Judge Jones: Towering Intellectual or Narcissistic Putz?
|December 12, 2006||Posted by William Dembski under Evolution, Intelligent Design, Darwinism, Legal, Courts, Culture|
Judge Jones tours the American countryside seeking the adulation of our intellectual elite and extolling the genius of his Kitzmiller v. Dover decision. The press release below indicates that Jones let the ACLU essentially dictate his decision. Instead of original and impeccable reasoning, Jones uncritically took extensive material from the ACLU’s proposed “findings of fact and conclusions of law” and either copied it directly or modified it ever so slightly. Outside the legal system this is called plagiarism. But since judges are allowed to draw on briefs of the parties, this is called legal scholarship. Even so, courts frown on decisions in which judges extensively copy and paste from other briefs — which is exactly what Jones did! Wired Magazine voted Jones one of the sexiest geeks of 2005. Time characterized him as a legal genius. Truth be told, Jones is a narcissistic putz.
In case you have trouble downloading the Discovery article cited below, i.e., “A Comparison of Judge Jones’ Opinion …”, I’ve uploaded it on the UD server here: www.uncommondescent.com/documentation/Comparing_Jones_and_ACLU.pdf.
“Masterful” Federal Ruling on Intelligent Design Was Copied from ACLU
Seattle — The key section of the widely-noted court decision on intelligent design issued a year ago on December 20 was copied nearly verbatim from a document written by ACLU lawyers, according to a study released today by scholars affiliated with the Discovery Institute. [Go here.]
“Judge John Jones copied verbatim or virtually verbatim 90.9% of his 6,004-word section on whether intelligent design is science from the ACLU’s proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law’ submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling,” said Dr. John West, Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture.
“Ironically, Judge Jones has been hailed as ‘an outstanding thinker’ for his ‘masterful’ ruling, and even honored by Time magazine as one of the world’s ‘most influential people’ in the category of ‘scientists and thinkers,'” said West. “But Jones’ analysis of the scientific status of intelligent design contains virtually nothing written by Jones himself. This finding seriously undercuts the credibility of a central part of the ruling.”
The study notes that, while judges routinely make use of proposed findings of fact, “the extent to which Judge Jones simply copied the language submitted to him by the ACLU is stunning. For all practical purposes, Jones allowed ACLU attorneys to write nearly the entire section of his opinion analyzing whether intelligent design is science. As a result, this central part of Judge Jones’ ruling reflected essentially no original deliberative activity or independent examination of the record on Jones’ part.”
Jones’ copying was so uncritical that he even reprinted a number of factual errors originally made by ACLU attorneys.
For example, Jones claimed that biochemist Michael Behe, when asked about articles purporting to explain the evolution of the immune system, responded that the articles were “not ‘good enough.'” Behe actually said the exact opposite: “it’s not that they aren’t good enough. It’s simply that they are addressed to a different subject.” Jones’ misrepresentation of Behe came directly from the ACLU’s “Findings of Fact.”
Again copying from the ACLU, Jones insisted that “ID is not supported by any peer-reviewedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ publications.” But, in fact, the court record contained evidence of several such publications.
The study, titled “A Comparison of Judge Jones’ Opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover with Plaintiffs’ Proposed ‘Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,'” was co-authored by West and law professor David DeWolf and is available from Discovery Institute’s website at www.discovery.org/csc. [For the actual document, go here.]
West noted that “those who thought the Dover decision would end the debate over Darwinian evolution were obviously wrong. That debate is just as vibrant and vigorous as it ever was, and Darwinists know it.” West cited a recent New York Times report about a gathering of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in November where there was “a rough consensus” that the theory “of evolution by natural selection” was “losing out in the intellectual marketplace.”
“A year after Dover, it’s the Darwinists who seem filled with gloom, not us,” said West, highlighting several positive developments over the past few months:
***In June, South Carolina adopted a science standard requiring students to learn how “scientistsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.”
***In September, legal scholar Francis Beckwith, whose support for the constitutionality of intelligent design is well-known, was granted tenure at Baylor University after an effort by Darwinists to deny him tenure backfired.
***At the end of November, the Ouachita Parish School District in Louisiana enacted a policy that protects the academic freedom of teachers to objectively cover scientific criticisms of Darwinian evolution as well as the evidence in favor of the theory.
“As we made clear from the beginning, Discovery Institute opposed the Dover school board policy because attempts to mandate intelligent design are counterproductive,” said West. “At the same time, Darwinist efforts to use the courts to restrict open discussion of evolution offend free speech and academic freedom. We are delighted that the Darwinist attempt to muzzle the debate has failed.”
Discovery Institute is the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leading public policy center that defends the rights of teachers and students to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution. The Institute has a national program to defend the rights of scientists, teachers, and students who are being threatened because they dare to raise critical questions about evolution. For more information, visit www.discovery.org/csc.
FOR RELEASE DEC. 12, 2006
Press Contact: Anika Smith
(206) 292-0401 x. 155