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Barbara Forrest Discusses The History Of Dover

(Kisses to Steve Reuland at The Panda’s Thumb and of course to Judge John E. Jones III.)

Read it here:
The “Vise Strategy” Undone:
Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District
By Barbara Forrest

Having been busy cleaning up this new joint, I totally forgot to commemorate the first anniversary of the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision.

Consider this a belated “Happy Anniversary”.

Via the Thumb, I’ve just bumped into Barbara Forrest’s comprehensive history of the events leading up to, during, and after the Monkey Trial of the Twenty-First Century.

And damn if it isn’t a glaring exposé of the utter contempt with which the Intelligent Design Creationism Hoax regards science, the truth, the law, and reality in general.

Dover’s problems actually started in 2002. Bertha Spahr, chair of Dover High School’s science department, began to encounter animosity from Dover residents toward the teaching of evolution. In January 2002, board member Alan Bonsell began pressing for the teaching of creationism. In August, a mural depicting human evolution, painted by a 1998 graduating senior and donated to the science department, disappeared from a science classroom. The four-by-sixteen-foot painting had been propped on a chalkboard tray because custodians refused to mount it on the wall. Spahr learned that the building and grounds supervisor had ordered it burned. In June 2004, board member William Buckingham, Bonsell’s co-instigator of the ID policy, told Spahr that he “gleefully watched it burn” because he disliked its portrayal of evolution. He also blocked purchase of a new science textbook that included evolution, forcing teachers to accept Pandas as a reference book in exchange for new textbooks.

And so began a long saga of dishonesty, deception, derision, and just plain moral decrepitude in Dover.

It eventually landed just where the “guiding light” of The Hoax wanted. Right in the lap of a federal judge, a staunch conservative appointed by none other than Dubya the Dimwit hisself.

Oh, how Dembski salivated.

If the policy is upheld, it will embolden school boards, legislators, and grass roots organizations to push for intelligent design in the public school science curriculum. As a consequence, this case really could be a Waterloo for the other side.

[You can read his salivations here, if you’re up for a good chuckle.]

hehe… Oh, it was a Waterloo alright, Billy D. Waterloo! Waterloo! Waterloo!

Well, Dembski bailed before his deposition (just after he attended Ms. Forrest’s, as it happens). A good huckster knows when he’s been made, and always has his escape route pre-planned.

If you’d care to download a .pdf of the entire decision, you can do so here. My all time favorite quote from the decision:

The breathtaking inanity of the board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

I love that. Not just regular ol’ Missionary Style inanity. Breathtaking inanity.

So how did Billy D’s vaunted powers of prediction work here, and how did the Hoax perpetrators feel about the verdict? Let’s see:

On September 30, he had calculated probabilities for various outcomes:(1) 20% that Jones would uphold the ID policy;(2) 70% that he would overturn it but leave the “scientific status of ID” unchallenged; and (3) less than 10% that he would both overturn the policy and rule ID unscientific. He hedged his bets by appealing for intelligent assistance: “I trust that Providence will bring about the outcome that will best foster ID’s ultimate success.”[50] Blogger “DaveScot” urged optimism: “Have more faith, Bill! This is all about Judge Jones. If it were about the merits of the case we know we’d win. It’s about politics. . . . Judge John E. Jones . . . is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks . . . appointed by GW hisself. . . . Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies.” [51] Post-verdict, however, Scot shifted from cocksure confidence in the “good old boy” to insults. When Time magazine named Judge Jones one of 100 “people who shape our world,” he offered some unflattering comparisons: “The magazine who made these men ‘Man of the Year’— 1938 – Adolf Hitler; 1939 – Joseph Stalin; 1942 – Joseph Stalin; 1957 – Nikita Krushchev; [and] 1979 – Ayatullah Khomeini— now brings you Judge John Jones as a 2006 Honorable (pun intended) Mention.” Dembski responded appreciatively: “Thanks, Dave, for contextualizing this milestone in our proper appreciation of important personages. . . . What a crock.” [52]

Ah yes. Smell that? It’s the sweet scent of burning IDiots wafting on the Winds of Waterloo.

For an absolute barrel of laughs, click on over to Barbara Forrest’s article for all the juicy details. It’s a good read.

Filed under: Biology, Education, Fundies, More Formal Blogs, Religion, Science

3 Responses

  1. Darmok says:

    The “breathtaking inanity” quotation is my favorite too—I never expected Judge Jones to rebuke them so harshly! (It was deserved, of course.)

  2. Kristine says:

    Merry Kitzmas! And may I say, Judge Jones is a hottie!

    I found Forrest’s account of Kitzmiller to be even-handed and fair, and Dembski’s railing to be unstable and scary.

    I guess considering how nasty his posts have become I should be grateful that the guy won’t give me the time of day (anymore), although I wish I could have strung him along a little.

    I thought that he had a good relationship with Wes, but he included Wes in that lame fartimation. At least I didn’t see Michael Shermer in it (did I?).

  3. JanieBelle says:

    Hi Kristine!

    I was just reading your comments in the UD thread at AtBC, strangely enough.

    Yeah, Dembski gets further and further out to sea with each passing day. No oars in the water, either. I think he lost them in Dover.

    I don’t know about Michael Shermer, since I haven’t bothered to watch the fart video, and I have no idea what Michael Shermer looks like anyway.

    I think there was a listing of the people targeted by the video on PT just after it came out, but I’m sleepy and can’t find it.

    I was up all night battling stringing along retarded homophobe fundies in The Jersey Girls Thread.

    Nap time, I believe.

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