Intelligent Design

Time Magazine and Judge John Jones

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The magazine who made these men “Man of the Year”

1938 – Adolf Hitler
1939 – Joseph Stalin
1942 – Joseph Stalin
1957 – Nikita Krushchev
1979 – Ayatullah Khomeini

now brings you Judge John Jones as a 2006 Honorable (pun intended) Mention.

Here is the full list: http://www.time.com/time/2006/time100/index.html
Here is the page on Judge Jones: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1187265,00.html

TIME 100: The People Who Shape Our World

Figure 1
From the Magazine | Scientists & Thinkers

John Jones

The Judge Who Ruled for Darwin
By MATT RIDLEY

Judge John Jones must have seemed like the answer to creationists’ prayers: a Bush-appointed Republican federal judge, and a Lutheran to boot, chosen by lot to decide whether school-board guidance on the teaching of intelligent design to public schools in Dover, Pa., breached the First Amendment separation of church and state. When Jones delivered his judgment in December, however, he proved to be the answer to Darwinians’ prayers instead.

In a rebuke to the proponents of intelligent design, Jones called the phrase “a mere relabeling of creationism,” intended to get around the 1987 judicial ban on teaching creationism as science in public schools, and a “breathtaking inanity” that fails the test as science. He castigated its proponents and said Dover’s students, parents and teachers “deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom.”

Intelligent design was indeed a euphemism specially intended to get around judges. But it didn’t get past Jones, 50, the grandson of a golf-course developer of Welsh ancestry, whose previous claims to fame were a failed attempt to privatize Pennsylvania’s state liquor stores as chairman of the Liquor Control Board­and banning Bad Frog Beer on the grounds that its label was obscene. He now finds himself an unlikely hero for scientists, many of whom credit his decision with taking some steam out of the intelligent-design movement.

Had Jones been a Democrat or an atheist, his judgment might have had less impact. He displayed not only a quick wit in the courtroom but also an easy grasp of complex arguments about such things as the molecular motor that drives the bacterial flagellum­which the creationists believe has “irreducible complexity” and therefore could not have been designed except by a designer. Perhaps now, after Jones, people will accept that if they want to teach children about God, they should do so in church, not in science classes.

Figure 2
(Judge Jones is fourth from the right on the bottom row)

Is that a halo around Judge Jones’ head? 🙄

16 Replies to “Time Magazine and Judge John Jones

  1. 1

    Thanks, Dave, for contextualizing this milestone in our proper appreciation of important personages. . . . What a crock.

  2. 2
    bFast says:

    “Intelligent design was indeed a euphemism specially intended to get around judges.” Huh?

    No chance you can find the glowing reports that Time gave to Hitler, Stalin, Krushchev and Khomeini.

  3. 3

    Judge Jones has spoken. So let it be done. So let it be written.

    Long live Judge Jones!

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Farshad says:

    “Is that a halo around Judge Jones’ head?”

    Yes indeed! Judge Jones has become a holy figure for Darwinism!

    Lest science fall into darkness! 😛

  6. 6

    A halo around his head, and a glass of kool-aid in his hand.
    Yes, indeed.
    Lest we forget.

  7. 7
    ThePolynomial says:

    OK, to be fair, this is what they say about Hitler:

    “More significant was the fact Hitler became in 1938 the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today.”

    And on Stalin in ’39:

    “It made Joseph Stalin man of 1939. History may not like him but history cannot forget him.”

    The reviews are much more generous than they are when we discuss these men today (understatement), but the point is that Time is labeling them as influential, not good. And if Reese Witherspoon could make the list, I think Judge Jones qualifies as influential enough.

  8. 8
    leebowman says:

    Was the Kitzmiller decision a victory for Evolution and a defeat for Intelligent Design? Depends on your take. There were many issues that were confronted in the trial, addressed by witnesses, by both council representatives, and finally Judge Jones. But in the final analysis, who was the winner?

    At the end of the day, jurisprudence was the victor, as it established itself as the final word in settling complex issues. And who were the losers? Obviously, the Dover schoolboard, for one. But who was the real loser? I hate to say it, but scientific inquiry is the one that got kicked in the pants.

  9. 9
    Gods iPod says:

    Bill, don’t be so quick to put down this honor of being man of the year. If things keep going as we hope, I predict you will be gracing that cover sooner than you think.

  10. 10
    j says:

    “he proved to be the answer to Darwinians’ prayers” “Darwinians” (Huh?) Prayers for what, random mutations or (purposeless/blind/unguided) natural selection?

  11. 11
    DonaldM says:

    Has anyone noticed the names missing from from this list of “most” influential persons? Judge Jones was listed in the “Scientists and Thinkers” section.
    So, where was Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett or William Provine or Eugenie Scott or Ken Miller or any of the other mavens of Darwinism? And, isn’t it interesting that the one person chosen as influential in the cause of evolution is a [b]judge[/b] and not a scientist or philosopher of science! What does that say about the state of the actual science of evolution? Very interesting indeed.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    carbon14atom says:

    Yanno, I always hear that goofy reverse proverb, life imitates art, I never thought I would see proof of it, and not just any art, COMIC book art. Kudos, Scott for pointing out the artistic connection. I wonder how much Stallone would want for the part of Judge Jones in the “movie of the week” mini series deal….

  14. 14
    egbooth says:

    Wow, DS…I didn’t think it was possible for you to sink lower but…wow.
    What an incredibly sophomoric way of smearing someone who didn’t buy the BS of ID when it was presented by the experts. To implicitly compare him to Stalin and Hitler is completely reprehensible! As you darn well know…Time magazine doesn’t pick the most moral people for Man/Person of the Year…it’s the ones that have been the most influential…good or bad.

    Grow up!

    I forfeited that one on purpose. Godwin’s Law don’t you know… -ds

  15. 15

    […] depth in his court, let alone made an independent judgment about them. Those who think, as some do (http://www.uncommondescent.com.....n-jones/ ), that in the Dover trial a philosopher-king weighed competing ideas and independently saw the […]

  16. 16

    […] depth in his court, let alone made an independent judgment about them. Those who think, as some do (http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ohn-jones/ ), that in the Dover trial a philosopher-king weighed competing ideas and independently saw the […]

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