Re: [asa] Denyse's advice

From: Ted Davis <TDavis@messiah.edu>
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 13:49:14 EDT

>>> "David Opderbeck" <dopderbeck@gmail.com> 05/04/07 12:22 PM >>>writes:
Rich, thanks for providing that additional testimony, but I think it
supports my point. I don't agree that it was appropriate for the trial
judge simply to adopt a brief definition of "science" provided by the NAS
or
anyone else. I don't think it is the role of a trial court to make that
kind of adjudication. Moreover, if a court is going to adjudicate that
kind
of issue, it's duty is to consider a broad range of evidence, and not
merely
to accept an argument from authority.

Ted replies:
I am in no position, literally or figuratively, to read law to a law
professor.

What I will do, however, is to note that existing precedents about
antievolutionism, which I assume Judge Jones was looking at during the trial
(he does cite various rulings in his opinion), do go into whether or not
"creationism" is "science" or "religion." In the Arkansas trial, e.g.,
Michael Ruse and Langdon Gilkey spoke to this very point, and the late Judge
Overton was clearly influenced by what they said. This was partly the basis
for my own view, expressed in my review of the trial in "Religion in the
News" magazine, that Judge Jones was not playing the judicial activist when
he ruled that ID is not scientific. He was simply attaching the testimony
he heard to prior rulings.

Legal scholar Ed Larson has noted, in a NOVA episode about the Arkansas
trial, that Overton was essentially using an implicit, sociological
definition of science: Science is what scientists do; scientists don't do
creationism (no creationist publications in scientific journals); therefore
creationism is not science.

Ted

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Received on Fri May 4 13:49:52 2007

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