Re: Judge Jones sided with the Discovery Institute and ruled against the Dove...

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Sat Dec 31 2005 - 08:48:49 EST

Wayne -- thanks. I largely agree with you; you've made some of the points I
originally wanted to make maybe better than I did. My main point is that
courts are not the place for deciding broad questions like what is
"science." A trial is not a wide ranging search for Truth, it's more like
Kabuki theater-- highly structured and in many ways artificial.

On 12/31/05, <> wrote:
> David Opderbeck wrote
> What I'm shocked at, honestly, is that scientists such as yourself seem so
> comfortable with this decision. I understand that you think the result and
> opinion were correct, so I suppose it seems to some people that the right
> side "won" this time. What about the next time and the next and the next?
> Is nasty, brutish litigation between warring interest groups how we want to
> debate important and interesting questions about science, faith and truth in
> our society? Why would anyone committed to the scientific enterprise be
> happy about that?
> It's not so much comfortable as relieved....
> As I see it, the problem, for those of us who have "sworn to uphold
> the honor of the badge" (in science), is that matters of defining science
> have been put in the hands of the courts and politicians in the first
> place.
> It's clear from the exchange between yourself and Pim (whoever is right),
> that there are differences in the way that scientists and law
> professionals
> operate. It would be just as bad to put inexperienced people such as
> myself
> in the position making serious legal decisions in your place, as it is to
> put
> lawyers, judges and juries in our position to decide matters of science.
> Moreover, the chance that even we finally agree on anything, when such
> things are cast in legal language, well meaning and honest laws are more
> likely to harm and punish the innocent while further enabling the wicked
> and corrupt.
> And don't think I believe our system is good. No system is without
> dishonesty, fraud and vested interest, and used in ways that only
> bring harm to itself and the people it was meant to aid.
> > You have to be pretty naive, though, to believe that the Dover case
> wasn't
> > at least in part politically motivated.
> But I wonder who is the worst politician here. Provocation (who
> started it) may be a matter of debate. Huxley didn't help matters
> to hijack evolution as a platform for his atheism, for example. Loud
> noise
> makers have popped up in every generation since. But the response _by
> Christians_ has done yet far more dishonor to Christ and the message of
> the gospel. Science becomes the real victim and any real discussion about
> the limits of science, faith-science issues, and how to educate people
> about
> science is obscured by these special interests __on both sides__.
> I don't think it is good that this ends up in the courts at all. I'm only
> grateful that __this time__ at least, the judge seems to have decided in a
> way that __appears to me__ to be fair.
> Anyway, welcome to the ASA discussion list <grin>.
> by Grace alone we proceed,
> Wayne
Received on Sat Dec 31 08:49:22 2005

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