Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cutting To The Quick

Since no one powerful has either flattered them or paid them to conceal the truth on this issue, The Great Grey Whore actually reports some facts:
In his opinion, the judge said he found the testimony of Barbara Forrest, a historian of science, very persuasive. She had presented evidence that the authors of an intelligent design textbook, "Of Pandas and People, merely removed the word "creationism" from an earlier edition and substituted it with "intelligent design" after the Supreme Court's ruling in 1987.
Citing that book is what is known as "arguing in bad faith". Judges really hate seeing that demonstrated in their courtroom. It threatens their own robed egos. But here is what really raised my eyebrows:
The judge found that intelligent design is not science, and that the only way its proponents can claim it is, is by changing the very definition of science to include supernatural explanations.
That is an unusually astute observation for any sitting judge. That is precisely the issue here. This fight is not over whether or not God created the universe. It is about whether truth is objective, universal, and not subject to decrees by parties or sects, or whether an organized gang can demand that everyone else agree that two and two is really five if they say so.

To let this mob (or any other one) redefine "truth" is to commit intellectual suicide. The issue is literally life and death. Congratulations to this judge. This brave witnessing for reality truly does deserve a Medal of Freedom.

UPDATE: Arthur Silber agrees at Hero of the Year.

UPDATE 2: P.Z. Myers can hardly contain his glee at Pharyngula, with lots of juicy links and dissections of this glorious decision. It seems the judge is a Republican and a former Congressional candidate, whose previous history also included trying to privatize state liquor stores, but also attempting to ban one brand of beer because its label was "in bad taste". He's no wild-eyed civil libertarian, much less some secular humanist liberal. He did go into great detail about the gross dishonesty of the witnesses for the deus-ex-design-lab, as PZ quotes, or you can read them in the decision itself in pdf format.


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