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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