So you can fully enjoy the spirit of this Kitzmas day, here is a list of our posts about the Discovery Institute’s series of strange essays, starting with number 10 and ending with today’s Number One 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 appears today — the day we celebrate Kitzmas.
It all began with Discovery Institute Prepares for Kitzmas, when first “myth” about the Kitzmiller decision the Discoveroids “debunked” was “The Intelligent Design Movement Died After the Dover Decision.” They said their movement didn’t die — it’s thriving! Here’s a brief summary of our posts describing what followed:
• Discoveroids’ Anti-Kitzmiller Series: #9. The “myth” the Discoveroids were “debunking” that time was “ID Movement Had Its Day in Court.” They said the trial couldn’t have been about intelligent design because the Discoveroids’ “think tank” wasn’t a party to the litigation. Nor was it about the scientific wonders revealed in Of Pandas and People, because the publisher of that “science text” wasn’t a party to the case either.
• Then came Discoveroids’ Anti-Kitzmiller Series: #8 — Behe. The “debunked myth” we dealt with there was “Michael Behe Admitted that ID Is No More Scientific than Astrology.” Actually, he did admit it, because his personal definition of science, which is necessarily vague in order to include intelligent design, merely requires “proposed explanations,” with no necessity that they be testable.
• After that came Discoveroids’ Kitzmas Series: #7 — The Designer. The “myth” the Discoveroids “debunked” was “The Dover Case Showed ID Is ‘Religious’ and a Form of ‘Creationism.’” That one was really tragic — they were claiming that their “theory” of intelligent design uses the scientific method, but all they did was babble about “specified complexity.”
• The next day we wrote Discoveroids’ Kitzmas Series: #6 — Activist Judge. The “myth” there was “Judge Jones, No Activist, Stayed Strictly Within His Authority.”
• We skipped their “myth” number 5 because it was too dumb (even compared to the others) and we needed to take a day away from the Discoveroids, but what they tried to deny there was that the “Discovery Institute Supported Dover School Board Policy.” It was refuted years ago in Kitzmiller v. Dover: The Role of The Discovery Institute.
• Then we wrote Discoveroids’ Kitzmas Series: #4 — Behe & Galileo. The “myth” there was “The Dover Ruling Refuted Intelligent Design.” In that one, most of what they did was recite portions of Michael Behe’s testimony — as if he had been the only witness who testified at the trial.
• After that we skipped another day, and then, we wrote Discoveroids’ Kitzmas Series: #3 & #2. The number 3 “debunked myth” was “Intelligent Design Has No Peer-Reviewed Research or Publications.” We didn’t bother with that one. Instead we wrote about their number 2 “myth” — “Judge Jones Is a Brilliant, Neutral Legal Scholar Who Figured Out ID.” We should have skipped that one too.
And now, dear reader, we awake on Kitzmas morning and eagerly rush to see what the Discoveroids have posted as their long-awaited Number One reason why Kitzmiller was a totally worthless opinion.
Here it is: Ten Myths About Dover: #1, “Judge Jones Addressed the Actual Theory of Intelligent Design, Not a Straw Man”. It’s by Sarah Chaffee, the new Discoveroid staffer who is neither a biologist nor a lawyer. We’ve been calling her “Savvy Sarah.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us. She begins with a quote from a magazine article shortly after the decision was released:
“Everybody understood that intelligent design was a religious proposition, and we are absolutely thrilled that Judge Jones has seen through the smoke and mirrors used by intelligent design proponents.” So said Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, in an interview with Time Magazine in December 2005.
That sort of thing was showing up all over the press. The sentiment it expressed is why we all celebrate Kitzmas today. This is what savvy Sarah thinks of it:
This raises a good question: What do we mean when we speak about “intelligent design”? According to Judge Jones, ID is a religious argument — merely a negative criticism of evolution that appeals to the supernatural. In his view: “In addition to the IDM [intelligent design movement] itself describing ID as a religious argument, ID’s religious nature is evident because it involves a supernatural designer,” and “ID proponents primarily argue for design through negative arguments against evolution…”
We haven’t checked that quote to see if it’s accurate, but it sounds right. If you want to search for it, here is the full text of the Kitzmiller opinion. Let’s read on:
But this is not at all how ID proponents define intelligent design. It is certainly not how ID proponents defined ID during the Dover trial. Instead, Judge Jones ignored how ID advocates define their own theory and instead struck down a straw-man version.
Really? Witnesses for intelligent design, who are associated with the Discoveroids, described their “theory” during the trial. We’ve written about the Discoveroids’ official description before — see Discovery Institute: Intelligent Design Redefined. After we wrote that, Casey Admits the Designer Is the First Cause. And before that revealing post they had already emerged out of their closet, pranced around wearing ecclesiastical garb, and confessed that their “scientific” designer — blessed be he! — is transcendent. That means their designer exists beyond time and space, in that inaccessible and incomprehensible realm known only to the gods.
Savvy Sarah isn’t doing very well today. Then she gives some big quotes from Casey and Behe, and from Pandas, after which she continues:
Judge Jones was wrong to claim that ID deals with the supernatural. His false definition of ID also ignored the positive case for design, framing ID as simply a negative argument against evolution. He claimed that intelligent design proponents hold to a “contrived dualism,” stating, “ID is at bottom premised upon a false dichotomy, namely, that to the extent evolutionary theory is discredited, ID is confirmed.”
Yes, that’s what he said, and that’s what the evidence clearly demonstrated. Here’s more:
Judge Jones is right that negative arguments against evolution are not by themselves arguments for design. But intelligent design is not merely a negative argument against evolution. Instead, it requires positive evidence. How? Intelligent design uses the scientific method to make its claims.
We’ve already discussed that clunker in Discoveroids’ Kitzmas Series: #7 — The Designer. Savvy Sarah thinks that whenever a Discoveroid posts something, it’s automatically elevated to the status of Truth™. Moving along:
So what is the correct definition of intelligent design? As our Frequently Asked Questions page notes, “The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”
Yes, and when a “theory” is framed like that, then in the immortal words of Michael Behe, astrology is also a scientific theory. Another excerpt:
Smoke and mirrors, unfortunately, were the tactics of the Darwin lobby at the Dover trial. Judge Jones did not strike down the actual theory of ID. His ruling addressed the ACLU’s caricature of ID. At Dover, the positive, scientific theory of intelligent design emerged unscathed and continues to grow in persuasiveness today.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! On with the Discoveroids’ Kitzmas article:
Good scholarship demands letting a person or group define their own position. Unfortunately, before critiquing what he thought was “intelligent design,” Judge Jones failed to do that.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s exactly what the judge did. By the Discoveroids’ own definition, intelligent design is pure Oogity Boogity! We’re getting near the end:
At the end of the day, therefore, the Dover ruling really is not a refutation of intelligent design at all. Judge Jones presented and criticized only the straw-man version, effectively ignoring the theory of ID as its advocates explain it. This means that, contrary to what you hear from the media, from evolution activists, and from Darwin defenders in academia, ID’s big day in court has not yet come.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And this is the last of it:
The theory of ID, meanwhile, is doing just fine. It flourishes because the scientific evidence continues to accumulate — unveiling information throughout nature that we recognize, from our positive experience, comes only from intelligence.
That was absolutely wonderful! And so, dear reader, let us raise our glasses and sing:
Roll me ooooo-ver,
In the Doooo-ver …
Merry Kitzmas, to one and all!
Addendum: To make our Kitzmas day complete, John West (whom we affectionately call “Westie”) has a post at the Discoveroids’ blog asking for contributions to keep up the Discoveroids’ brave struggle, which they’ve been waging since Judge Jones “unleashed a wave of persecution against scientists friendly to intelligent design.” You can see it here: The Day a Judge Tried to Kill Intelligent Design.
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