Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

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Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
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{{short description|The first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of intelligent design creationism}}

{{Education in the U.S.}}Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005)COURT, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400, F. Supp. 2d, 707, W.D. Pa., 2005,weblink November 1, 2017, was the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of intelligent design.WEB, Kitzmiller v. Dover: Intelligent Design on Trial,weblink National Center for Science Education, October 17, 2008, June 21, 2011, In October 2004, the Dover Area School District of York County, Pennsylvania changed its biology teaching curriculum to require that intelligent design be presented as an alternative to evolution theory, and that Of Pandas and People, a textbook advocating intelligent design, was to be used as a reference book.On October 18, 2004, the Board passed by a 6–3 vote, a resolution that amended the biology curriculum as follows:Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin's theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design. Note: Origins of Life is not taught.In addition, the Board resolution stated that this subject is to be covered in lecture form with Pandas to be a reference book.s:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/6:Curriculum, Conclusion#n. October 18, 2004 – Curriculum Change Resolution Passed|p. 117]], Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Memorandum Opinion, December 20, 2005 The prominence of this textbook during the trial was such that the case is sometimes referred to as the Dover Panda Trial,Argento, Mike (October 20, 2005). "weblink" title="">Of Behe and mammary glands". York Daily Record. Archived from the original on January 13, 2006.Curran, Erin (November 29, 2006). "weblink" title=""> Attorney from first national case on intelligent design to speak to SU". The Daily Orange. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. a name which recalls the popular name of the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee, 80 years earlier. The plaintiffs successfully argued that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and that the school board policy violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The judge's decision sparked considerable response from both supporters and critics.Eleven parents of students in Dover, York County, Pennsylvania, near the city of York, sued the Dover Area School District over the school board requirement that a statement presenting intelligent design as "an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view" was to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution was taught.Following the change in curriculum, the school board had a nine-sentence (four-paragraph) statement prepared. In its final form it asserted that Darwin's "Theory is not a fact" and said that "Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves."s:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/6:Curriculum, Conclusion#o. Development of Statement to be Read to Students|pp. 126–128]], Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Memorandum Opinion, December 20, 2005 The plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and Pepper Hamilton LLP. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) acted as consultants for the plaintiffs. The defendants were represented by the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC). The Foundation for Thought and Ethics, publisher of Of Pandas and People, tried to join the lawsuit late as a defendant but was denied for multiple reasons."weblink" title="">Memorandum and Order". Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. July 27, 2005. Archived from the original on September 28, 2005.The suit was brought in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Since it sought an equitable remedy, by the Seventh Amendment, right to a jury trial did not apply. It was tried in a bench trial from September 26, 2005, to November 4, 2005, before Judge John E. Jones III, a Republican appointed in 2002 by George W. Bush.BOOK, Johnson, Norman L., Darwinian detectives: revealing the natural history of genes and genomes, Oxford University Press, Oxford [Oxfordshire], 2007, 19, 978-0-19-530675-0, WEB,weblink Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al., the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania., July 3, 2009, yes,weblink" title="">weblink February 20, 2008,



On December 20, 2005, Jones issued his 139-page findings of fact and decision ruling that the Dover mandate requiring the statement to be read in class was unconstitutional. The ruling concluded that intelligent design is not science, and permanently barred the board from "maintaining the ID Policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID."(Wikisource:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District et al.), (Wikisource:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/6:Curriculum, Conclusion#H. Conclusion|H. Conclusion)

Local school board

All eight of the Dover school board members who were up for re-election on November 8, 2005, were defeated by a set of challengers who opposed the teaching of intelligent design in a science class. (The ninth member was not up for re-election.) The new school board president subsequently stated that the board did not intend to appeal the ruling.Powell, Michael (December 21, 2005). "weblink" title="">Judge Rules Against 'Intelligent Design'". The Washington Post. The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Archived from the original on June 21, 2009.


{{more citations needed|section|date=December 2018}}{{Intelligent Design}}From 2002, William (Bill) Buckingham and Alan Bonsell, members of the Dover Area School District Board of Education who were young earth creationists, had made various statements supporting teaching creationism alongside evolution. At a board meeting on June 7, 2004, Buckingham mentioned creationism and raised objections to the proposed use of the textbook Biology written by Kenneth R. Miller and Joseph S. Levine, describing it as "laced with Darwinism" and saying it was "inexcusable to have a book that says man descended from apes with nothing to counterbalance it."COURT, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, December 20, 2005,weblink This story made the York newspapers, and Buckingham was telephoned by Discovery Institute staff attorney Seth Cooper, whose tasks included "communicating with legislators, school board members, teachers, parents and students" to "address the topic of ID in a scientifically and educationally responsible way" in public schools. He later stated that he made the call to "steer the Dover Board away from trying to include intelligent design in the classroom or from trying to insert creationism into its {{sic|cirriculum}}", an account Buckingham has disputed. Cooper sent the book and DVD of Icons of Evolution to Buckingham, who required the Dover High School science teachers to watch the DVD. They did not take up the opportunity to use it in their classes.Cooper advised that the Discovery Institute was not offering legal advice, and soon afterwards Buckingham contacted Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center, who agreed to represent the Dover Board, and recommended the book Of Pandas and People. On October 18, 2004, the school board voted 6–3 resolving that there were to be lectures on the subject, with Pandas as a reference book, and that the following statement was to be added to their biology curriculum: "Students will be made aware of the gaps/problems in Darwin's theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design. Note: Origins of life is not taught."On November 19, 2004, the Dover Area School District issued a press release stating that, commencing in January 2005, teachers would be required to read the following statement to students in the ninth-grade biology class at Dover High School:The three school board members who voted against it resigned in protest, and science teachers in the district refused to read the statement to their ninth-grade students, citing the Pennsylvania state code 235.10(2), which requires that "The professional educator may not ... Knowingly and intentionally misrepresent subject matter or curriculum." Instead, the statement was read to students by a school administrator.The school board's statement asserting that there are "gaps" in evolution and that it specifically is a theory "not a fact" singled out evolution, implying it is just a hunch, even though this is not the actual meaning of the term "scientific theory". The reference to Of Pandas and People and presentation of intelligent design as an alternative "explanation of the origins of life" presented it as though it were a scientific explanation, in contrast to the way that evolution was described. Encouraging students to "keep an open mind" about alternatives without offering an alternative scientific explanation implied an invitation to meditate on a religious view, endorsing the religious view in a way similar to the disclaimer found to be unconstitutional in the Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education case. The school board claimed the statement does not teach intelligent design and simply makes students aware of its existence as an alternative to evolution, but no such statements were made about other subjects. As part of the presentation, the administrators stated that "there will be no other discussion of the issue and your teachers will not answer questions on the issue", giving intelligent design a position not applied to scientific topics.s:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/3:Disclaimer#Page 43 of 139|pp. 43–46]], Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, Memorandum Opinion, December 20, 2005 The board denied that intelligent design was "religion in disguise," despite being represented in court by the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative Christian not-for-profit law center that uses litigation to promote "the religious freedom of Christians and time-honored family values". Its stated purpose is "... to be the sword and shield for people of faith".The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on December 14, 2004, on behalf of eleven parents from the Dover school district, and sought a law firm willing to take on the case at the risk of not being paid if the case was lost. Eric Rothschild, a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP and a member of the National Center for Science Education legal advisory council, was quick to agree to take the case on such a contingency basis.The Discovery Institute's John West said the case displayed the ACLU's "Orwellian" effort to stifle scientific discourse and objected to the issue being decided in court. "It's a disturbing prospect that the outcome of this lawsuit could be that the court will try to tell scientists what is legitimate scientific inquiry and what is not," West said. "That is a flagrant assault on free speech." Opponents, represented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Association of Biology Teachers, contended that his statement is not just ironic, but hypocritical, as the Discovery Institute opposes methodological naturalism, the basic principle that limits science to natural phenomena and natural causes without assuming the existence or non-existence of the supernatural, which by definition is beyond natural explanation.Despite its earlier involvement, the Discovery Institute was concerned that this would be a test case and that the defendants had earlier displayed their religious motivations. This tension led to disagreements with the Thomas More Law Center and the withdrawal of three Discovery Institute fellows as defense experts prior to their depositions â€“ William A. Dembski, Stephen C. Meyer and John Angus Campbell. This was purportedly because the Thomas More Law Center refused to allow these witnesses to have their own attorneys present during deposition,"Discovery Institute and Thomas More Law Center Squabble in AEI Forum". National Center for Science Education. October 23, 2005. but Discovery Institute director Bruce Chapman later said that he had asked them not to testify (as well as Behe and Minnich, who testified anyway).Postman, David (April 26, 2006). "Seattle's Discovery Institute scrambling to rebound after intelligent-design ruling". The Seattle Times.In May 2005, the publisher of Of Pandas and People, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE), filed a motion seeking to intervene in the case. FTE argued that a ruling that intelligent design was religious would have severe financial consequences, citing possible losses of approximately half a million dollars. By intervening, FTE would have become a co-defendant with the Dover Area School Board, and able to bring its own lawyers and expert witnesses to the case. FTE's president Jon Buell implied that if allowed to intervene, FTE would bring Dembski and Meyer as expert witnesses. In his decision on the motion, Jones ruled that FTE was not entitled to intervene in the case because its motion to intervene was not timely, describing FTE's reasons for not trying to become involved earlier as "both unavailing and disingenuous". Jones also held that FTE had failed to demonstrate that it has "a significantly protectable interest in the litigation warranting intervention as a party" and that its interests would not be adequately represented by the defendants.In the November 2005 elections, none of the members of the Dover School Board who voted for the intelligent design policy were re-elected, and a new school board, which rejected the policy, took office. This effectively precluded the possibility of an appeal to a higher court.


The (Wiktionary:Litigant|litigants) of this trial were as follows.


The plaintiffs were all parents of students enrolled in the Dover Area School district.
  • Tammy Kitzmiller
  • Bryan Rehm
  • Christy Rehm
  • Deborah Fenimore
  • Joel Lieb
  • Steven Stough
  • Beth Eveland
  • Cynthia Sneath
  • Julie Smith
  • Aralene "Barrie" D. Callahan
  • Frederick B. Callahan


  • Dover Area School District
  • Dover Area School District Board of Directors
  • :Members who voted for the statement:
  • : Bill Buckingham (resigned August 2005 due to health concerns)WEB,weblink The York Daily Record - News - YDR,, 2008-05-30, April 3, 2011, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink May 30, 2008,
  • : Alan Bonsell
  • : Sheila Harkins
  • : Heather Geesey
  • : Jane Cleaver (resigned October 4, 2004)
  • : Angie Ziegler-Yingling (resigned December 6, 2004)
  • :Members who voted against it:
  • : Noel Wenrich (announced his resignation October 4, 2004; last day of service was October 31, 2004; moved out of the district)
  • : Carol Brown (resigned October 18, 2004, in protest)
  • : Jeff Brown (resigned October 18, 2004, in protest)


The trial began on September 26, 2005.

Opening statements


Eric Rothschild gave the opening statement for the plaintiffs. He said that the plaintiffs would be able to provide many examples of school board members wishing to balance the teaching of evolution with creationism. He attacked prior defense claims that it was a minor affair by saying that there is no such thing as a "little" constitutional violation. He also provided the definition of creationism given by an early draft of Pandas: "Creation is the theory that various forms of life began abruptly, with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers and wings, mammals with fur and mammary glands." He compared this with what was eventually published: "Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, et cetera." (The definitions had come up earlier in a July 14 pre-trial hearing.WEB,weblink 99, July 14, 2005, Oral Argument, November 18, 2009, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, ) He also argued that intelligent design was not science in its infancy, but rather was not science at all.


Patrick Gillen gave the opening arguments for the defense. He started by saying that the goal of the board and its supporters was to enhance science education. He argued that the policy was a "modest change". He distanced the policy from alleged statements by then board member William Buckingham that the plaintiffs argued showed clear religious intent: "The board listened to the science faculty more than it listened to Bill Buckingham." He argued that the policy did not have a "religious agenda". Gillen mentioned that board member Alan Bonsell had done his own reading. He said Bonsell was "aware of intelligent design theory, and that 300 or so scientists had signed a statement indicating that biologists were exaggerating claims for the theory. He had read about the famous Piltdown man hoax. He had an interest in creationism."


Witnesses for the plaintiffs

September 27, 2005
  • Kenneth R. Miller, a biology professor from Brown University and noted author and commentator opposed to the intelligent design and creationist movements, was the first witness. He testified as an expert witness that "Intelligent design is not a testable theory and as such is not generally accepted by the scientific community." He said that the idea of intelligent design was not subject to falsification, and demonstrated that many claims made by intelligent-design advocates against evolution were invalid. When asked what the harm was in reading the statement, Miller gave a two-fold response. 1) "[I]t falsely undermines the scientific status of evolutionary theory and gives students a false understanding of what theory actually means." And 2) "As a person of faith who was blessed with two daughters, who raised both of my daughters in the church, and had they been given an education in which they were explicitly or implicitly forced to choose between God and science, I would have been furious, because I want my children to keep their religious faith."
  • Tammy Kitzmiller testified as a fact witness. She was the lead plaintiff and a parent of a child in the Dover school system.
  • Aralene "Barrie" D. Callahan, a Dover parent, was a plaintiff and was for ten years a board member of the Dover Area School District. She testified that Alan Bonsell, a board member, argued in a board retreat in Spring 2003 that if evolution were taught then creationism should also be taught.
  • Bryan Rehm was the last witness of the day. He was a former physics teacher at Dover and a parent to children attending school at the Dover Area School District. Both he and his wife were plaintiffs and taught Vacation Bible School. Rehm testified that Alan Bonsell, then-chairman of the board's curriculum committee, had asked teachers to watch a video on intelligent design titled Icons of Evolution. Teachers had expressed concern that Bonsell did not believe in evolution and wished to see classroom discussions of evolution balanced "fifty-fifty" with creationism.

September 28
  • Robert T. Pennock is a philosopher now working on the Avida digital organism project at Michigan State University where he is an associate professor. He is the author of many books and articles critical of intelligent design. He testified as an expert witness.
  • Julie Smith is a parent and plaintiff. She made only one point: that the policy created a hostile atmosphere for her daughter, Katherine. She said her daughter was harassed for her Catholic background, being told that she is an atheist since she accepted evolution.
  • Christy Rehm testified as a parent and plaintiff.
  • Beth Eveland testified.
  • Frederick Callahan testified.

September 29
  • Carol Brown testified.
  • Jeffrey Brown testified.

September 30
  • John Haught testified. He is a Roman Catholic theologian and the Landegger Distinguished Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, with teaching and research interests focused on issues in science and religion, cosmology and theology, and religion and ecology."John F. Haught". Georgetown University Theology Department. Retrieved June 26, 2019.

October 5–6
Before her testimony, the TMLC filed a motion to have her excluded as an expert witness. In that motion they characterized her as "little more than a conspiracy theorist and a web-surfing, 'cyber-stalker' of the Discovery Institute.""Motion in limine to exclude Forrest". National Center for Science in Education. Retrieved April 3, 2011."Brief supporting motion in limine to exclude Forrest". National Center for Science in Education. Retrieved April 3, 2011. Jones denied the motion.Forrest gave testimony on the history of the intelligent design movement, citing writings of prominent figures (such as Discovery Institute's "Wedge Document", Phillip Johnson's "How the Evolution Debate Can be Won", and of William Dembski). She also testified that ID was merely another name for the creationism movement, attempting to present a religious proposition as a scientific viewpoint. She stated that Johnson "regards evolution as a threat to the Bible in its entirety and as a threat to the moral fabric of American culture," and that one of the goals of his movement is to unify the religious world. She added that there is "no way to reconcile [...] at all" the Dover school board newsletter statement that intelligent design is a scientific theory with Paul Nelson's statements in the interview "The Measure of Design".Forrest noted that she was unaware of any evidence that the members of the School board had seen the "Wedge Document" before the lawsuit.Several days before her scheduled testimony, the Discovery Institute publicly ridiculed her on their website."The "Vise Strategy" Undone: Barbara Forrest". Skeptical Inquirer. July 31, 2006."weblink" title="">Dover Trial Preview to Witness Testimony: An Interview with (Dr.) Barbara Forrest, Radio Station WNBLAT, September 29, 2005". Discovery Institute — Center for Science and Culture. Archived from the original on December 14, 2007.
October 6
  • Jennifer Miller testified.
  • Bertha Spahr testified.

October 12

October 14
  • Steven Stough testified.
  • Kevin Padian testified.
  • Joel Lieb testified.

Witnesses for the defense

October 17–19
As a primary witness for the defense, Behe was asked to support the idea that intelligent design was legitimate science. Behe's critics have pointed to a number of key exchanges under cross examination, where he conceded that, "There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.""Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District Trial transcript: Day 12 (October 19), AM Session, Part 1". The TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved April 3, 2011 .In response to a question about astrology he explained: "Under my definition, a scientific theory is a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences. There are many things throughout the history of science which we now think to be incorrect which nonetheless ... would fit that definition. Yes, astrology is in fact one, and so is the ether theory of the propagation of light, and ... many other theories as well."Behe cross examination in the official court transcript, pp.38–39.His simulation modelling of evolution with David Snoke described in a 2004 paper had been listed by the Discovery Institute amongst claimed "Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design",Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated), Discovery Institute but under oath he accepted that it showed that the biochemical systems it described could evolve within 20,000 years, even if the parameters of the simulation were rigged to make that outcome as unlikely as possible.s:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/4:Whether ID Is Science#Page 88 of 139]]"Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District Testimony". The TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved April 3, 2011.{{details|Michael Behe#Dover testimony}}
October 20–21
  • Richard Nilsen testified.

October 21, 28, November 3
  • Michael Richard Baksa testified. He was the Dover Area School District Assistant Superintendent. In an email response to a complaint by social studies teacher Brad Neal, Baksa referred to The Myth of Separation by David Barton, a book Baksa had received from Superintendent Richard Nilsen, who had received it from board member Alan Bonsell. The book calls separation of church and state "absurd". Baksa also discussed attempted changes to the statement. Teachers suggested adding "Darwin's theory of evolution continues to be the dominant scientific explanation of the origin of species," but this was eliminated by the board. The teachers also recommended altering it to read "Because Darwin's theory is a theory, there is a significant amount of evidence that supports the theory, although it is still being tested as new evidence is discovered". Citing his belief the board would reject this, Baksa eliminated the "significant amount of evidence".

October 24
  • Steve Fuller is a professor of sociology at the University of Warwick in England, and author of books on social epistemology and science and technology studies."Steve William Fuller: Curriculum Vitae". University of Warwick. Retrieved April 3, 2011. His testimony essentially attempted a qualified defense of the scientific status of intelligent design, arguing that its history can be traced back to Newton, and should include such luminaries of modern biology as Linnaeus and Mendel. He also stressed a distinction from the philosophy of science between the "context of discovery" (what motivates a scientist) and the "context of justification" (how the scientist's theory is judged) in order to mitigate the undeniably religious origins of intelligent design. Fuller memorably called for an "affirmative action" program for intelligent design, which did not win much favor with Jones in his final decision. Fuller's testimony was cited by lawyers for both the plaintiffs and the defense in their closing statements.

Witnesses for the plaintiffs (called out-of-turn)

October 27

October 28
  • Heidi Bernhard-Bubb testified.
  • Joseph Maldonado testified.

Witnesses for the defense

October 28
  • Heather Geesey testified.

October 31
  • Jane Cleaver testified.
  • Alan Bonsell testified. His testimony initially included a claim that he did not know where the money had been raised to donate sixty copies of Of Pandas and People to the school's library. On hearing that the money had been raised in William Buckingham's church, and directed through Bonsell's father so that it might be donated anonymously, Jones elected to take over the examination of Bonsell himself, questioning him for about ten minutes.

November 3

Closing arguments

Closing arguments were made on November 4, 2005. Upon completion of the closing arguments, Gillen asked Jones, "By my reckoning, this is the 40th day since the trial began and tonight will be the 40th night, and I would like to know if you did that on purpose." (40 days and nights was the length of the Biblical Great Flood.) Jones responded, "Mr. Gillen, that is an interesting coincidence, but it was not by design."WEB,weblink Transcript Day 21 PM, 2011-04-03, This humorous exchange provided the title for Matthew Chapman's book about the trial, 40 Days and 40 Nights.weblink" title="">Reviews: Darwin in Court, Richard Milner, Natural History Magazine, June 2007


{{wikisource|Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District et al.}}On December 20, 2005, Jones found for the plaintiffs and issued a (wikisource:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District et al.|139 page decision), in which he wrote:File:Judge John E Jones III.jpg|thumb|right|Judge John E. Jones IIIJohn E. Jones IIIIn his (wikisource:Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District/6:Curriculum, Conclusion#H. Conclusion|Conclusion), he wrote:
  • The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy. With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.
  • The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial.}}


Jones anticipated that his ruling would be criticized, saying in his decision that:Fulfilling Jones's prediction, John G. West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, said:The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won't work. He has conflated Discovery Institute's position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.Dover Intelligent Design Decision Criticized as a Futile Attempt to Censor Science Education, Robert Crowther, Evolution News & Views, Discovery InstituteNewspapers have noted that the judge is "a Republican and a churchgoer."Judge rules against 'intelligent design', MSNBCGodless: The Church of Liberalism a book review, Matthew Provonsha, eSkepticDiscovery Institute tries to "swift-boat" Judge Jones, Kevin Padian and Nick Matzke, National Center for Science Education, October 17th, 2008WEB,weblink Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News, December 20, 2005, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink June 24, 2009, Archived from the original on June 24, 2009. In the months following the decision, Jones received bags of mail, including threats against him and his family serious enough to warrant around-the-clock U.S. Marshal protection.WEB,weblink Independent From the Ground Up, Simmons, Michelle, 2014-11-05, Dickinson College,weblink" title="">weblink 2018-02-22, no, 2018-02-22,

Settlement of the legal fees

On February 21, 2006, the newly elected Dover Area School Board voted, unanimously with one abstention, to pay $1,000,011 in legal fees and damages due to the parents and their lawyers as a result of the verdict in the case, a large sum of money for a small district. The previous school board had been offered the opportunity to rescind its policy, and avoid paying legal fees, immediately after the lawsuit was filed in 2004, but it declined. The parents' attorneys Pepper Hamilton stated that court records would show that they were entitled to more than $2 million, but were going to accept less than half that amount in recognition of the small size of the school district, and because the school board that voted for the policy had been voted out of office, leaving the new school board "having the bill placed in their laps." The previous school board had been defended without charge by the Thomas More Law Center.NEWS, Kauffman, Christina, Dover gets a million-dollar bill, York Dispatch, February 22, 2006,weblink 2007-08-12, yes,weblink" title="">weblink January 5, 2013, Richard Katskee, assistant legal director for Americans United, said of the trial's cost, "Any board thinking of trying to do what the Dover board did is going to have to look for a bill in excess of $2 million," and "I think $2 million is a lot to explain to taxpayers for a lawsuit that should never be fought."WEB,weblink "Intelligent design" costs Dover over $1,000,000, February 24, 2006, 2007-08-12, NCSE Resource,

Potential perjury and deceit

After the trial, there were calls for the defendants, accused of not presenting their case honestly, to be put on trial for committing perjury. "Witnesses either testified inconsistently, or lied outright under oath on several occasions," Jones wrote. "The inescapable truth is that both [Alan] Bonsell and [William] Buckingham lied at their January 3, 2005 depositions. ... Bonsell repeatedly failed to testify in a truthful manner. ... Defendants have unceasingly attempted in vain to distance themselves from their own actions and statements, which culminated in repetitious, untruthful testimony." An editorial in the York Daily Record described their behavior as both ironic and sinful, saying that the "unintelligent designers of this fiasco should not walk away unscathed."JOURNAL, OUR OPINION: Investigate perjury in Dover ID case Judge Jones issued a broad, sensible ruling â€” finding that some board members lied., York Daily Record, December 21, 2005,weblink MERLIN_1306067, Judge Jones recommended to the US Attorney's office that the school board members be investigated for perjury.The Devil in Dover, p.199

Specific potential perjury

  • The defendants claimed that they were presenting an alternative scientific theory, not promoting religion. The Creationist intentions of the Dover School Board are detailed on the site for Lauri Lebo's book, The Devil in Dover. But during the trial, Bill Buckingham claimed, "... we would say 'intelligent design' and they would print 'creationism'. It happened all the time,"WEB,weblink TRANSCRIPT OF CIVIL BENCH TRIAL PROCEEDINGS, ACLU-PA, Kitzmiller V. Dover Trial Transcripts, 2016-09-13, 58, en, although the plaintiffs presented video of him advocating creationism.WEB,weblink TRANSCRIPT OF CIVIL BENCH TRIAL PROCEEDINGS, ACLU-PA, Kitzmiller V. Dover Trial Transcripts, 2016-09-14, 95–96, en,
  • Of Pandas and People
  • The Dover School District Superintendent had announced an anonymous donation of books (60 copies of Of Pandas and People). The Board responded that the donors wanted to remain anonymous when pressed by the public.The Devil in Dover, pp.44,199
  • In his January 2005 deposition, Buckingham denied knowing where the book donations came from.
  • During the trial, plaintiff attorney Steve Harvey produced a 2004-10-04 check from board member Buckingham for $850 with the memo "for Pandas and People" written out to Donald Bonsell, father of school board president Alan Bonsell. Buckingham had given the check to Alan Bonsell, who gave it to his father, who would "take it off the table" (according to Alan Bonsell) and buy the books.The Devil in Dover, p.171 The money had come from donations from parishioners of Buckingham's church after he stood up and said the board needed it. Bonsell also denied in deposition knowing where the books came from.The Devil in Dover, p.166
  • Board member Buckingham had been a lively person before the trial. During trial he appeared feeble. Then after the trial he was vibrant again.The Devil in Dover, pp.161,199Buckingham appears healthy in documentary interviews If this assessment is accurate, it could be construed as deceit, but not perjury.
  • Michael Behe testified on the morning of 2005-10-17, day 10 of the trial, that "... Intelligent Design is a scientific theory."Behe testified that ID is scientific But in his 2005-10-18 afternoon testimony, during cross-examination, Behe said that his definition of a scientific theory differs from the accepted definition and would allow both the long-disproved ether theory of light (idea of luminiferous aether) and astrology to be classified as scientific theories.Behe testified that astrology and ether are as scientific as ID Since the standard definition of a scientific theory includes "... a well-substantiated explanation ...", Behe's personal definition would allow for disproved ideas to be considered scientific theories, whereas the standard definition does not. Behe defended his version of the definition of scientific theory as being one that is commonly used among scientists. Who these scientists are and where they use the Behe definition was not clarified. But Behe's employer, Lehigh University, in an undated proclamation, stated the department faculty's unequivocal support for evolution and "... It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science ..."Lehigh calls ID unscientific {{webarchive|url= |date=2005-10-13 }}
  • Bacterial Flagellum claims
  • Behe engaged in quote-mining, at best, regarding the bacterial flagellum. During his 2005-10-17 (Day 10) morning testimony, when asked "Have other scientists acknowledged these design features of the flagellum?", Behe cited a 1998 article in the journal Cell by Brandeis University professor David J. DeRosier, The Turn of the Screw, The Bacterial Flagellar Motor, and Derosier's statement that the bacterial flagellum looked designed. Behe left it at that.Behe testified that Derosier agreed
  • He omitted, as Derosier pointed out in the Nova documentary, that Derosier wrote that bacterial flagellum looked like it was designed by a human. Derosier went on to add that in fact, the evidence pointed to evolution.Derosier That is not explicit in the article, but Derosier is known as an evolution proponent,Derosier known as evolution proponent so Behe should have known, since he quotes Derosier seemingly as in agreement, that Derosier disagreed with him regarding whether the bacterial flagellum points to evolution or Intelligent Design.
  • Analysis and criticism

    The University of Montana Law Review published three articles addressing this topic in its winter 2007 issue."Articles - Editor's Note: Intelligent Design Articles", University of Montana Law Review, Volume 68, Number 1, April 10, 2007. David K. DeWolf, John G. West and Casey Luskin, senior fellows or officers of the Discovery Institute, argued that intelligent design is a valid scientific theory, that the Jones court should not have addressed the question of whether it was a scientific theory, and that the decision will have no effect on the development and adoption of intelligent design as an alternative to standard evolutionary theory.JOURNAL, DeWolf, David K., West, John G., Luskin, Casey, 2007, Intelligent Design will survive Kitzmiller v. Dover, University of Montana Law Review, 68, 1,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-12-01, Peter Irons responded to the DeWolf et al. article, arguing that the decision was extremely well reasoned, and that it marks the end to legal efforts by the intelligent design movement to introduce creationism in public schools. It had been an essential part of the ruling to consider whether ID was a legitimate scientific theory as claimed by its proponents, and DeWolf, et al. had implicitly recognised this by citing the Lemon test, which would have been irrelevant if ID were legitimate science.JOURNAL, Irons, Peter, 2007, Disaster in Dover: The Trials (and Tribulations) of Intelligent Design, University of Montana Law Review, 68, 1,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2007-09-27, DeWolf et al. responded to the Irons article in the same issue.JOURNAL, DeWolf, David, West, John G., Luskin, Casey, 2007, Rebuttal to Irons, University of Montana Law Review, 68, 1,weblink yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-12-01,


    {{See also|List of works on intelligent design}}

    See also

    Related cases



    Further reading

    • BOOK, Chapman, Matthew, 40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania, Collins, 2007, 978-0-06-117945-7, Matthew Chapman (author),
    • BOOK, deWolf, David K., West, John G., Luskin, Casey & Witt, Jonathan, Traipsing Into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Decision, Discovery Institute Press, 2006, 978-0-9638654-9-6,
    • Humes, Edward. (Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul). New York: Ecco, 2007. {{ISBN|978-0-06-088548-9}}.
    • BOOK, Lebo, Lauri, Lauri Lebo, The devil in Dover: an insider's story of dogma v. Darwin in small-town America, The New Press, 2008-05-13
    title-link=The Devil in Dover,
    • Mirsky, Steve. "Teach the Science." Scientific American, February 2006, pp. 36–38.
    • BOOK, Slack, Gordy, The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA, Jossey-Bass, 2007, 978-0-7879-8786-2,
    • WEB, Mooney, Chris, Chris Mooney (journalist), The Dover Monkey Trial, Seed Magazine, October 2005,weblink harv, 16 February 2016,

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