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December 20, 2005

The Flying Spaghetti Monster Will Not Be Pleased

"Intelligent Design" officially gets the boot in Dover, Pennsylvania. There are some choice quotes in the story from the judge who made the ruling. I think this is my favorite: "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy." So not only is ID utterly full of crap, it was defended by utter incompetents. Which was, of course, the defense it deserved.

Someone please pass the note to Kansas, okay? Thanks.

Here! Read the ruling!

Oh, wait, this is my new favorite quote:

"Both Defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs’ scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator."

Rock. On.

Posted by john at December 20, 2005 11:30 AM

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mythago | December 20, 2005 12:12 PM

Kansas is getting schooled by Pennsylvania. Oh, the shame.

Steve Brady | December 20, 2005 12:15 PM

As I learned last Thursday on The Daily Show, there is a giant boulder poised high above Dover. God is so gonna elbow that thing.

diddidit | December 20, 2005 12:16 PM

I think my favorite was the phrase "breathtaking inanity" used to describe the Dover board's actions. I followed the case pretty closely, read most of the transcripts, so I knew the plaintiffs had really slam-dunked their case, but you never know. What's really satisfying is that this ruling is from a conservative judge who is a GWB appointee.


Jim Winter | December 20, 2005 01:19 PM

The basic problem with ID is that it's philosophy, and I HATED it when my science and math teachers tried to add philosphy to the mix. May work in history and English, but has no place in science and math class.

But while evolution actually bolstered my belief in God, it made me question if He is perfect. Stop and think about it. God could have created any number of creatures in His image: Various breeds of raptor would have fit the bill long before man ever appeared; whales; certain birds; squids and octopii. All of them with the requisite intelligence to become something other than a beast of the field. Instead He chooses to live in His image a creature that, if left to its own devices, self-pleasures in public and flings its own dung at people. And in the face of evolution's evidence, He gives the creative and artistic ball to a species that comes up with ID.

Gotta wonder if God's been smacking His cosmic forehead over that one and if this might be the reason behind the increasing number of natural disasters.

But then I'm a misanthrope, so I may be biased.

dan | December 20, 2005 02:14 PM

forbes.com also has a listing of some choice quotes.

i enjoyed the pre-emptive "those who diagree..." section.

Kevin | December 20, 2005 02:33 PM

Surprisingly, the Christian Broadcasting Network's web site has this story of the decision (from the AP) right up front as a top story:

CBN News

No word yet from Pat Robertson.

erin | December 20, 2005 02:45 PM

Thank God (literally, if you so choose) that in this case, intelligence has won out over intelligent design.

Plin | December 20, 2005 03:13 PM

I strongly disagree with the notion that philosophy has no place in a math or science class (especially the latter), but I'm very glad that this "philosophy" has been publicly shown to be the sham that it is.

D. | December 20, 2005 04:43 PM

Why is that your favorite quote? So what that evolution
may be compatable with a creator? If it were not, would
that make it any less acceptable to teach in our schools?
There are many scientific theories which in fact contradict
religious beliefs, and this should be no obstacle to their
appearance in curricula. The quote is true, but irrelevant.
A better rebuttal to the claims of plaintifs is to challenge
the assumption that schools should only teach findings
consistent with religious beliefs.

John Scalzi | December 20, 2005 05:01 PM

It's my favorite quote because it counters something that some religious types want to promote, which is that science and religion are necessarily in opposition.

D. | December 20, 2005 06:59 PM

Your statement "science and religion are not *necessarily*
in opposition" (emphasis mine) is strictly true.
Empirically, however, *most* religious beliefs *are*
incompatable with science -- and vice versa. [So, despite
being an atheist, I am glad I almost agree with the
"religious types".]
That scientific and religious beliefs coexist in some people,
for the most part, is only evidence of the human ability to hold
two incompatable thoughts in our minds at the same time.

D. | December 20, 2005 07:03 PM

Apologies. The statement in quotes you actually never
wrote -- although it does summarize what I interpret
your post as saying.

John Scalzi | December 20, 2005 07:22 PM


"That scientific and religious beliefs coexist in some people,
for the most part, is only evidence of the human ability to hold
two incompatable thoughts in our minds at the same time."

If you say so.

Derryl Murphy | December 20, 2005 07:29 PM

"Breathtaking inanity" jumped out at me, too. I think we should refer to it as BI for now on, not ID.


RooK | December 20, 2005 08:03 PM

Jim - I share your bias, except for the hatred of philosphy or the bolstered belief in god. Otherwise, I'm right there wit' ya.

Derryl - I second your motion.

has | December 20, 2005 09:04 PM

From Kevin's AP-via-CBN link, my own new favourite quote:

"What this really looks like is an ad hominem attack on scientists who happen to believe in God," [Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center] said of Jones' ruling.

And I'm sure Mr Thompson is ready to provide a 130-page justification of this claim. Just mustn't have had enough article space to fit it in, or something.

Jim Winter | December 20, 2005 09:25 PM

"I share your bias, except for the hatred of philosphy "

I never said I hated philosophy. I said I hated when my teachers tried to present it as theory in science or math class. They usually had an agenda, and often I'd get two conflicting ones in the same day.

Put it in English or history classes, where an agenda can be an important learning tool, and it makes more sense.

But the last thing I needed to hear from my eighth grade science teacher was his assertion Darwin was full of it. If that's the case, then I think L. Ron's radioactive Thetan clams oughta get a fair hearing in biology classes, too.

Martin Wagner | December 20, 2005 09:40 PM

I think that ID, instead of abbreviating "Intelligent Design," ought now to mean "It's Dead"!

Mris | December 21, 2005 07:43 AM

Jim, I think you'll find that English and history teachers presenting a philosophy have an agenda at least as often as science teachers.

Soni | December 21, 2005 09:08 PM

And just to add some pepper to the mix, check out cartoonist and free-range philosopher Scott Adams' blog post on whether or not God is actually intelligent at all, at least as we know intelligence. Starts out deceptively light, but takes a sudden 90 degree turn into deep thought without much warning, as is his wont.


Soni | December 21, 2005 09:10 PM

Hmm...Let me try to hyperlink that for you:

Scott Adams' Intelligence Is Overated Post

Scott Elyard | December 22, 2005 05:05 AM

"But the last thing I needed to hear from my eighth grade science teacher was his assertion Darwin was full of it. If that's the case, then I think L. Ron's radioactive Thetan clams oughta get a fair hearing in biology classes, too."

I'd hereby like to nominate Jim Winter for high fives.

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little | December 24, 2005 02:40 AM

My fave quote:

Reinking said the new board will likely move the subject of intelligent design into some undetermined elective social studies class.

*snrk* An undetermined elective social studies class. Or something like that. Y'know. It'll end up somewhere or other. Sooner or later. Maybe.

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