in
a court of law. It was a tour de force 1 hr roller
coaster that was quite emotion grabbing, and I’m
leaving out the funniest part, which was his showing
his appearance on “The Colbert Report”. While that had
comedic value, it was interesting that he used that
clip to show how the issue of Darwinism quickly
changes to religion, as though Stephen Colbert asks
his questions in sincerity and not for hilarity. Read More ›

Ken Miller caught making factually incorrect statements under oath

Discovery Institute attorney and scientist (and IDEA co-founder) Casey Luskin has posted this article on more of Ken Miller’s mis-steps under oath and in public. See: Ken Miller’s “Random and Undirected” Testimony. Luskin earlier pointed out Miller’s misrepresentations under oath here. I figured you all might want a thread to discuss this, so here it is!

Jury Nullification – People Stripped of Their Power

This is a follow on to my earlier article urging people to write their congress persons in support of H.R. 2679, Public Expression of Religion Act of 2005.

What I want to talk about here is how the people have been stripped of their right to have a jury judge the law – commonly called jury nullification – and have a judge’s opinion substituted for that of a jury of peers as intended by the constitution. Read More ›

ACLU Supports Vile Protesters at Military Funerals

ACLU lawsuit challenges Ky. funeral-protest law

By The Associated Press
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Portions of a new state law intended to prevent protesters from disrupting funerals for soldiers killed in Iraq are unconstitutional and should be struck down, the American Civil Liberties Union said in a federal lawsuit filed yesterday. Read More ›

ACLU Stops Graduation Prayers

Graduation prayer axed at Shelby County High
SHELBYVILLE – The principal of Shelby County High School said the school will not have formal prayer at graduation exercises next month after receiving a complaint from a student and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.

Read More ›

(Culture War) The Final Rout of the Left Has Begun

South Dakota just passed a law making abortion a felony except in case of medical emergency. It’s now just a matter for the governor to sign it which everyone expects him to do. The law is designed to force the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. The present Supreme Court is unlikely to hold up Roe v. Wade which is based on a made up out of whole cloth (mythical) constitutional guarantee of privacy. It will become again a matter for states to decide for themselves. This is as it should be. A bunch of politicians or judges in Washington have no business defining the moral standards that the good and free people of South Dakota or any other state must live with. Legislated moral values not explicitely enumerated in the constitution are simply something the federal government has no business dictating to the states.

Read More ›

Behe Responds to Judge Jones


Behe covers several sections in detail but here is the overall summary at the end:

The Court’s reasoning in section E-4 is premised on: a cramped view of science; the conflation of intelligent design with creationism; the incapacity to distinguish the implications of a theory from the theory itself; a failure to differentiate evolution from Darwinism; and strawman arguments against ID. The Court has accepted the most tendentious and shopworn excuses for Darwinism with great charity and impatiently dismissed arguments for design. Read More ›