Points for creativity

Today Judge Jones issued an order striking the Discovery Institute’s friend-of-the-court briefs, which were filed on October 3.

The ACLU argued that these briefs were simply a way to bring in the Discovery Institute’s opinions “without opening up themselves to the scrutiny of cross-examination.” As noted in the previous post, several experts from the Discovery Institute were set to testify on behalf of the defendants, the Dover Area School District. They subsequently withdrew as witnesses, and were therefore not cross-examined. Nonetheless, the Discovery Institute attempted to include much of the withdrawn expert testimony of Dr. Stephen Meyer in its friend-of-the-court brief.

Motion to strike the friend-of-the-court briefs from the Discovery Institute

Judge Jones’s order

7 thoughts on “Points for creativity

  1. The lawyers for the plaintiffs might want to see this


    It’s an email from one of the reviewers (Morrow) who Behe claimed reviewed ‘Darwin’s Black Box’. Basicially, he says he didn’t: he reviewed DBB for an earlier publisher, and recommended outright rejection.

    Begin quoted email…

    Hi Alan,

    I did review Behe’s book for a publisher who turned it down on the basis of my comments, and those of others (including Russell Doolittle who trashed it). When I reviewed Behe’s book I was much more polite than Doolittle, who didn’t mince words. Eventually Behe found another publisher, so he’s right; it was peer reviewed. What he doesn’t say is that is was rejected by the first set of reviewers.

    I also debated Behe in Dallas in 1992. Once, again, I attempted to be civil, professional and dignified. Behe’s response was aggressive, condescending and simply rude.

    I will say, unequivocally, I am (as practically every professional working biologist I have every met) convinced by the overwhelming body of evidence that Darwin’s concept of evolution, and its subsequent modifications by the last 150 years of investigation, is the correct, and the best explanation for the great cornucopia of living creatures with which we share this planet.

    I’m absolutely appalled by Behe’s arguments, which are simply a rehash of ideas that Darwin considered and rejected. There is not a shred of evidence to support intelligent design, and a vast body of evidence that argues against it. It is not a scientific hypothesis, it simply the philosophical wanderings of an uniformed (or disingenuous) mind.

    At present I’m involved in product development for an immunodiagnostics company, and we are discussing how to approach to Avian flu, and how we can design a test that takes into account the constantly evolving nature of the RNA viruses. Do the intelligent designers want return us to a time when mankind attributed disease to evil spirits, and allow us no tools to understand the ravages of epidemic diseases, and how to design therapies and diagnostics against them?

    I believe that the argument is not about science at all, but simply right wing fundamentalists using a different tactic to force religious teaching in the public schools. I thought that Judge Overton had put this case to rest 30 years ago, but apparently not.

    Thanks for this opportunity to clarify my feelings on this subject.

  2. Correction: Judge Jones struck only the second of the two briefs. See n. 2 on p. 4 of the Memorandum and Order: “We will accord the brief of amici curiae biologists and other scientists the consideration to which it may
    be entitled in the case sub judice.”

  3. I’m glad that the DI’s second brief was excluded, but I do think the attorneys for the plantiffs could have done a better job of characterizing the *first* amicus brief.

    My analysis (which is here) indicates that:

    –38 out of 85 signers did not indicate a current institutional affiliation, simply where they received a degree. These people are most likely not working scientists.

    –9 of the 57 who did indicate their current affiliation are connected to evangelical or “Bible-centered” Christian colleges.

    –72 of the 85 signers also signed the DI’s “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism”.

    –Of the 13 who did not sign the “Dissent”, several have connections with the intelligent design movement or expressed their belief in intelligent design

    –3 of the signers are Fellows of the DI’s Center for Science and Culture, and a fourth is the CSC’s program director. (The fellows include the co-author of “Pandas”).

    In short, the authority of the signers of the amicus brief as independent working scientists is suspect, and it should be rejected for that reason.

  4. Creation, according to the Bible, is an account of ID. In order to prove the existence of anything there must be 5 elements: time, forse, space, matter & motion. Genesis 1:1 says: ” In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.” Now there is a scientific staement that has all 5 elements!
    Evolutionists teach that their is no God. Just like Hitler! If there is no God, there are no rules!
    Eternity is a long time to be wrong!

  5. Since it seems that Intelligent Design posits that what is not known or understood must be proof of an intelligent designer, I have a question. Given the backgrounds of the witnesses, one must wonder if they understand Hip Hop. And, if any of them have said “I’m down with my homies in Cell Block 6” or “Foschnizzle.”. If not, is this proof that God created Hip Hop?

    I’m sorry, but this is the silliest waste of a courtroom I have seen in a long time. Kudos to the judge for keeping it together during this mess.


    Bill McCormick

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