Monday, December 26, 2005


Rush . . . um . . . Weighs In!

We now have Rush Limbaugh’s take on the events in Dover:

CALLER: Yes. My axiom, which can be applied to all liberals, is: The God you make is the God you must defend. The God that made you needs no defense. With that said, I was wanting to know your opinion on the court rejecting the ability for high school teachers to mention intelligent design as an alternative viewpoint for how man came into being.

RUSH: Well, you know, I have mixed emotions about this on multiple levels. For one thing, it doesn't surprise me at all, just in the context of judicial activism. I think it's another great example of how we need different kinds of judges. I mean, I know the case ended up before the guy, but these are the kinds of cases that the school board had authorized and a bunch of parents sued and it ends up before this judge and this judge just discounts it on behalf of the district that he rules in, just discounts it. On the other hand, I do think this: I think that the people -- and I know why they're doing it, but I still think that it's a little bit disingenuous. Let's make no mistake. The people pushing intelligent design believe in the biblical version of creation. Intelligent design is a way, I think, to sneak it into the curriculum and make it less offensive to the liberals because it ostensibly does not involve religious overtones, that there is just some intelligent being far greater than anything any of us can even imagine that's responsible for all this, and of course I don't have any doubt of that. But I think that they're sort of pussyfooting around when they call it intelligent design.

Call it what it is. You believe God created the world, and you think that it's warranted that this kind of theory for the explanation for all that is be taught. On the other hand, I understand why they went with intelligent design, because they knew that calling it what I just called it gave it no chance. They wanted to sneak it in and at least have it exposed. Well, they realized they're dealing with liberals here, and liberals are intolerant when it comes to this. ... - "The Egalitarian Left & Intelligent Design", December 23, 2005
Now that first paragraph is more than a little confusing, though I suppose we can’t expect much better from somebody on the radio making it up as he goes along. What the "it" was that "activist" Judge Jones (appointed to the bench with the support of those arch liberal pinkos, George W. Bush and Rick Santorum) supposedly "discounted" is not at all clear, not to mention what Rush means by "discounted". My best guess is that Rush was free associating on Justice Scalia's criticism of the purpose prong of the Lemon test and the willingness of the Court (so far) to look to see if government officials and legislatures are lying about the intent behind their actions. "Discounting", in Rush's world, apparently includes recognizing incompetent liars when they are seated in the witness chair 10 feet away from you committing bald-faced perjury in your courtroom.

But hey! Give Rush credit. He knows that ID is a scam; he just doesn't care if our government practices scams on us.

Thanks for posting this. A good read.
“Dismiss” as in ignoring and denying a body of evidence already in the trial transcript. It is acts like this which make poor decisions easy to reverse on appeal, and when repeated discredit a judge’s intelligence.

To claim that “No papers published in peer reviewed journals support this theory.”, given detailed discussion of a number of such publications during the trial testimony, is a serious error. With little time pressure to finish his opinion, and with the available written documentation, it is fair to brand this a LIE. (This word is often incorrectly used when knowledge of the applicable facts cannot be proven and thus the intent to misrepresent facts is not demonstrated.)

A smarter judge could have concluded that “controversial” scientific theories should not take up time in introductory classes, whose main purpose is to move students toward the basic understanding necessary to participate in modern science. But this judge chose to step far outside his area of “competence”, both in legal and common meaning.
"Discounts" was the actual word used in the above discussion,which I translated into "dismiss" in my reply.
I think Mr. Speck misunderstands Judge Jones' point here:

To claim that “No papers published in peer reviewed journals support this theory.”, given detailed discussion of a number of such publications during the trial testimony, is a serious error.

In point of fact, there are no peer-reviewed papers that give any actual evidence for intelligent design. The articles that, for example, the Discovery Institute points to, are, under the kindest interpretation, some evidence against current evolutionary theory, not support for design.

The one article that comes closest (Meyer, Stephen C., 2004. The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 17(2): 213-239) is a review article, not a research article, authored by a philosopher instead of a scientist, the publication of which was accomplished under controversial circumstances.
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