Monday, October 02, 2006

Beyond Intelligent Design

Judge John E. Jones IIII had the great fortune to have dinner last week with Judge John E. Jones III, who presided over the recent "intelligent design" dispute in Pennsylvania, Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005). Judge Jones, appointed by George W. Bush, is a living testament to the triumph of good sense over shriller voices, and his enthusiasm for the opportunity to learn a lot of fairly sophisticated evolutionary theory - ranging from palaeontology to developmental biology to molecular genetics - is infectious. He described the courtroom presentations by biologists as "the biology class you always wished you'd had". For anyone interested in seeing how effective biological scientific evidence can be in court, I highly recommend reading (or rereading) the opinion and transcripts from this case. They're available at this link. I hope Judge Jones has a long career.


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