Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Seduced and Abandoned . . . Redux
The Thomas More Center, seeming to sense the iceberg looming out of the darkness ahead of the good ship Dover , may be practicing its lifeboat drills . . . err . . . preparing its exit strategy from its role as defender of Intelligent Design in public schools.
It seems that all is not well in Designland. At a forum titled "Science Wars" sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, the Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, Richard Thompson, who has been leading the defense of the Dover Pennsylvania School Board in the suit claiming that its policy to introduce ID to biology students is unconstitutional, had the following to say about the Big Kahuna of the movement, the Discovery Institute:
They wrote a book, titled "Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula." The conclusion of that book was that, um:
"Moreover, as the previous discussion demonstrates, school boards have the authority to permit, and even encourage, teaching about design theory as an alternative to Darwinian evolution -- and this includes the use of textbooks such as Of Pandas and People that present evidence for the theory of intelligent design." ...and I could go further. But, you had Discovery Institute people actually encouraging the teaching of intelligent design in public school systems. Now, whether they wanted the school boards to teach intelligent design or mention it, certainly when you start putting it in writing, that writing does have consequences.
In fact, several of the members, including Steve Meyer, agreed to be expert witnesses, also prepared expert witness reports, then all at once decided that they weren't going to become expert witnesses, at a time after the closure of the time we could add new expert witnesses. So it did have a strategic impact on the way we could present the case, cause they backed out, when the court no longer allowed us to add new expert witnesses, which we could have done.
Now, Stephen Meyer, you know, wanted his attorney there, we said because he was an officer of the Discovery Institute, he certainly could have his attorney there. But the other experts wanted to have attorneys, that they were going to consult with, as objections were made, and not with us. And no other expert that was in the Dover case, and I'm talking about the plaintiffs, had any attorney representing them.
So that caused us some concern about exactly where was the heart of the Discovery Institute. Was it really something of a tactical decision, was it this strategy that they've been using, in I guess Ohio and other places, where they've pushed school boards to go in with intelligent design, and as soon as there's a controversy, they back off with a compromise. And I think what was victimized by this strategy was the Dover school board, because we could not present the expert testimony we thought we could present.
 I was toying with comparing this affair to stressed-out rats eating their young like they were pizzas . . . but, to my surprise, I do have some shame left.
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