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Flipping through a thrift store magazine

In case you missed it, Judge John Jones decided in favour of the plaintiffs in the Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover Area School District, et al intelligent design case last year, December 20 2005. That means he gave the people trying to introduce "intelligent design" into the classroom a thorough dressing-down.

Here's a brilliant summary of his decision.

Choice excerpts:
"In summary, the disclaimer singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource, and instructs students to forego scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instructions elsewhere. (p. 49)"

and this:

"After a searching review of the record and applicable case law, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking an permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed an illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research. (p. 64)"

Finally this:
"Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions."


On a related note, I'd like to thank Scientific American for restoring my faith in Scientific magazines after giving up on New Scientist. Scientific American is a much more detailed and interesting read than New Scientist will ever be. NS seems more for coffee tables than for information.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
americanlass
Mar. 30th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
Very interesting...by quoting such direct excerpts, you pretty much leave no doubt as to where you stand on the issue. Right now the best access to "scientific" magazines is in the chiropractor's waiting room...National Geographic and the like. What I wouldn't give for something like Physicist's Quarterly or a Journal of Medicine! oh well.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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