After the Dover trial of Intelligent Design,1 there was a fair bit of talk about Judge John Jones, who made the decision that “Intelligent Design” is not science and should not be taught in school science classes. It was clear from the decision itself that Judge Jones is a formidable man who reached his conclusion in an honest, rational way, but most of the talk about him (that I saw, anyway) didn’t really go much past that.2
The latest issue of PLoS Genetics has an interview with Judge Jones that is by far the most interesting and detailed I’ve seen. Judge Jones explains the background of the case, the history of the legal battles between evolution and creationism, how the trial itself was supposed to work and how it did work, how he reached his decision, all kinds of stuff. Jones does a great job of putting things in an understandable way, and the interviewer3 asks good questions. Go read it now.
… some of the school board witnesses were dreadful witnesses and hence the description “breathtaking inanity” and “mendacity.” In my view, they clearly lied under oath. They made a very poor account of themselves. They could not explain why they did what they did. They really didn’t even know what intelligent design was. It was quite clear to me that they viewed intelligent design as a method to get creationism into the public school classroom. They were unfortunate and troublesome witnesses. Simply remarkable, in that sense.
–Judge John E Jones III
- Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District, 2004[↩]
- I see that there are several books about the case, and I haven’t read any of them, but I imagine they talk about this too.[↩]
- Jane Gitschier, Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Institute for Human Genetics, University of California San Francisco[↩]