Analysis: The Dover Decision
Dr. Kevin L. Anderson of the Creation Research Society wrote an analysis of Judge Jones’ decision in the Kitzmiller v. Dover School District case. Since this appeared in a members-only newsletter, Creation Matters, we sought and obtained permission to reproduce it: Click Here.
A very different view was expressed by David Johns (School of Government, Portland State U) in a letter to Science this week (10 March 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5766, p. 1376):
There is no question that the court decision in the Dover case was a good one. The opinion written by Judge Jones is rigorous and thorough—and yes, quite elegant. There is a substantial dark side to this decision, however, that reflects poorly on the scientific community. How did it come to this court fight? How, in a country as “developed” as the United States, have the school system, the media, and the scientific community failed so miserably to educate the majority of Americans about the nature of science in general and evolution in particular? Too often, scientists do not take their public role seriously enough. If scientists do not respond aggressively to the need to bring the rest of society along and confine themselves to talking to each other, the scientific enterprise [sic] will likely find itself uncomfortably out on a limb. Should the United States continue to drift closer to the world’s theocracies and away from the preferable if very flawed secular democracies, science and scientists will suffer.
Since Science never prints any letters in favor of intelligent design, and has expressed similar statements in its editorials, this can probably be said to represent the feelings of the editors. Readers are encouraged to compare and contrast the views (and logic) of Johns and Anderson – and then, consider the analysis of the Dover decision by one of the leading philosophers in the world today, Alvin Plantinga, posted on Science & Theology News this week.
Johns repeats the usual canards and non-sequiturs of the Darwin Party: viz., if students don’t get Sola Darwina crammed down their throats, then they won’t be able to compete in the global economy (see 02/28/2006 entry) and our atheist utopia will degenerate into a society of ignorant AK47-toting fundamentalists.
Since many other states and school boards are rethinking their positions in the aftermath of the Dover case, it is essential to understand the Dover decision and its many flaws. In Dr. Anderson’s incisive critique of the decision, he unmasked its inconsistencies and logical fallacies in an easily readable, medium-length article. Lawyers and educators should take note of the ways Dr. Anderson has argued that the decision can be turned against dogmatic evolutionism itself. This is an article to pass around.