Backgrounder on the Significance of Judicial Copying

On December 12, 2006, Discovery Institute released a report which found that “90.9% (or 5,458 words) of Judge Jones’ 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU’s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’.” Since that time, we have received questions from various media sources and members of the public. This backgrounder on the report will help answer some common questions: Why is this report important? The section on whether ID is science is the most celebrated and expansive portion of the Kitzmiller opinion, which Judge Jones hoped would have an impact on future courts. As constitutional law scholar Stephen Gey said, “the critique of ID and science is the most important part Read More ›

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

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 Read More ›

Learn about “True Religion” According to Judge Jones: Watch the Traipsing Into Evolution C-SPAN Event Online

If you want to watch John West and I speaking about the Kitzmiller decision on C-SPAN-2’s Book-TV, it is now online in Real Player format, here. Unfortunately, the video is pretty low-resolution, but the audio comes through very well. John West makes an interesting point that since the Kitzmiller decision, Judge Jones has engaged in a number of speaking engagements, including one where he stated that as a judge, he is guided by the belief that “true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible.” Here’s the whole statement as recorded in the transcript of the commencement address: The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained Read More ›

Traipsing Into Evolution Book Release Event Notes

Below are excerpts from some notes I used during a book release event for Traipsing Into Evolution on May 16, 2006. (Jonathan Witt previously posted his notes here): As I first read the Kitzmiller decision, I kept having this strange sensation of déjà vu: Where had I heard all these types of arguments before? Then I remembered: I’d heard them during plaintiffs closing arguments which I witnessed live on the final day of the trial–arguments which were based upon a false, straw definition of ID, and misconstrued much evidence about ID. We could spend hours talking about this, so in 4 minutes, here are the primary problems with what Judge Jones said about science in the decision. First Judge Jones Read More ›

Judge Jones Extends his Time in the Spotlight

What do you get when you declare intelligent design unconstitutional? You get your photo on the cover of Time Magazine and get called one of the top 100 most influential people! In an article by science writer Matt Ridley (the one who said, “Our minds have been built by selfish genes, but they have been built to be social, trustworthy and cooperative”…except, I might add, for when people aren’t social, trustworthy, or cooperative), he says that Judge Jones “proved to be the answer to Darwinians’ prayers”: “Jones, 50, the grandson of a golf-course developer of Welsh ancestry, whose previous claims to fame were a failed attempt to privatize Pennsylvania’s state liquor stores as chairman of the Liquor Control Board–and banning Read More ›