In light of Judge John E. Jones III's ruling against intelligent design in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, I released this letter sharing my views on the court's decision.
Decision in Dover: Why the Courts got it Wrong
After six long weeks in court and after a month and a half of waiting, the now-famous “
In his decision, Jones writes,
The citizens of the
In that statement, Jones, despite being a federal judge, has demonstrated his ignorance of American law and past precedents. He rules that the intelligent design statement of the
Jones goes even further by making a statement concerning intelligent design in general by adding,
Our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.
The “intelligent design statement” read in biology classes in the
Advocates of intelligent design, according to Jones, “have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors.” Never mind if their “scholarly endeavors” might actually be correct, what this court worries about is “deeply held beliefs” and who has permission to hold them.
Jones’ ruling on Kitzmiller v. Dover says nothing about the validity or status of intelligent design as a science. It says a great deal about Jones’ personal philosophies and his lack of understanding concerning both design theory and American law.
As a student who has not only been involved but greatly affected by evolution/design controversy, I am very disappointed in Jones’ ruling. He complained about board members lying as to their motivation, yet he, in issuing this ruling, has allowed for educators to continually lie to students concerning the so-called validity of evolution. Jones has succeeded in doing nothing less than paving the way for academic tyranny and dishonesty and I am most disappointed.
I close with one more quote from Jones himself:
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 not been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the
With all due respect to Judge Jones, I do not disagree with his court on the grounds that he is an “activist judge.” I disagree with his court on the grounds that he has demonstrated poorly to be any judge at all, activist or not. He cannot decipher between the facts and one’s motivations. He demonstrates a poor understanding of the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.
While Jones writes that the “Plaintiffs' scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science,” he makes no mention as to the science behind evolution or the lack of science behind design. Despite six weeks of testimony, I doubt that Judge Jones could explain any of the science that was presented in his courthouse.
Finally, Judge Jones is right in saying that “the students, parents, and teachers of the
My heart grieves for the students who have now lost their academic freedom. Make no mistake, this ruling will not hinder or slow the intelligent design movement, but spur it on full speed.
Samuel S. Chen