From Pine View Farm

Lies, Damned Lies, and Creationism 2

Judge Jones, of the Dover, Pa., creationism case, has been speaking out on the role of the legal system under the rule of law. From the local rag:

Jones had anticipated he would be targeted by hard-line conservatives after concluding that teaching intelligent design in public schools as an alternative to evolution was unconstitutional.

But he was surprised by how ignorant some of his critics were, in his view, about the Constitution and the separation of powers among the three branches of government.

Jones said he had no agenda regarding intelligent design but, rather, was taking advantage of the worldwide interest in the case to talk about constitutional issues important to him.

“I’ve found a message that resonates,” he said. “It’s a bit of a civics lesson, but it’s a point that needs to be made: that judges don’t act according to bias or political agenda.”

One particularly strident commentary piece by conservative columnist Phyllis Schlafly, published a week after the ruling, really set Jones off.

Schlafly wrote that Jones, a career Republican appointed to the federal bench by President Bush in 2002, wouldn’t be a judge if not for the “millions of evangelical Christians” who supported Bush in 2000. His ruling, she wrote, “stuck the knife in the backs of those who brought him to the dance in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.”

“The implication was that I should throw one for the home team,” Jones said. “There were people who said during trial they could not accept, and did not anticipate, that a Republican judge appointed by a Republican president could do anything other than rule in the favor of the defendants.”

And Case Western Reserver University Professor Patricia J. Princehouse speaks on science:

People ask me, Why pour so much energy into protecting science education? Why not fight for literacy generally or any of a thousand other educational issues? I have two answers. One is easy: I know about evolution, so it makes sense that I would work on what I know best. The second is harder to grasp. And that is that freedom of religion is the bedrock foundation of liberty in this country. If we allow certain special-interest religious groups to co-opt the public school science classroom, to use it as a vehicle for converting children to religious views their parents don’t hold, if we allow them to spout outright lies about the nature and content of science, what do we really have left? If you can lie about science and get away with it, you can lie about anything.



  1. Opie

    June 11, 2006 at 7:34 pm

    I wonder how far he had to travel to find someone who would buy his line about judges not ruling according to bias or political agenda.

  2. Bayer

    June 13, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    Interesting thoughts. There’s a great article that really simplifies all this at This should be a “must read”!