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Judge Jones upholds science (and US Constitution as well)


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the decision by Judge Jones (BTW a Bush appointee) in the Dover case

is online


some key exerpts have been quoted at the Pharyngula blog, so one doesnt have to scan the whole decision but can cut to the chase and find key passages



To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. 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.

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.





it says something you can apply to ANY scientific theory, namely that it doesnt have to be complete and perfect YET. what it does have to be is testable.


when Darwin proposed the evolution by natural selection mechanism he did not yet know about GENES or about DNA, but even though some details were missing the theory could still be tested by observation. indeed the theory is still in the process of being confirmed, as fossil and DNA evidence continues to accumulate and each new piece is fitted into the overall pattern.


so I think parts of this decision may eventually be applied to defend cosmology-----this also is not yet a complete theory, there are plenty of problems in cosmology for people to work on, and there are plenty of measurments and observations that still need to be made!

but this incompleteness, going by the Jones decision, is not grounds for injecting a religiously motivated non-testable maker-myth into the classroom


--------more from the Jones decision---------

To preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, we will enter an order permanently enjoining Defendants from maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID. We will also issue a declaratory judgment that Plaintiffs' rights under the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been violated by Defendants' actions. Defendants' actions in violation of Plaintiffs' civil rights as guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the United States and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 subject Defendants to liability with respect to injunctive and declaratory relief, but also for nominal damages and the reasonable value of Plaintiffs' attorneys' services and costs incurred in vindicating Plaintiffs' constitutional rights.






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I felt such incredible relief at hearing that decision. There still are judges out there who are willing to do their jobs. It is possible to explain what a theory means. We won't necessarily continue a slow decline into theocracy. It's all just a fad! Hooray!

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I also started a thread on this here: http://www.scienceforums.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17211




Did they publish the entire decision there? I tried to use your link to see but it wouldn't work.


Thanks for starting that thread, I just saw it. Yours was earlier than this one.


I will get a link to the entire text



there is also a NY Times article



About Pharygula, the link works but it is SLOW because, I think, he is getting many hits now. So you must just wait.




I can get it, but sometimes it is so slow that I do something else while waiting.


there are more links here


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