Dover comes to a close

With plaintiff and new board member Bryan Rehm abstaining, the Dover Area School District voted unanimously last night to approve a settlement agreement in the intelligent design case. The district will pay $1 million dollars in fees to cover plaintiffs’ attorneys’ costs, more than half of the $2.067 million to which the plaintiffs are entitled based on the court order.

“Attorneys representing [the plaintiffs] settled the judgment for half that amount to recognize the community for voting out most of the board members who had approved the policy.

“This sends a message to other school districts contemplating intelligent
design that the price tag can be truly substantial, and it rewards the school
district and the community for cleaning their own house and voting out the old
board,” said Richard Katskee, assistant legal director for Americans United for
Separation of Church and State….

“Attorneys’ fees are an important part of civil rights litigation,” said
Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “[Plaintiff] Tammy
Kitzmiller couldn’t have afforded this case; the money has to come from
somewhere.” (Philadelphia Inquirer article)

And, thus ends this chapter…

4 thoughts on “Dover comes to a close

  1. If a new board puts the policy back in, let us hope that they won’t get a discount even if voted out.

  2. Not completely closed: voyeurs like me still want to hear about the perjury possibilities for some of the board members.

    Cheers, Neil.

  3. I have been following the Dover trial and the intelligent design movement with great interest.
    While the results of Dover are clearly a statement about the problematic nature of intelligent design as science, it seems premature to celebrate. Indeed, there are countless enclaves (such as this website, as well as numerous blogs, and the list goes on) in which those who oppose intelligent design can rally against its main advocates. However, such self-affirmation is myopic if it does not acknowledge the broader implications of intelligent design. As soon as the judge handed down the decision in Dover, intelligent design advocates announced their new strategy: to teach the flaws/shortcomings in Darwin’s theory, rather than ID explicitly.
    Therefore, this should be a moment for reflection on how to proceed, rather than merely a celebration. People who oppose ID need to move beyond simplistic attacks and fashion a rhetorically savvy message that can appeal to people who do not already agree with us. The initial idea that evolution was so powerful as science that it spoke for itself is a self-assurance that clearly needs to be revised. While many of us find the science of evolution to be beyond question, we have a responsibility to explain that science in such a way that it is plausible and persuasive to those outside of our enclaves.
    Yes, it might be true that Dover has come to a close, but the larger public controversy has no end in sight. Rather than merely celebration or merely resignation, this can be a productive moment to craft a message that will sell in the public sphere.

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