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

From: Terry M. Gray <>
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 13:34:44 EDT


Unfortunately, I don't have time to deal with this in any depth
right, but I just wanted to say that I find the Dover ruling to be
atrocious. Not because I'm an ID sympathizer, but because it's
radically demarcationist in its definition of science. It
incorporates a fairly naive philosophy of science--one that makes
easy disposal of ID, YEC.

At its roots this is an affront to anyone who believes that all of
life is fundamentally religious and cannot be compartmentalized. I
gave a talk at our faculty group this year about the whether or not
science is or even can be theological neutral and whether or not it's
possible to do God-honoring work at a secular institution. Hopefully,
some of that material will be on-line in the near future.

I'm tracking the Kuyperian/Dooyeweerdian/Reformed epistemological
view on these things. The recent PSCF paper by Clouser is a starting
point for anyone who want to read what's already out there. http://

There is a dialog on this topic in the journal as well. I still lean
toward Clouser, despite the critics.


On May 4, 2007, at 9:19 AM, Rich Blinne wrote:

> 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.

Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

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Received on Fri May 4 13:34:52 2007

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