Recently, federal judge John E. Jones III ruled that a Dover, PA school board violated the Constitution when it required its 9th grade biology teachers to read a brief statement (prior to studying evolution) criticizing evolution and referring students to “Intelligent Design” and a textbook on that subject.
Most of the media coverage of this story has been slanted against Intelligent Design (ID), and most of the people who criticize Intelligent Design theory saying it is “not science” or “religious” or a backdoor to promoting “the Bible’s view of creation” simply have not read any of the scientific literature supporting ID. In the trial, Dr. Michael Behe, a primary witness for the defense and the author of the book "Darwin’s Black Box," argued from detailed scientific evidence, not religious or theological dogma.
But if ID is such a religious view or is “creationism” repackaged, then what explains the fact that reputable and non-religious scientists like Dr. Michael Denton have gone on record as saying:
"Whether one accepts or rejects the design hypothesis, whether one thinks of the designer as the Greek world soul or the Hebrew God, there is no avoiding the conclusion that the world looks as if it has been uniquely tailored for life: it appears to have been designed. All reality appears to be a vast, coherent, teleological whole with life and mankind as its purpose and goal." (Nature’s Destiny, p. 387, Free Press, 1998).
Judge Jones said ID was “not science,” yet he never bothered to even define what “science” is, choosing instead to blindly echo the plaintiff’s experts, ignoring all the scientific data presented by the defense.
In his 139 page opinion, judge Jones argued, “Plaintiff’s scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science…and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.” Yet this opinion is at best dishonest because it ignores the fact that there are millions of atheists who depend on some form of evolutionary “science” when defending atheism.
As noted in my book criticizing atheism entitled “If God Heals Your Eyes, Don’t Cut Off Your Head,” even atheists like Richard Dawkins, author of the book "The Blind Watchmaker," have admitted that, “…although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist” (p. 113, Proaster Books, 1998). The plaintiff’s “scientific experts” apparently forgot something, and judge Jones didn’t do his homework.
Perhaps judge Jones may not be an “activist” judge, but I can say without fear of credible contradiction that he certainly ruled like a biased one, biased in favor of the plaintiff’s view of evolution. Even though he fained objectivity by saying, “To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect,” it seems strange to me that he spent over 20 pages in his opinion defending what he later claimed is “imperfect.”
No one should be fooled into thinking this judge made an objective and impartial ruling based on all the evidence (although he is said to be a “conservative churchgoer” appointed by President Bush). This ruling is destined to go down in history as the most unintelligent, biased, and subjective ruling on the subject of intelligent design and its place in public school science discussions.
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