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The Effect of Bias on Courtroom Decision-Makers

[From a colleague who is a trial lawyer:] One thing I know from picking juries for 18 years is that in a courtroom what matters most is the bias of the decision-maker. If his biases favor your position, you have a very good chance of having him rule in your favor on the facts of your case.

If his bias is against your side, and deeply held, no evidence will overcome it, period. This decision-maker will always filter the bad and exaggerate the good to fit the facts into his bias. The stereotype must always prevail for him. The only solution to this decision-maker is to kick his biased butt off the jury.

But there was no jury with Dover — only a single biased judge. This trial therefore wasn’t about ID. It was about what one judge thinks about ID. The success of ID has never depended on its success in the courtroom but always on the success of its scientific research. And it remains so.

I predict this decision will amount to very little in the long run. Why? Because ID is true. And in God’s world truth always wins out in the end.

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10 Responses to The Effect of Bias on Courtroom Decision-Makers

  1. Sorry for the overt “religious” response, but, AMEN!!

  2. I agree!

    The only hope ID has in court is if the judge is biased towards ID.

    And I agree on the publish or perish line, though. Pity the list of peer-reviewed publications is so pathetic, isn’t it?

  3. That or an honest judge who won’t choose to define the theory in a manner he chooses. He defined it as a supernatural cause for life to arise, yet ID says no such thing. He said that it was a particular Christian ID, yet there are many Muslin and Jewish groups and websites for ID, proving that claim false.

    The judge called it creationism, but you can hardly be a creationist in be fine with common descent as I know Behe, for one, is.

    It goes on and on…the judge hasn’t a clue, he wanted to use his position to give his own opinion on science. He wants to be a judge playing a scientist. Obviously a no-no.

  4. I just read where Mr Dembski has agreed to debate Ken Miller. Strosacker Hall on the campus of Case Western Reserve University, 7-9 pm, with Ken Miller to represent the “Darwinist” position.

    Appranetly this has to do with a recent article where the ID camp was asked to “put up or shut up” and Mr Dembski is going to put up.

    This should be awesome!

  5. If ID doesn’t require a supernatural designer, then why do the IDists keep going on about how science is being “dogmatic” by restricting itself to naturalism?

    Are we to take seriously the suggestion that it could be space aliens or a time-travelling cell biologist?

    This was a Bush-appointed Republican, church-going Lutheran judge, remember.

  6. 6

    Bill, you need to be more selective in your choice of friends. Not everyone who claims to be a trial lawyer is a good trial lawyer.

    Real trial lawyers don’t credit their victories or excuse their defeats based on the claimed “bias” of the judge or jury. Everyone has biases of one kind or another (though it’s hard to see how a Lutheran GWB-appointee, thick with Ridge and Santorum, would qualify as as “activist” judge biased against religion or ID). A real trial lawyer figures out how to sell his or her case across, around, or through whatever bias may be affecting the decision-maker.

    In this case, Thompson was flat-out out-lawyered by real trial lawyers who had the credible evidence and experts on their side. I suspect you intuited this would happen; other wise I expect you would have been there.

    As you yourself have suggested, it’s time for the IDists to stop whining about bias and activism, to roll their sleeves up, and to simply produce the actual science that will support ID’s speculations and refute its critics. Until you do this, you’re not going to win in the courtroom, in the classroom, or–ultimately–in the realm of public opinion.

  7. “If ID doesn’t require a supernatural designer, then why do the IDists keep going on about how science is being “dogmatic” by restricting itself to naturalism?”

    This is a common question and goes back to a matter of word definition, and the fact that words and expressions get used in more than one way. There is the word natural, as used in its broadest sense, and then there is the word “natural” or naturalistic or “natural processes” which was coined by the evolutionists to describe a position that is opposed to the need for any agent to be causal to nature. So when they say that life evolved through natural processes, they mean that chemicals interacted without any interference or direction by any outside agent.

    Yet that does not automatically mean that if there is a God she is either supernatural or that supernatural processes were used in the unfolding of life and its processes. Use of intelligence does not mean supernatural. It is not supernatural to build a bicycle, but it sure won’t construct itself.

  8. I just realized that I didn’t answer your actual question! The Darwinists are being dogmatic because they have a strong and prior bias toward a certain outcome, not to following the evidence wherever it may lead. That is what dogmatism does.

  9. 9

    My, we are having fun playing with words here.
    “Dogmatism” is failure to follow the evidence where it leads, but when Republican church-going Bush-appointed judge Jones followed the evidence where IT led, he was being “biased.”

  10. “This was a Bush-appointed Republican, church-going Lutheran judge, remember.”

    This doesn’t matter.

    Republican? Have you ever heard of RINOs? Republican In Name Only. For example, the Republican platform opposes abortion on demand, but there are Republicans, like Arlan Specter, who are Republican in Name Only with respect to that issue.

    Church going Lutheran? Have you ever heard of the Jesus Seminar?
    “The members of the Jesus Seminar are supposedly Christians, but they could rightly be called anti-”Christ the Lord” “Christians”. The Seminar’s 70-odd member-scholars are famous for their consensus view that not only was Jesus not the messiah, but that he never thought of himself that way. Nor did he consider himself to be the “son of man” who will return to Earth at the apocalyptic end-time. He wasn’t even a Jewish prophet. As for the core Christian belief that Jesus is the “son of God” begotten of a virgin — that was simply unthinkable, in the Jesus Seminar’s view….This line of thinking continues to dominate the curricula at many theology schools, university religion departments and mainline Protestant sermons and discussion groups.
    See http://www.latimes.com/news/op.....ay-opinion

    As to your main point about who is being dogmatic or not. “IDists” work VERY hard to keep the “supernatural designer” out of the arguments out of respect to science because they would like for their theory to have a fair hearing on its merits. The theory is very, very simply this: “these biological structures APPEAR to be Intelligently Designed”. Let’s look at the structures. The complexity appears to be specified for a function. Less complex cannot accomplish the function and such an assembly occuring by chance to accomplish integral function is not probable. Darwinist will NOT look at the characteristics of the structure for evidences of design because they have apriori RULED out a designer regardless of the evidence.