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22 December 2005 @ 12:04 am
Hahahahahaha christ...  
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsyvania's memorandum on the Dover, PA school board's Intellgent Design debacle is a masterpiece of deadpan comedy. Seriously, the whole thing is funny as hell. The judge had the board members' number, and the latter end up looking like complete tools (emphasis in quotes is mine):
In fact, one un­­fortunate theme in this case is the striking ig­­norance con­cern­­ing the concept of ID amongst Board members. Con­­spicuous­­ly, Board mem­bers who voted for the cur­­riculum change tes­­tified at trial that they had utterly no grasp of ID. To illustrate, con­sider that Geesey tes­tified she did not under­­stand the sub­­stance of the cur­­riculum change, yet she voted for it.... Second, Buck­ing­­ham, Chair of the Cur­­riculum Com­­mit­tee at the time, ad­­mit­ted that he had no basis to know whether ID amount­­ed to good sci­ence as of the time of his first de­pos­ition, which was two and a half months after the ID Policy was ap­­prov­ed, yet he voted for the cur­riculum change. Third, Cleaver voted for the cur­­riculum change des­­pite the teachers’ ob­jections, based upon assur­ances from Bonsell. Cleaver ad­mit­ted­ly knew nothing about ID, in­­clud­ing the words com­­prising the phrase, as she con­­sistently refer­­red to ID as “intelligence design” through­­out her tes­timony. In add­­ition, Cleaver was bereft of any under­­stand­­ing of [Of] Pandas [and People] ex­cept that Spahr had said it was not a good sci­­ence book which should not be used in high school. In add­ition, Supe­r­inten­d­ent Nilsen’s entire under­­stand­ing of ID was that “evo­lution has a design.”
Not only that, but one of the ringleaders, Alan Bonsell, blatantly lied about his interest in creationism:
It is notable, and in fact in­credible that Bonsell dis­claim­ed any in­terest in creation­ism during his tes­timony, des­pite the ad­mis­sion by his counsel in Defendants’ open­ing state­ment that Bonsell had such an interest. Simply put, Bonsell repeat­ed­ly failed to testify in a truth­ful manner about this and other subjects.
It repeatedly points out that Bonsell's testimony is not remotely credible, to the point that it almost becomes a running gag. The memorandum concludes with a snipe at the inevitable whining about "activist judges", and all but calls the defendants assholes:
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.
All that, and a brief history of fundamentalism and creationism (including the previous attempt to sneak creationism past the First Amendment, "creation science"), a clear and nearly jargon-free explanation of why ID is not science and what that means (not something you'd expect from a legal document about science), and point-by-point rebuttals of ID's supporting claims.

They got owned so hard it hurts.
 
 
Current Mood: mischievousschadenfreude
Current Music: Broken Social Scene - Pacific Theme
 
 
 
cholma: blankcholma on December 22nd, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
Now if only the courts would put the smack-down on Kansas.

Major Geek, FCDjokermage on December 22nd, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! Another post to add to my Dover Decision Carnival!
Dario: Skeletordariodevil on December 22nd, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
And a tiny bit of faith in humanity is restored.

Aces.
Packy Andersonpacky on December 23rd, 2005 05:13 am (UTC)
One small comment: it wasn't the Supreme Court. It was a federal district court.
gwalla: halloweengwalla on December 23rd, 2005 08:18 am (UTC)
Whoops! Fixed.