Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Traipsing Into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller v. Dover Decision Paperback – March 7, 2006
Featured education & teaching resources
Explore these featured titles, sponsored by Springer. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
David DeWolf is Professor of Law at Gonzaga Law School in Spokane, Washington.
John West is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute in Seattle and Chair of the Dept. of Political Science at Seattle Pacific University.
Casey Luskin is attorney with a law degree from the University of San Diego.
Jonathan Witt is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and covered the Dover trial for EvolutionNews dot org.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
From the Conclusion, "The Need to Protect Academic Freedom"
Judge Jones opinion highlights the pressing need to affirm and defend the right of teachers and students to express honest disagreement with the claims of Darwinian evolution. For all of his concern about the illegitimacy of requiring teachers to mention intelligent design or to "denigrate or disparage" evolution, Judge Jones showed no similar interest in the freedom of teachers and students to express opinions that might be critical of Darwinian evolution. As a result, his opinion is likely to be used by defenders of Darwins theory as a pretext for censoring even completely voluntary expressions of dissenting scientific views by teachers and students.
Teachers seeking to "teach the controversy" over Darwinian evolution in todays climate will likely be met with false warnings that it is unconstitutional to say anything negative about Darwinian evolution. Students who attempt to raise questions about Darwinism, or who try to elicit from the teacher an honest answer about the status of intelligent design theory will trigger administrators concerns about whether they stand in constitutional jeopardy. A chilling effect on open inquiry is being felt in several states already, including Ohio, South Carolina, and California. Judge Jones message is clear: give Darwin only praise, or else face the wrath of the judiciary.
Ironically, in the 1980s when the Louisiana Legislature tried to pass an "Academic Freedom Act" to permit teachers to teach "creation science," the Supreme Court replied by saying that the announced a purpose of protecting academic freedom was a "sham," because the act "does not give schoolteachers a flexibility that they did not already possess to supplant the present science curriculum with the presentation of theories, besides evolution, about the origin of life." In other words, the Supreme Court thought it was so clear that teachers had the academic freedom to present alternative theories that an act permitting them to do so was superfluous.
After Kitzmiller, no one can seriously maintain that academic freedom to study all of the evidence relating to Darwinian evolution is secure. As a consequence, administrative guidelines, even legislative enactments, are needed to provide clearer protection for the rights of students and teachers to critically analyze Darwins theory in the classroom. Otherwise it is the Supreme Courts own rulings that will be made a "sham."
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
So say it, so be it. The Discovery Institute has published their whine after the Dover bad beat. Entitled "Traipsing Into Evolution," it appeals to the court of public opinion. Appeal denied. This is a wretched book.
The Discovery Institute PR campaign for Intelligent Design bears a laughably strong resemblance to Baghdad Bob, the Iraqui "Information" minister who claimed there weree no Americans in Iraq's capital city as those same Americans pounded up the stairs into his own studio. His mere statements of fact served as their own proof, no matter how outlandish. Traipsing continues this M. O. None of the factual assertions in this book are to be taken seriously.
The book overlooks a peculiar idiosyncrasy of courts. Unlike Iraq's ministry of Information, courts rely on something called "evidence." There are two components to that concept. First, only evidence actually admitted in court "counts." Out of court self serving press releases are not evidence and don't count. Second, the evidence proffered in court must meet certain minimum requirements. Witness testimony, for example, must be both under oath and subject to cross-examination.
That means witnesses must answer questions from an attorney who is not sympathetic to the witness's own position. The witness cannot decline to answer and the witness must tell the truth. In the Dover trial, the Intelligent Design side offered: (1) out of court press releases; (2) proffered witnesses who waffled, equivocated, and finally admitted the lack of factual support for ID when cross examined; and (3) some of the Intelligent Design witnesses got caught lying under oath.
The trial judge's opinion detailed ID's lack of evidence and the witness testimonial defects, including the falsehoods, throughout his 139 page decision. Any intellectually honest post-mortem would have addressed these issues head on. If you expect Traipsing to do so, you'll be disappointed.
Traipsing argues that ID is good science and that it is not creationism. In "Bhagdad Bob" fashion, the book offers Discovery Institute press releases as "evidence" in support The court rejected both propositions based on the evidence actually offered at trial. As just one example, two Discovery Fellows, Michael Behe and Scott Minnich testified as experts. Both were asked under oath if ID was science. Both had the choice to answer truthfully or to lie and prevaricate. To their credit, they answered truthfully. Minnich testified that ID was not science and Behe testified it was as scientific as astrology. Based on this evidence from ID's own proponents, the judge not surprisingly found that ID was not science. Frankly, the authors distort both the in-court and out of court evidence in their book.
The book makes much of the fact that the judge found a lack of peer reviewed literature and ignored the "vast" ID favorable literature enclosed in the book as Appendix B. There are two reasons why the judge did not consider this literature. (1) it was out of court hearsay, not subject to cross examination; and (2) It is not scientific research, it is essentially propaganda. This second point is why nobody was willing to actually testify in court that such peer reviewed ID-specific scientific research existed.
If you are interested in what really happened, get it from the horse's mouth. Read the opinion itself and the actual evidence and trial testimony. Both are online.
The section on the history of ID is fascinating. It traces the movement from ancient times and philosophers, which rebuts the presumption that ID = creationism, which it does not.
The second chapter on the scientific status of ID is well written-it is the meat of the book and by far the most important. This section defines what science is and ought to be/ought not be, as well as covers how theories can develop in science. It rebuts the argument that ID is not "science" in a way that makes Judge Jones seem like an Article III judge that has overstepped his authority. (and based off the Supreme Court's rendering of Daubert, I would agree)
The third major section deals with the un-neutral treatment of ID as religious. While I think most law nerds would prefer more of a deeper understanding of Lemon and Lynch, this is a good overview of why the Kitzmiller decision did not deal with the Establish Clause case law in a proper manner. The section on secondary effects was particularly poignant.
The appendices are informative. This is the section that I think is best read in conjunction with the actual Dover opinion. Read both and you will get a good understanding of both sides of the issue.
In summary, it is a good critique of the Dover opinion, and I would wholeheartedly recommend that it actually be read side-by-side with the Dover opinion. It also directed not to legal scholars, but laymen. Because this case has gotten so much publicity, much of the media has hyped the opinion as being the death-knell for ID. This book is a good primer on what other evidence was actually before the court, and not just the very one-sided view that the court delivered. If you are looking for heavy legal analysis, this may not be your best bet. If you are looking to understand the issues in the case and not get flooded with legalese, this is definitely worth a read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
And it's badly needed.Read more