Re: [asa] thinking was prosecutors and not that of the judge

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 11:19:46 EDT

On 5/4/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> James is mostly right about this. It's very difficult to tell from a
> written opinion how much the judge really "got it." This is particularly so
> when the judge has largely adopted the findings of fact and conclusions of
> law offered by one of the parties -- again, not improper, not "plagiarism,"
> but nevertheless, not necessarily demonstrating great original thinking by
> the court. Trial judges are mostly pragmatists who need to resolve cases,
> not philosopher-kings, and that's as it should be.
> I don't really understand why people think this opinion was brilliant or
> even moderately good in substance. I agree that, on the facts of the Dover
> case, it was the right result. I understand why it caused many moderates in
> the scientific community to breathe a sigh of relief.
> Aside from that pragmatic conclusion, though, I think the Judge made a
> very unnecessary foray into the philosophy of science, which was not well
> done either jurisprudentially or philosophically. Note that I'm not
> suggesting the judge was necessarily wrong about where he drew the line of
> demarcating "science" -- like Ted, I think ID ultimately largely loses the
> demarcation game. However, an opinion on the demarcation of science that
> makes no reference at all to developments in the history and philosophy of
> science since Popper, IMHO, is hopelessly shallow and basically useless.

I deliberately did not comment on the legal substance and I will defer to
you on that -- and I tend to agree with both yours and Ted's take on this
that a universal ban of ID in all contexts is far too sweeping. I was
looking at how a layman was able to understand the scientific concepts and
he did a very good job here even if all he did was knowing which subset of
the briefs to crib. Recently, we have been discussing how best to do lay
education in churches. Having Judge Joneses in the class would make the task
much, much easier. This is not because he would agree with me on origins but
rather because he "gets" science in general.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri May 4 11:20:20 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri May 04 2007 - 11:20:20 EDT