Damn. U.S. District Judge John E. Jones comes out and says what the rest of us have been saying for months, and suddenly everybody thinks he's Mr. Smart Guy.
To wit: Intelligent Design isn't science. End of discussion. Thanks for playing.
See, you can do that when you're a judge (particularly when you're a Republican judge). Such principled analysis appears to be is far beyond the ability of the modern media, though. I mean, the President likes Intelligent Design, right? And a lot of readers/viewers like it, right? And if we don't suck up to them, "People of Faith" will call us liberal, right? Well duh! Break out the patronizing "think-pieces" and go ask the choir director what she thinks about natural selection!
But this whole thing was never about science, never about faith, and certainly never about "people of faith" (cringe). It's about a few pushy people in this country who have somehow rationalized callous dishonesty and willful ignorance into essential traits in the service of the Way, the Truth and the Light. They live in an unending quest to inflict their gothic psychological pathologies on the rest of us.
Jones grasped this, God bless him. From The Washington Post:
When the trial ended in early November, Jones faced two choices. He could have construed the case narrowly and ruled on whether the school board had a religious motive. That, in Jones's view, was an easy call. He found that school board members had committed "outright lies under oath" and displayed a "striking ignorance" of intelligent design.
But Jones went further. "Intelligent Design is not science," he wrote. "Proponents . . . occasionally suggest that the designer could be a space alien or a time-traveling cell biologist [but] no serious alternative to God as designer has been proposed."
Intelligent design scientists are adept at finding holes in the science of evolutionary theory. Some notable mainstream scientists acknowledge these gaps. But Jones concluded this effort does not amount to a new theory of life's origins and development.
He found that the Discovery Institute had a wedge strategy, to use doubts about evolution to replace modern science with "theistic and Christian science."
Enough, enough, enough. These people don't need to be convinced they're wrong and brought along. Don't waste your time. You don't sing to the deaf.
This is the gift Jones gave us: From here on out, we can cite him and just move on.
(Oh, and for the record, I think the neo-Darwinist approach to evolution will likely be replaced by a better theory, one that involves consciousness. So what's the big difference between me and the Darwin critics from the I.D. "movement?" They want to see heir ideas taught to captive school children. I hope to see mine researched by scientists.--dc)
Noticed this complaint over at Darwinian Fundamentalism:
Lots of quotes from the Darwin Only Lobby. None from anyone who sees the problems in the opinion. The Post often makes an attempt at balance. Not today.
Hmm. Let's see what those quotes might look like on related topics...
"We have an alternative philosophy of science in which a hypothesis must be supported by one of two things: factual claims, or the utterances of Melnark the Omnipotent, Destroyer of Time. And Melnark says gravity is bunk. Consequently, we feel the judge's ruling against teaching alternative theories fails to meet the legal standard of ipso facto corpus delecti, and is also mean."
-- Thomas Sutton, research fellow, The Melnark Institute
"Einstein didn't actually go out there and measure Space/Time, now did he? I mean, he didn't go out there, with a real measuring tape and a stop watch, on a space ship, and check to see whether his theory was true. When you actually read his theory, it's just a bunch of numbers and letters. Looks like my 11th-grade algebra homework! Alls I'm saying is, if you're going to go around saying everything is relative to everything else, you need to base that on something real, not on some liberal, intellectual, anti-Christian goobledegook. We're going to appeal this to the Supreme Court, and then you'll see that logic compells us to teach school children that it's possible that Einstein's theories may have been written while he was smoking crack."
--Edgar Petarrest, special counsel, Patriotic Americans Against Goobledgook
On the Apollo 11 mission:
"Those rat bastards filmed the whole damn 'moon landing' in my neighbor's yard, and I've got the Polaroids to prove it! The judge who said we couldn't put warning labels on the history text books is actually a space alien, and I've got sworn affadavits to back that up. Now get off my property!"
-- Eddie "Grumps" Tablecloth, retiree, Cactus Junction, Nevada
"I didn't know he was going to make that film public, or I wouldn't have done agreed to let shoot me doing that."
-- Paris Hilton, rich moron
Everybody's got an opinion. Not all opinions are valid -- or meaningful. I know it's considered impolite to point this out, but science is not a polite pursuit.