Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Witness Commandment

Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute thinks Judge Jones violated the First Amendment by ruling out the theology of Intelligent Design.

Well, he didn't mean to say that, but you be the [cough] judge:

Luskin is over at Evolution News & Views going on about Judge Jones' supposed violation of the First Amendment because he found that:

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.
According to Luskin:

Many people have the religious view that evolution "is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being." Yet Judge Jones promoted pro-evolution-only-theology by writing that this particular religious view is "utterly false."
Casey, me lad . . . the Judge wasn't ruling about what people may believe. His one and only concern was whether ID may be injected into a public school science class. Unless you are admitting that ID is theology, Jones' ruling couldn't have affected those people or their beliefs or, for that matter, the beliefs of the people who can deal with the scientific fact of common descent. If ID is science, then its not being in science class is a blow to science, not theology. Did you go and forget which side of your mouth you were supposed to be talking out of at the moment?

Now, of course, what Luskin is really engaged in is some sleight of hand. Judge Jones was in no way saying that there are no believers who find evolution contrary to their religion. And he certainly wasn't calling their beliefs false. He takes some pains to say that he was not deciding the truth of ID, merely its status as science or non-science. The Judge was saying rather clearly that the "presupposition . . . that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general" is not true. He was summing up in that section and stating the well-known fact that many believers have no trouble reconciling evolution and their faith in a divine creator. Even Luskin's own complaint admits that fact: If many people find evolution antithetical to their beliefs, that necessarily means others do not find it so.

It was the denial of that fact that Jones called "utterly false." And he was utterly right.

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