Thursday, October 05, 2017

NCSE Post Reflecting on Kitzmiller, Twelve Years Later, by Eugenie Scott

NCSE has a guest post by Eugenie Scott, in which she remembers some of the points about Kitzmiller that might not have been public at the time.  It is part one of two.  In the run-up to the Kitzmiller trial, the plaintiffs did not know who the judge would be:
Well, the case was assigned to John E. Jones III, a fiftyish Republican who had been appointed by George W. Bush to the federal bench a few years before. “Intelligent design” proponents were delighted! In their blogs, they were quick to point out that Jones was a mover and shaker in Pennsylvania GOP politics, was a self-described conservative Republican, and was a church-going Lutheran, who certainly would be likely to find the ID policy constitutional.

I must say, our lawyers, who pay attention to judges more than we science types do, were a little apprehensive. What was this guy going to do? He’d only been a federal judge for a couple of years, so there wasn’t much of a record to go on.

His being a person of faith wasn’t an automatic concern. It’s so easy to misconstrue the creationism/evolution controversy falsely as “science versus religion,” when really it is one particular religious perspective versus everyone else’s. People are sometimes surprised to learn that our best allies in support of teaching evolution are other Christians: Catholics and mainstream Protestants— such as Disciples of Christ [with which Transylvania University is affiliated]—don’t want children taught Monday through Friday in science class that God specially created the universe in its present form 6,000 years ago, and then have to straighten them out on Sunday—because their theology is that God created through evolution.
One of the things that came out of the trial was how much the defense lied about what their true motives were. Although her post does not mention these events, it is an interesting account.

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