It’s nice to know that some logic exists. If you’re paying any attention to science news on the web then you will have seen the small tidal wave of writers all expressing what can be summarised as ‘yay!’ over the past hour.
The Dover Federal Court judge, hearing the case arguing that Intelligent Design should not be taught as a viable alternative to the theory of evolution, has been scathing in his response:
this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. 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.
The judge also gives a sound and logical reason why ID should not be taught as science:
After a searching review of the record and applicable case law, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980’s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.
This is the logic that the vast majority of the science community have applied to ID and it’s pleasing to see it confirmed by a court decision. I would have been astonished to see any other result, but that I even had any doubt at all suggests that my faith in the objective abilities of the US governmental system is very low at the moment. I’m very happy to see that a Republican judge has made a ruling that conflicts with the stated opinion of his Republican president.
In an additional point of amusement, the school board that first put ID into the school-room was voted out recently to be replaced with anti-ID members, showing that the people of the state were also behind the judge’s decision even before it was made.