Archive for December 12th, 2006

Judge’s Anti-Intelligent Design Ruling “cut and pasted” From ACLU Brief

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

What was described as a “broad, stinging rebuke” and a “masterpiece of wit, scholarship and clear thinking” turns out to be a “cut and pasted” from a brief made by ACLU lawyers. According to this article, it contains many “provable errors”.
What else would one expect from an activist judge?

A historic judicial ruling against intelligent design theory hailed as a “broad, stinging rebuke” and a “masterpiece of wit, scholarship and clear thinking” actually was “cut and pasted” from a brief by ACLU lawyers and includes many of their provable errors, contends the Seattle-based Discovery Institute.

One year ago, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones’ 139-page ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover declared unconstitutional a school board policy that required students of a ninth-grade biology class in the Dover Area School District to hear a one-minute statement that said evolution is a theory and intelligent design “is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view.”

University of Chicago geophysicist Raymond Pierrehumbert called Jones’ ruling a “masterpiece of wit, scholarship and clear thinking” while lawyer Ed Darrell said the judge “wrote a masterful decision, a model for law students on how to decide a case based on the evidence presented.” Time magazine said the ruling made Jones one of “the world’s most influential people” in the category of “scientists and thinkers.”

But an analysis by the Discovery Institute, the leading promoter of intelligent design, concludes about 90.9 percent – 5,458 words of his 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science – was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU’s proposed “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” submitted to Jones nearly a month before his ruling.

“Judge Jones’ decision wasn’t a masterpiece of scholarship. It was a masterpiece of cut-and-paste,” said the Discovery Institute’s John West in a phone conference with reporters yesterday.

West is vice president for public policy and legal affairs for the group’s Center for Science and Culture, which issued a statement saying, “The finding that most of Judge Jones’ analysis of intelligent design was apparently not the product of his own original deliberative activity seriously undercuts the credibility of Judge Jones’ examination of the scientific validity of intelligent design.”

Judge will not comment

WND reached Jones’ deputy, Liz O’Donnell, at the judge’s chambers in Williamsport, Pa. But she said Jones would not comment.

“He appreciates being given a chance to comment, however, other than advising anyone to read his opinion, he will not comment on any Discovery Institute release,” she said.

O’Donnell said Jones has read Discovery Institute’s two-page press release but not the full 34-page document that includes side-by-side comparisons between the ACLU’s text and his opinion.

She declined an offer to have the study sent to Jones for his perusal and response.

Bruce Green, director of Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham Law School, told the Associated Press it is not typical for judges to adopt one side’s proposed findings verbatim, although there’s “not a rule that categorically forbids it.”

“Courts have sometimes criticized the practice, especially when it looks like the judge didn’t do any independent thinking,” Green said.

‘We were stunned’

The Discovery Institute has opposed the Dover school board policy because it thinks attempts to mandate intelligent design are counterproductive. But the group became involved in the case as part of its effort to ensure courts do not restrict an open discussion of evolution in schools.

Proponents of intelligent design say it draws on recent discoveries in physics, biochemistry and related disciplines that indicate some features of the natural world are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. Advocates include scientists at numerous universities and science organizations worldwide.

West, who noted Jones has been giving speeches on his ruling, said the Discovery Institute found out only in September that there had been “extensive copying going on.”

“We were stunned,” said West, who pointed out Jones even copied several clearly erroneous factual claims made by the ACLU.

Jones, for example, claimed that during the trial, biochemist and Discovery Institute fellow Michael Behe dismissed articles supposedly explaining the evolution of the immune system by saying they are not “good enough.” But the court record shows Behe said the opposite: “It’s not that they aren’t good enough. It’s simply that they are addressed to a different subject.”

In another example, the judge claimed “ID is not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.” But University of Idaho microbiologist Scott Minnich testified there are between “seven and 10” peer-reviewed papers supporting intelligent design.

The Discovery Institute said its study, written by West and David DeWolf, a law professor at Gonzaga University, showed the ruling “reflected essentially no original deliberative activity or independent examination of the record on Jones’ part.”

“The revelation that Judge Jones in effect ‘dragged and dropped’ large sections of the ACLU’s ‘Findings of Fact’ into his opinion, errors and all, calls into serious question whether Jones exercised the kind of independent analysis that would make his ‘broad, stinging rebuke’ of intelligent design appropriate.”

West and DeWolf point out Jones has described the breadth of his opinion as being the result of a “fervent hope” that it “could serve as a primer for school boards and other people who were considering this [issue],” which they see as a tacit admission he was a judicial activist.

Even an opponent of intelligent design, they note, Boston University law professor Jay Wexler, says the “part of Kitzmiller that finds ID not to be science is unnecessary, unconvincing, not particularly suited to the judicial role, and even perhaps dangerous to both science and freedom of religion.”

West and DeWolf conclude: “The new disclosure that Judge Jones’ analysis of the scientific status of ID merely copied language written for him by ACLU attorneys underscores just how inappropriate this part of Kitzmiller was – and why Judge Jones’ analysis should not be regarded as the final word about intelligent design.”

West contended the critics who saw the Dover decision as a major setback for intelligent design clearly were wrong, citing a recent New York Times report about a gathering last month of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies where there was “a rough consensus” that the theory “of evolution by natural selection” was “losing out in the intellectual marketplace.”

“A year after Dover, it’s the Darwinists who seem filled with gloom, not us,” said West.

He pointed to a number of recent developments. In March, the Lancaster School District in California agreed on a philosophy of science policy stating “Darwin’s theory should not be taught as “unalterable fact.” In June, South Carolina adopted a science standard requiring students to learn how “scientists … investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” In September, legal scholar and ID-proponent Francis Beckwith was granted tenure at Baylor University amid opposition from Darwinists. Last month, the Ouachita Parish School District in Louisiana enacted a policy protecting teachers who cover both evidence for and against Darwinian evolution.

Original Link.

Carter to Leno: Treatment of Palestinians ‘horrible’

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Fails to mention onslaught of terrorist attacks against Israelis.

That’s right. Here is what we are seeing from the world at large. The Israelis give and give and get nothing in return but more violence. They need to just take back everything they had in 1967 and expell everyone who isn’t Israeli.
The world would go into all kinds of fits if they did that, but where are fits when they continue to make concession after concession and still have nothing to show for it.
Face it. The world, with an exception of a hand full of us, hates Israel and the Jews.

Without mentioning the onslaught of attacks by Palestinian terrorists, former President Jimmy Carter told a national audience watching the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” there is “horrible persecution” of Palestinians at the hands of Israelis, and he is urging a return to peace talks between the residents of the embattled region.

“In Palestinian territory, there is horrible persecution of the Palestinians who live on their own land,” Carter said.

“A minority of Israelis want to have the land instead of peace. The majority of Israelis for the last 30 years have always said [they] will exchange their own land in exchange for peace. But a minority disagrees and they have occupied the land, they have confiscated it, they have colonized it, and they forced Palestinians away from their homes, away from their pastures, away from their fields, cut down the olive trees and severely persecuted the Palestinians.”

The 82-year-old Carter was on Leno’s show last night to promote his new book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

Leno said to the president who held office more than 25 years ago, “But when Israel gives something back, it doesn’t seem like they get anything for it. It seems like it just moves some angry people closer to them.”

“No, that’s not true at all,” responded Carter. “Israel hasn’t really tried to give ‘Palestine’ back to the Palestinians. They did give up some of Gaza. And then they moved out, and the Palestinians captured one soldier and tried to swap [him] for 300 children – some as young as 12 years old – and 94 women, but the Israelis wouldn’t swap. So then Israel reinvaded Gaza. But if Israel ever wants peace – and they do want peace – a majority of Israelis have always said, ‘Let’s get rid of the land, and let’s have peace.’ That’s what we need to have.”

As WND reported last month, the Palestinian terror group Hamas announced the only way to stop its regular rocket fire on Sderot, an Israeli city of about 20,000 nearly three miles from the Gaza Strip border, is for the Jewish state to evacuate the entire city.

Abu Abaida, spokesman for Hamas’ so-called military wing, said his group is seeking to impose “a new equation in which the Zionists understand that for every incursion into Gaza, we will use our rockets to bombard your towns and cities until more and more are forced to evacuate. Our rockets have already improved, as Sderot residents know. We keep working on (the rockets) to improve deadliness, force and distance.”

Original Link.

Pro-Lifers: ‘Improper’ for Pro-Abortion Obama to Speak at Rick Warren’s Church

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

This should go without saying, but more and more Christians, especially among some high profile Christian leaders, are falling away from what is taught in the Bible. They are “falling away” in favor of the world view.

(AgapePress) – A coalition of pro-life groups is calling on Pastor Rick Warren to reconsider having an abortion-supporting senator speak at his Southern California church.

Several pro-life groups are upset that popular Christian author and megachurch pastor Rick Warren has invited Illinois Senator Barack Obama to speak Friday at his “Global Summit on AIDS and the Church.” The summit is being held at Warren’s Saddleback Church in Orange County. Pro-life and pro-family leaders such as Phyllis Schlafly, Judie Brown, Janet Folger, Tim Wildmon, and Peter LaBarbera are calling on Warren to rescind his invitation to the 2008 presidential hopeful, given Obama’s stance on abortion.

Schlafly, the founder and president of Illinois-based Eagle Forum, says Obama campaigned in her state against the federal ban on partial-birth abortion. The ministry leader says that is “about as extreme as you can get.”

“For Barack Obama to say that the ban is unconstitutional, I think is about the most extreme pro-abortion position that you could possibly have,” says Schlafly. She feels the Democratic senator is “an unlikely and improper choice” to invite to speak to a pro-life audience. “Most of the people who go to [Warren’s] church are pro-life, and they don’t want to honor pro-abortion candidates. Honestly, if you look at the surveys, a big majority of the American people think this terrible crime of partial-birth abortion should be abolished.”

In a press release, Schlafly is joined by other pro-life leaders in accusing Warren of ignoring Obama’s “pro-death” stance, and urge the popular pastor not to work with those who “support the murder of babies in the womb.” Judie Brown, president of American Life League (ALL), implies that Warren is ignoring something else.

“The pastor must know that … Obama is totally supportive of abortion on demand. Thus, he favors killing innocent, pre-born children in the womb,” notes the ALL leader. “For Pastor Warren to invite the senator into his congregation, into his church, is for him to deny that ‘Thou shalt not kill’ has any meaning — and I just find that appalling.”

Brown is urging pro-lifers across the country to speak out. She contends that while it may not be intentional on Pastor Warren’s part, he “has put himself into the national spotlight” — therefore, she continues, “every thinking Christian has a moral obligation to let the pastor know that they are praying for him, that they do hope that he withdraws his invitation, and that they will continue to pray that that is the course of action he follows ….”

Original Link.