December 23, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Dover Fallout Is Radio Active

Reaction in the media from Judge Jones’ stinging decision against intelligent design (ID) in the Pennsylvania case Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District has been rapid and varied.  Evolutionists are overjoyed at this Christmas present the judge delivered, a dirty bomb they hope will put ID out of business, but the other side claims the damage is minimal and the debate goes on.  Here are some samples:

  • Party Time:  Evolutionists were giddy with praise for the decision.  The National Center for Science Education listed a who’s who of “educational, scientific and civil liberties groups” who not only approved of the decision but opined that it would have far-reaching consequences.
  • Breaking the Point:  Conservative Christian commentator Chuck Colson, on his Breakpoint radio commentary, said he was disappointed at the ruling, but not disheartened.  “Bad cases make bad law,” he said, agreeing that the Dover policy was ill advised.  Nevertheless, optimism is justified because “if we equip ourselves and do our job, truth will out,” he said. “We should not despair.  Our case is compelling if we frame it carefully, ask the right questions, and expose the claims of Darwinists.”
  • Worry but Smile:  Michael Powell at the Washington Post (see reprint on San Francisco Chronicle) said that ID backers found the ruling worrisome, but vow to continue pushing the debate forward; William Dembski thinks the future looks bright, because it is going international and crossing metaphysical and theological boundaries.
  • Charge Onward:  Rachel Zoll for Associated Press (see Yahoo News) acknowledged the ruling as a setback for ID, but quoted several ID and Christian leaders who seem more galvanized than ever over the decision.  She acknowledged that the legal ramifications of the ruling are limited to the Dover area.
  • Farewell, Partner:  Fox News reported that U.S. Senator Rick Santorum is severing ties with the Thomas More Law Center that defended the Dover school board, because he thinks they “made a huge mistake in taking this case and in pushing this case to the extent they did.”
  • Principle of the Thing:  The Discovery Institute also disagreed with the strategy of the school board, not feeling it proper to mandate the teaching of ID, but also strongly criticized the decision for attempting to institutionalize dogmatism.  John West said it may be over in Dover, but not for intelligent design: “Efforts to mandate intelligent design are misguided,” he clarified, “but efforts to shut down discussion of a scientific idea through harassment and judicial decrees hurt democratic pluralism.  The more Darwinists resort to censorship and persecution, the clearer it will become that they are championing dogmatism, not science.”  Listing himself as “former Discovery Institute attorney,” Seth Cooper issued a statement to set the record straight on his involvement in the case.
  • Ohio Unaffected:  The Discovery Institute also issued a statement that the Dover ruling will have no effect on the Ohio program to allow for critical analysis of evolution.  Law professor David DeWolf explained that not only is Ohio outside the jurisdiction of Judge Jones, but Ohio’s program comports with Congressional laws and Supreme Court decisions.  Stephen Dyer agreed that the effect on Ohio is muted, but he wrote for the Ohio Beacon Journal, that there still could be ripple effects.  Opponents of ID will take the ball on Jones’ opinion that singling out evolution for criticism is wrong, and having even a voluntary program is wrong if instigated from religious motives.
  • Iowa Debt to ID:  The Scotsman reported that ID will probably still come up for discussion in Iowa next year, even though board members disagree about the impact of the Dover decision on their opinions.
  • Darwinism Corrodes Religion:  Columnist David Klinghoffer wrote in the Seattle Times that Judge Jones was wrong that Darwinism does not conflict with religious belief.  Klinghoffer quoted leading Darwinists that stated clearly how evolutionary theory is corrosive to religion and, by positing a materialistic philosophy, is antithetical to belief in God of any kind, and is therefore a religious philosophy in its own sense.
  • Lawyer Blog:  Albert Alschuler gave his opinion of the case in the U of Chicago Law Blog.  He chided the court for its contempt for religious belief, saying that ID should be judged on its merits, not because of what the court felt the motives of the plaintiffs were.  “Freedom from psychoanalysis is a basic courtesy,” he said.

Undoubtedly this is a small sample of opinions expressed on radio talk shows, TV programs, newspapers and letters to the editor.

Can we all remember that Judge Jones is just one man?  His complete buy-in to the ACLU side, and complete rejection of all the pro-ID testimony, shows he is a sadly biased man at that.  Isn’t it just like liberal leftists to look to unelected judges to get their power.  In no way does this decision reflect the amount of strong support ID is getting all over the country, and even other nations.  If a vote were taken by most American parents of high school students, Charlie would be put out on a one-way ship to Christmas Island, along with his blood brother the Grinch.

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