Discoveroids’ Kitzmas Series: #3 & #2

The excitement is almost unendurable as the Discovery Institute is gradually getting to their #1 reason why the decision on 20 December 2005 by Judge John E. Jones III in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District was all wrong and is of no importance whatsoever. Their top reason should appear tomorrow — 20th, the day we celebrate Kitzmas.

The last entry in the Discoveroids’ series that we posted about was Discoveroids’ Kitzmas Series: #4 — Behe & Galileo. We skipped yesterday’s offering, but if you want to read the thing, it’s here at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog: Ten Myths About Dover: #3, “Intelligent Design Has No Peer-Reviewed Research or Publications”. That was by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. It was the usual list of the “peer reviewed” articles that are mostly “published” at their own websites. We’ve seen it all before.

Today they just posted Ten Myths About Dover: #2: “Judge Jones Is a Brilliant, Neutral Legal Scholar Who Figured Out ID”. It’s by Sarah Chaffee, a new Discoveroid staffer who is neither a biologist nor a lawyer. What could Sarah possibly have to say that would be worth our time? Not much, but we’ll give you a few of the funnier excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The Darwin lobby was overjoyed at the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, which banned intelligent design in Dover classrooms. In the media and elsewhere, Judge Jones was praised as impartial and his ruling as brilliant. Expert witness for the plaintiffs Kenneth Miller told the New York Times, “I think the judge really nailed it.”

Oh, how outrageous! Here’s what savvy Sarah thinks of that:

But Judge Jones’s agreement (or disagreement) with one’s particular viewpoint does not necessarily make him an exemplar judge. Indeed, there are several logical and legal reasons that his decision should not have earned him such ecstatic accolades.

Savvy Sarah, that paragon of logical thinking and legal scholarship, will now enlighten us. Let’s read on:

Some ID critics have claimed that since Jones was appointed by George W. Bush, a Republican, this means he must be objective and neutral, thus confirming the credibility of his decision. Kevin Padian, expert witness for the plaintiffs, and Nick Matzke of the National Center for Science Education wrote: “Judge John E. Jones III is a churchgoer, a lifelong Republican, appointed to his Federal position by President George W. Bush.”

That’s true, and the Discoveroids were certainly expecting that Jones would be favorably disposed toward their “theory.” But Sarah has an explanation for why the judge was such a disappointment:

Padian and Matzke forget that judges often turn out to represent ideological views far removed from those of the presidents who appointed them.

Oh — the judge’s opinion had nothing to do with the evidence, or the law, or the fact that some of the creationist school board members were caught lying about their motives. It was merely because sometimes judges are an ideological disappointment. That explains it. Sarah continues:

As for the merit of that ruling, Judge Jones only had the authority to decide whether the Dover school board’s policy violated the First Amendment. That was the question before him. But he strayed so far from his proper role as to rule on whether or not intelligent design is science, and whether or not evolution is compatible with religion.

We’ve been through that before in earlier entries of this series, so we won’t bother with it again. Here’s more:

But does the part of his ruling on ID as religion in fact demonstrate careful analysis, even-handed consideration, and thoughtful application of precedent? Not really. On the contrary, John West and David DeWolf found that a full 90.9 percent of that section was copied, either verbatim or nearly verbatim, from a brief submitted by the plaintiffs’ attorney. So Judge Jones didn’t even come up with his own ideas about ID. It appears he largely copied them from an ACLU brief.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Casey said the same thing four years ago. We discussed it here: Casey and Kitzmiller — the Case He “Forgot”, where we said:

Judges often copy large portions from the briefs of the prevailing party — not because they’re taking orders from such party, but because they find that those arguments are legally correct and should be adopted by the court. It’s a very common practice, and only Casey finds it bothersome. Indeed, like many judges, Jones required the parties to submit their versions of the “findings of fact” and “conclusions of law.” Much of the winning side’s submission will find its way into the court’s final opinion. That’s utterly routine.

Ah, but not only does Sarah seem to take her arguments from old posts by Casey, but she seems to be dimly aware of what we had said about it. She then quotes a judicial opinion that criticizes the practice of a judge adopting a party’s proposed opinion as its own (but without any analysis by the judge), and she says — based on no experience whatsoever:

What’s more, attorneys are hired to win, not to engage in meticulous scholarly analysis. They typically offer a variety of arguments on behalf of their clients — some stronger than others. Copying from one side’s brief means that a judge is likely to incorporate overstatements by attorneys into a ruling. So it was here.

Yeah, okay. Moving along:

Similarly, on the issue of ID research, the plaintiff’s brief claimed, “Intelligent design is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.” Likewise, Judge Jones in his ruling said, “The evidence presented in this case demonstrates that ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.”

What’s wrong with that? In the judge’s opinion, which you can read here, the subject of peer-reviewed science is discussed extensively, and on page 88 of his opinion, the judge wrote:

On cross-examination, Professor Behe admitted that: “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.” [Transcript reference] Additionally, Professor Behe conceded that there are no peer-reviewed papers supporting his claims that complex molecular systems, like the bacterial flagellum, the blood-clotting cascade, and the immune system, were intelligently designed. [Transcript references.] In that regard, there are no peer-reviewed articles supporting Professor Behe’s argument that certain complex molecular structures are “irreducibly complex.” [Transcript references.] In addition to failing to produce papers in peer-reviewed journals, ID also features no scientific research or testing. [Transcript references.].

Savvy Sarah seems not to have read the judge’s opinion. Why should she? The Discoveroids already know that it’s worthless. This is what she says at the end:

Judicial opinions are supposed to be carefully thought out and based upon solid evidence brought up in trial. Was Jones’s ruling on ID really the meticulous work of an impartial jurist? Hardly. His extensive copying and the errors this introduced should undermine confidence in his ruling. Any fair critic who wants to show that ID is something other than science needs to turn, for confirmation, to other arguments and other sources.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, don’t rely on a 139-page opinion written after a trial that lasted 40 days. Instead, get your information from the Discoveroids’ creationist blog.

So there you are, dear reader. And now, with great anticipation, we await the ultimate — the Discoveroids’ number reason why we should all disregard the Kitzmiller opinion. That’s coming tomorrow — on Kitzmas.

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19 responses to “Discoveroids’ Kitzmas Series: #3 & #2

  1. There are a number of other–and certainly better–versions floating around of this perennial Kitzmas classic. Indeed, it’s the sort of thing one can readily tweak to include ones own favourite catalogue of goodies from the amazing Disco’Tute. Here’s mine:

    On the twelfth day of Kitzmas
    The D.I. gave to me:

    12 privileged planets,
    11 Gerbils squeaking,
    10 quotes a-mining ,
    9 Egnors boring,
    8 Klings poo-flinging,
    7 Steins expelling,
    6 Chappies chafing,
    5 green-screen labs!
    4 Dembski slurs,
    3 wrenched Wests,
    2 Crocoducks,
    and a Watchmaker A-na-lo-gy!

  2. And again, when the Discovery Institute needs a legal treatise they turn to a new intern instead of their in-house lawyer who is paid for… well, something.

    I doubt it is a coincidence.

  3. Ceteris Paribus

    Myths? The Discoveroids have a fetish for myths? My mistake. I thought they were going to tell us something about moths that had been created with ID camouflage patterns.

    Well, the folks at the Disco Tute are just as clueless as
    Inspector Jacques Clouseau anyway, so why let it go to waste.

  4. … and
    0 alternatives to evolution

  5. “judges often turn out to represent ideological views far removed from those of the presidents who appointed them.”
    But that’s actually correct! Sort of. The ideological view of independent judges quite often turns out to be that they should be impartial and only loyal to the law. Even one of the Russian judges at Nürnberg decided to behave like a judge – and neglect Stalin’s instructions.
    That’s an ideological disappointment indeed and also evidence that the concept of independent judges is a good one.

  6. Does anyone else think that number one will be their fan-fiction version of what the trial should have been like?

  7. michaelfugate

    #1 is that the DI should get a mulligan and 10 extra years to meet all the goals of the Wedge. Oh and, there is nothing wrong with including god in every science lesson. Just remember [science + god = science] so secularists can ignore the goddy bits just like they ignore prayers at city council meetings.

  8. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Some ID critics have claimed that since Jones was appointed by George W. Bush, a Republican, this means he must be objective and neutral, thus confirming the credibility of his decision.

    This is, of course, a bald-faced lie. Nobody I’ve ever read claims that “he must be objective and neutral” simply because Bush chose him.

    The only reason it is pointed out that he was appointed by Bush is the ever repeated refrain by the creationists that they can’t get their “science” taught in school is because they are blocked by “activist, liberal” judges who they blame for every decision they don’t like from ID Creationism to marriage equality. It’s been worth pointing out that they can’t make that claim this time because Jones is a stout Christian Republican and it’s that very reason Sarah Chaffee goes on to say…

    Padian and Matzke forget that judges often turn out to represent ideological views far removed from those of the presidents who appointed them.

    That might be true. But the only reason she points it out is that she can imply that Jones is too an “activist,liberal” judge who not only over-reached in his duty but couldn’t be objective nor come to a logical conclusion. Oh, but wait, here it comes. Let’s just outright say it, Sarah.

    Judicial opinions are supposed to be carefully thought out and based upon solid evidence brought up in trial. Was Jones’s ruling on ID really the meticulous work of an impartial jurist? Hardly.

    A double flip with a handstand to wind up right back at the reason why people point out that Jones is a Christian Republican appointed by Bush, because he had been accused by many of being an activist who is at ideological odds with your typical Christian Republican who makes up nearly all, if not all, people who support ID creationism.

    Also, Jones is a poopy head. See Dr. Dr. Dembski’s high class flash animation depicting a farting Jones for more details.

  9. So, Casey Luskin thinks that, because there have been imperfections in the peer review process, ID/creationism’s list of 90 “peer reviewed” papers should be allowed to be published in real scientific journals.

    The list is absolutely laughable; and it contains everything from Abel to Sewell and more.

    These characters are completely clueless about real scientific concepts and how actually doing real science works.

  10. The whole truth

    “she seems to be dimly aware”

    That’s putting it mildly.🙂

  11. The whole truth

    “What’s more, attorneys are hired to win, not to engage in meticulous scholarly analysis.” (my bold)

    Hey sarah, that applies to the discotoot attorneys, including your boyfriend luskin, and to the thomas more law center attorneys, right?

  12. michaelfugate

    “What’s more, attorneys are hired to win, not to engage in meticulous scholarly analysis.”

    That applies to DI fellows and everyone else engaged in apologetics as well.

  13. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Rando You don’t mean to a suggest Jones/Behe slash story? That would bring new meaning to ‘being in bed with the judge’.

  14. It’s Kitzmas morning!

    I am just a-quivering and a-trembling in anticipation of what steaming pile of [beep beep boop] dear old Santa Gerb is going to deposit under the tree!

    I am hoping that the D.I. will reveal the Number 1 Myth About Dover will be a convoluted explanation of how Intelligent Design actually won the case and has been thoroughly vindicated.

  15. And as I continue to breathlessly await the keenly-anticipated #1 Myth to be busted, I do note that all of the previous 9 ‘busted myths about Dover’ the D.I. has been crapping out over the past two weeks are virtually indistinguishable from Westie’s previous blatherings (Dover In Review: A review of Judge Jones’ decision in the Dover intelligent design trial which was posted up on 6 January 2006

    Man, talk about a broken record! Reading the D.I.’s blog is like watching that Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day

  16. Megalonyx says: “And as I continue to breathlessly await the keenly-anticipated #1 Myth to be busted …”

    Same here. What did jolly ol’ saint Darwin bring us? Meanwhile, in anticipation of their post, I’m getting ready. The dogs need to go outside. What they do there will get me in the mood.

  17. The whole truth

    The day after Judge Jones made his ruling, dembski was quoted as saying:

    “I think the big lesson is, let’s go to work and really develop this theory and not try to win this in the court of public opinion,” Dr. Dembski said. “The burden is on us to produce.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/21/education/judge-rejects-teaching-intelligent-design.html?_r=0

    Hey IDiots, when are you going to “go to work and really develop this [so-called] theory” and “not try to win this in the court of public opinion” and “produce” something other than oceans of poorly disguised, dishonest, falsely accusatory, malevolent, theocratic drool?

  18. The whole truth: “Hey IDiots, when are you going to “go to work and really develop this [so-called] theory”…”

    Warning, turn off your irony meters before reading further!

    Dembski promised to get to work and develop the “theory” 3 years after making his famous admission that that’s not ID’s task.

  19. Is “Savvy Sarah” even real? Or is the label a pseudonym for someone who may want to appear as though they are distancing themselves from the D.I.?
    It’s fair to say the the folks at the D.I. have a taste for being naughty boys. Maybe they are having an end of the year laugh at the fools that don’t know they created a fake person. It’s kind of like me thinking I’m smarter than you because I know what’s in my pocket.