Concerned About “Objectivity”, But Not Accuracy?

Martin Cothran whines about the NOVA “Judgment Day” program, treating us to the following:

In one scene, the ACLU attorney hired by the parents who sued the Dover School District to overturn its pro-ID policy asked ID proponent Michael Behe (a scientist himself) if, under his definition, astrology counted as science. Behe said that, yes, it did. The attorney (or, rather, the actor playing the attorney) then asked if astrology hadn’t been proven false, to which Behe (or, again, the actor playing Behe) again agreed.

Of course, the attorney who cross-examined Michael Behe was Eric Rothschild, not Vic Walczak. Rothschild is a partner in the Pepper Hamilton law firm, and Vic Walczak is the attorney from the Pennsylvania ACLU.

I attempted to leave a comment last night: “Eric Rothschild is affiliated with Pepper Hamilton, not the ACLU.” So far, the post remains erroneous, and the comment has not yet appeared.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

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

5 thoughts on “Concerned About “Objectivity”, But Not Accuracy?

  • 2007/11/18 at 5:51 am

    Update: the section remains erroneous, but at least the comment has now been approved and appears following the post.

  • 2007/11/18 at 4:24 pm


    I approved your post as soon as I saw it, and will let it stand as a correction. I put the post up the night of the program, and, like everyone else (on both sides of this issue) that was commenting the night of and the day after the program, I had to operate by the notes I took as I was watching it. If I had wanted to play a game of gotcha, I could have pointed out numerous minor inaccuracies in peoples’ remarks about the program. Everyone was operating blind, so to speak, since there was no way to check particular facts at the time.

    Was there some relevance of this (what seems to me very minor) error to the arguments I was making?

  • 2007/11/18 at 4:38 pm


    I find it interesting that (1) you cast that section as being about ACLU involvement and (2) you were willing to write that confidently about a topic that you obviously had not researched. Nor had you paid attention to the program, which never identified Eric Rothschild as an ACLU attorney, and in fact had correctly identified him as being from the Pepper Hamilton law firm.

    There were many of us who watched the program who were not “operating blind”; that is, were not hindered by the handicap of ignorance.

    As far as I can see, minor issues are in fact your only concern. The one I pointed out is tied to an issue of viewpoint and objectivity. Making an issue of affiliation of the lawyer obviously doesn’t have an effect upon the logic of the argument, so if you are trying to be objective, why must the ACLU make an appearance, especially when that datum is, in fact, false?

  • 2007/11/20 at 5:53 am

    Who cross examined Dembski?

    I know he was itching to take em on!!!

    What’s that…?

    He didn’t show?

    Gee, some people would think he was afraid…but I guess he had his reasons.

    There is always a reason if you want one.

  • 2007/11/20 at 12:34 pm

    Stephen Harvey from Pepper Hamilton would have been handling Dembski’s cross-examination. We were set to depose Dembski on June 13, 2005, and Harvey had informed TMLC that Jeff Shallit and I would be on hand at Dembski’s deposition. The next communication he got from TMLC was that Dembski was withdrawn as an expert witness, and the deposition was off.

    That’s really too bad. I’m pretty sure that something Harvey had requested Dembski bring along to the deposition was the documentation Dembski had for his claims that “The Design Inference” was “peer-reviewed”. That would have been fun. Oh well, have to wait for the next court case to see that, I guess.

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