Thursday, December 22, 2005


Dover School Board Trial Result

The Dover School Board trial is finally over. Unfortunately, the judge went beyond assessing the point at hand and tried to give a ruling on ID itself. Follow these links for comment:

''To be fair, the ACLU did present testimony supporting the plaintiffs' claim that the school board had acted for religious motives in adopting the policy requiring that a four-paragraph statement be read. If Jones had stopped there, few would have quarreled with his decision. However, he went on to address the question of whether intelligent design is science. . . Relying almost exclusively on the evidence presented by the ACLU's witnesses, Jones held that ID is not science. He claimed that the witnesses established that ID relies on "supernatural" explanations, that it was untestable, and that it had produced no peer-reviewed literature. Each of these claims was carefully rebutted by the briefs submitted by amici, including the Discovery Institute and a large group of scientists who urged the court not to try to settle the question of the definition of science and the scientific status of intelligent design. . .' cf. David DeWolf, 'Judge Jones Follows ACLU, Ignores Contrary Facts' @

'Judge John E. Jones III ruled today in the Dover vs. Kitzmiller intelligent [design] trial. Deciding to move beyond the narrow issue of whether the Dover school board had a legitimate secular purpose in briefly alerting students to the theory of intelligent design, the judge also took it upon himself to tell scientists, science educators, and philosophers of science what is and isn't science and, specifically, why intelligent design, in his opinion, isn't science--though he conceded that ID arguments may be true. . .' cf. Jonathan Witt, 'Analysis of Dover Decision' @

'He has conflated Discovery Institute’s position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it. . .' cf. 'Dover Intelligent Design Decision Criticized as a Futile Attempt to Censor Science Education' @

'If fundamentalism still means what it meant in the early twentieth century, however -- accepting the Bible as literal truth -- the champions of intelligent design are not fundamentalists. They uniformly disclaim reliance on the Book and focus only on where the biological evidence leads. The court’s response – “well, that’s what they say, but we know what they mean” – is uncivil, an illustration of the dismissive and contemptuous treatment that characterizes much contemporary discourse. Once we know who you are, we need not listen. We’ve heard it all already. Many evolutionary biologists undoubtedly regard religion as akin to sorcery and believe that the world would be a better place without it, but that’s not the argument most of them make publicly against teaching intelligent design. The argument they do make deserves to be taken at face value, and the proponents of intelligent design deserve the same respect. Freedom from psychoanalysis is a basic courtesy. . .' cf. Dr. Albert Alschuler, 'The Dover Intelligent Design Decision, Part I: Of Motive, Effect, and History' @

For information on the trial as a whole cf. 'Dover Intelligent Design Trial Information' (from Discovery Institute) @

Monday, December 19, 2005


Forbidden Planet stocks 'Back in Time'

I am told that high-street sci-fi & fantasy store chain Forbidden Planet is to stock Back in Time: A Thinking Fan's Guide to Doctor Who (Authentic, 2005)! Don't forget the Christmas Day Doctor Who special on BBC1, 'The Christmas Invasion'. There's still time to buy your friends and relations this book as a Christmas present!

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