Court rejects 'intelligent design' in class
Some choice quotations from the ruling judge:
"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom..."
"...our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom."
"...the facts of this case make it abundantly clear that the Board's ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."
Perhaps my favourite:
"It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."
But I'm worried. I was listening to one of the podcasts that Scott had suggested, Digital Debates, and the episode with Pat Buchanan I just listened to yesterday. His comments reveal to me one of the principle foundations of the craziness that is damaging our country, the idea of Judical Tryanny, or the idea of the Judiciary overthrowing the laws passed by congress. Which means any thing like this is going to be seen as an example of an overly powerful court.
I know, I know. It's stupid. But that seems to be the idea. Nevermind the fact that, in many ways, our system is supposed to have bulwarks against the hordes of popular stupidity, of which the Judiciary is the last guard, supposed to be insulated from these popular prejudices.
I have more thoughts along these lines, but that's what my blog is for, I suppose. So, Yay Science! Go Courts, slap down those crazies.
Seriously, though, this is awesome on a lot of levels, even if it is going to generate a lot of flak from the pro-ID crowd. The cynic in me, of course, says that this won't really accomplish much, and I'm just waiting for the White House to weigh in on this.
But at least this shows that there is still some sanity left in this country.
"It's a total victory. It's Hiroshima for ID. Game over, thank you for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts for you. It couldn't be any better if I had written it myself."
If only that were true. I doubt it will be game over, but it is a tasty slice of victory for now.
Too often people attach stances on issues to ideologies. I mean, the civil war is when they attached the issue of slavery to the ideology of state's rights. They made it seem like if you were for one you were for both. I see no reason why I can't be for state's rights and against slavery, and in fact that's what I am.
The way I see it today people like you, and Pat are for/against "activist" judges because you see them acting in a way you do/don't desire on issues. I seem to have mostly the same stance on the issues that you do and Pat does not. However, I agree with Pat's political ideology.
Think about this. If the judges were all crazy righties and the congress and the president were all lefties, but we had the same situation of a weak congress and "activist" judges. Would you be calling the judges activist? I bet you would. Would Pat be saying the same things you are saying that the judges aren't activist. I bet he would. I would say that congress is still not doing it's job properly causing judges to have too much power, no matter what stance on issues the judges or congress had.
Being in favor of free trade doesn't mean you like sweatshops. Being in favor of states rights doesn't mean you like abortion or slavery. Being in favor of powerful congress doesn't mean you disagree with the actions of current judges or agree with laws congress is making. Stop changing the way the government works because it might be more advantageous to your "side". Follow the constitution and then push your side within the framwork of a properly working government.
The problem you talked about is right, the problem of seperating a stance on specific issues and the ideology. But part of the problem is what do you do when your stance on a specific issue conflicts with your legal stances? I suppose this problem is one of the biggest that plauge people. I don't have a good answer to what I would do, or how I would stand. I know the structure of this system decently well, hopefully at least as well as you do, so I know what I can do to push my side from inside the structure of the constitution.
About your thought experiment: You have a good point, but I suppose that is another place that I have a problem with Pat. He only sees the Judicary overstepping its bounds, but that's part of the problem I have with his view. The Congress is the only branch that has let it power slip. Both the president and the courts are stepping into the areas of making law because congress isn't taking its primary role in our goverment. I think the problem of a over-zealous Executive is currently the more dangerous.
I don't want to change the way the goverment works to benfit my "side," beyound making sure we follow the law, and removing the ability to buy the goverment that you desire.
You may be interested in reading the actual decision:
It's long, and I'm only 20 pages in, but it's interesting reading. It shines a rather damning light on the ID movement.
"390). Moreover, in turning to Defendantsâ€™ lead
expert, Professor Behe, his testimony at trial indicated that ID is only a scientific,
as opposed to a religious, project for him; however, considerable evidence was
introduced to refute this claim. Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe
remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID
depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God. (P-718 at 705) (emphasis added). As no evidence in the record indicates that any other
scientific propositionâ€™s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of
any such scientific propositions, Professor Beheâ€™s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, IDis a religious and not a scientific proposition.
wow.. that's just great ^_^ ID depends on how much you believe in a god!!! wow.. someone just lost the arguement right there!
But the court decision still makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
â€œThose who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Boardâ€™s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.â€
I would have to say this is one of the best lines ^_^
â€œIn fact, on cross-examination, Professor Behe was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented with fiftyeight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not â€œgood enough.â€ (23:19 (Behe)).â€
I think that would be the definition of getting â€œpwnedâ€
(can you tell I'm reading it at work)
And I really need to read this decision, sounds like I'm going to like reading this. Good thing I have a digital press sitting behind me.