A Bad Week for Antievolution

In the last week or so, antievolution forces have made a number of high-profile missteps and have settled a prominent court case.

– The Discovery Institute tried to accuse Judge John E. Jones III of some sort of impropriety in using the plaintiffs’s proposed finding of facts in his decision in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case. Mainstream media notice was pretty much negative, especially from outlets in Pennsylvania. The blogosphere is having a field day with this issue, too, with the various misunderstandings of the DI lovingly dissected. Rather than accept their just rhetorical thrashings, you have the spectacle of Casey Luskin attempting to argue, but failing to support, that the DI was right anyway despite all the criticism.

– William A. Dembski and his wife conceived of a Flash animation to poke fun at Judge Jones. It appeared at the Overwhelming Evidence site, and featured a pitch-shifted version of Dembski’s voiceover speaking parts of the KvD decision while various ID creationism critics pull a string. It also originally featured rather a lot of farting noises. As even some of Dembski’s hand-selected sycophants on the Uncommon Descent site criticized this, the fart noises got removed later. Nonetheless, Dembski continued to play up the animation, saying that it was an “instrument of grace”. That led me to refer to him as “William A. ‘Divine Wind’ Dembski”.

– Staff of US Rep. Mark Souder released a vitriolic “report” about alleged discrimination against researcher Richard von Sternberg at the Smithsonian Institution in the wake of Sternberg’s now-repudiated acceptance of a review paper advocating “intelligent design” in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. They made the strategic error of also releasing as an appendix the letters and emails that were supposed to substantiate their claims; it turned out that the emails tell an entirely different tale.

– The Selman v. Cobb County case is over, the parties having reached a settlement. The school district agreed not to place stickers of the sort at issue into textbooks in the future. The settlement comes one day before the one year anniversary of the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District decision, making this an eminently appropriate Kitzmas Eve present.

I may come back and add some links later.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.