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Anti-ID Legal Scholar Jay Wexler Thinks Judge Jones Made Extraneous Findings

Casey Luskin

Jay Wexler is one of the most published anti-ID legal scholars, but apparently he would agree with our arguments in Traipsing Into Evolution and in our amicus briefs that Judge Jones should not have extended the judicial arm into areas inappropriate for the judicial branch by finding that ID is not science. While I disagree with much of what Wexler argues, I agree with the emboldened portions listed below in the abstract for Wexler’s upcoming lecture at Boston University School of Law:

When Judge John E. Jones, III, a United States District Court judge appointed by President George W. Bush, ruled in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District that a Pennsylvania school board’s intelligent design (ID) policy violated the First Amendment, supporters of teaching evolution were ecstatic. They had good reason to be. The opinion, which ran to 139 pages in length, was a comprehensive and complete victory for ID opponents. To be sure, the opinion is well-written, painstakingly documented, and mostly right. It is not, however, flawless. The opinion’s main problem lies in the conclusion that most evolution supporters were particularly pleased with-namely, the judge’s finding that ID is not science. The problem is not that ID is science. Maybe it is science, and maybe it isn’t. The question is whether judges should be deciding in their written opinions that ID is or is not science-a question that sounds in philosophy of science-as a matter of law. On this question, the answer is “no,” particularly when the overall question posed to the Court is whether teaching ID endorses religion, not whether it is or is not science. The part of Kitzmiller that finds ID not to be science is unnecessary, unconvincing, not particularly suited to the judicial role, and even perhaps dangerous to both science and freedom of religion. The judge’s determination that ID endorses religion should have been sufficient to rule the policy unconstitutional.

(emphasis added)

Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.

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Judge John E. JonesKitzmiller v. Dover Area School District