Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The ID Wedge Strategy has come home to roost

It seems that the Wedge Strategy has influenced the trial of Dover vs. Kitzmiller. Part of Judge Jones' ruling (linked below) reads:

We find it incumbent upon the Court to additionally judge Defendants’ conduct from the standpoint of a reasonable, objective adult observer. This conclusion is based, in part, upon the revelation at trial that a newsletter explaining the ID Policy in detail was mailed by the Board to every household in the District, as well as the Board members’ discussion and defense of the curriculum change in public school board meetings and in the media.

The ruling of the judge hinged on what a "reasonable observer" would infer from the proposal to teach ID in the classroom. He wrote thus:

The only apparent difference between the argument made by [original ID creator William] Paley and the argument for ID, as expressed by defense expert witnesses Behe and Minnich, is that ID’s “official position” does not acknowledge that the designer is God. However, as Dr. Haught testified, anyone familiar with Western religious thought would immediately make the association that the tactically unnamed designer is God, as the description of the designer in Of Pandas and People (hereinafter “Pandas”) is a “master intellect,” strongly suggesting a supernatural deity as opposed to any intelligent actor known to exist in the natural world. (P-11 at 85). Moreover, it is notable that both Professors Behe and Minnich admitted their personal view is that the designer is God and Professor Minnich testified that he understands many leading advocates of ID to believe the designer to be God. (21:90 (Behe); 38:36-38 (Minnich)).

Then, in a little burst of humor:

Although proponents of the IDM occasionally suggest that the designer could be a space alien or a time-traveling cell biologist, no serious alternative to God as the designer has been proposed by members of the IDM, including Defendants’ expert witnesses. (20:102-03 (Behe)).

Throughout the rest of the ruling, Judge Jones argues persuasively that, contrary to their stated purpose, the proponents of ID relate it directly to belief in the Christian God.

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