Re: Judge Jones discusses his opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Mon Feb 27 2006 - 21:08:49 EST

We do disagree on this, David.

When existing precedents, esp Judge Overton's decision in McLean vs
Arkansas Board of Education, spell out that "creationism" cannot be taught
b/c it is religion and not science; when both the plaintiffs and the defense
in Kitzmiller vs. Dover both insist that a similar issue (whether or not ID
is science) is the key issue in the whole case; and when the judge does not
go beyond the testimony presented to him and the established precedents
about science education; then I think it is entirely reasonable to call this
a "conservative" decision.

Perhaps it was "unnecessary" for him to rule on that issue, David, but
surely it was both expected and requested--my emphasis on the latter as much
as the former.

I'll grant however that if we operate with a different implicit or explicit
definition of "conservative," then we may well reach different conclusions
about how that term applies to this case. You've written at length about
this, and I don't want to follow your precedent in that regard,

My best wishes,


>>> "David Opderbeck" <> 02/27/06 8:51 PM >>>
I'm sorry Ted -- though I think you're right that this wasn't an
ruling, I think you're dead wrong about it being "conservative." It was
an "activist" ruling because the ultimate conclusion was in accordance
settled law. However, as we've discussed here on the list ad nauseum, it
entirely unnecessary to rule on what constitutes "science" under the
governing law, and that part of the ruling was neither "conservative"
nor paticularly adept in light of the larger debate about the history and
philosophy of science.
Received on Mon Feb 27 21:09:50 2006

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