Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Dover Decision

Judge Jones certainly got it right in the decision. Here’s from the conclusion:

The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes 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.

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 a 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. The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. 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.

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

Those 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 Board’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.

3 Comments:

Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

I'm sure it's a correct decision in the context, but do we really want a system of judicial dictatorship? The Holy Spirit's messages on The Christian Prophet blog seem to question whether we really want public schools which are subject to dictatorship. On a lighter note, a message on The Holy Inheritance blog says we were all created by love.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

This is in no way a sign of a judicial dictatorship. It's a case of the judiicial system acting properly in response to a suit brought following improper and illegal behavior by a group of school board members.

In this case the court clearly mirrored the will of the voters, as the school board members who attempted ot suppress the teaching of science were rejected by the voters in the last election.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

The judge was also following legal precident. Testimony heard during the case made it clear that intelligent design is just another name for creationism in an attempt to get around the long standing Supreme Court decision that creationism cannot be taught in the schools.

10:57 AM  

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