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Chris Mooney on the Dover ID ruling

In earlier blog entries, I wrote about Chris Mooney’s writings, especially his best-selling The Republican War on Science. I was waiting eagerly for his take on the ruling in the Dover School District Intelligent Design case. While revisiting his web site, I found it in an article called “Welcome to Science Court,” which begins:

Legally speaking, Judge John E. Jones III’s ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District–Pennsylvania’s much-discussed lawsuit over the teaching of intelligent design–can only be called conservative. The decision draws upon and reinforces a series of prior court precedents, all of which barred creationist encroachment upon the teaching of science in public schools.

In another sense, though, Jones’ ruling is revolutionary…..

Click here to read the rest of Mooney’s cogent analysis.




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2 thoughts on “Chris Mooney on the Dover ID ruling”

  1. A major point is this: Just because there are two sides to an argument, they do not necessarily have equal merit. Some journalists, in the quest to be “balanced,” end up doing their readers a disservice. To quote Mooney’s article:

    “Ritualistically ‘balanced’ news media coverage may not be the sole cause of such confusion, but it’s can hardly have helped…. The York Dispatch, one of two papers covering the evolution battle in Dover, Pennyslvania, repeatedly summarized the two sides of the ‘debate’ thusly: ‘Intelligent design theory attributes the origin of life to an intelligent being. It counters the theory of evolution, which says that people evolved from less complex beings.’ Here we witness the reductio ad absurdum of journalistic ‘balance.’ Despite staggering scientific consensus in favor of evolution–and ample documentation of the religious inspiration behind the ‘intelligent design’ movement–evolution and ID were paired together by the Dispatch as two competing ‘theories.”‘

    “Judge Jones took a thoroughly different approach, actually bothering to weigh the merits of competing arguments…. And in his final opinion, he was anything but ‘balanced.'”

    You really should read the rest of it. I may have already exceeded “fair use” with this substantial quotation.

    I also highly recommend Mooney’s book, The Republican War on Science.

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