According to Winston Churchill, "History is written by the victors." The losers are variously portrayed as a scourge on society that the world is best rid of. The Warfare Thesis was invented towards the end of the 19th Century to replace the hegemony of the established church with the new hegemony of scientism, and ever since that time, the advocates of naturalism have been reinforcing the warfare myth and claiming victory for science against the forces of darkness (which generally means Christianity). The 1925 Scopes Trial in the US was slotted into this format and it now appears that the Dover trial is getting the same treatment.
In Nature, Kevin Padian has reviewed three books that tell the story of the Dover trial: where the decision of the Education Board in Dover, PA to incorporate Intelligent Design into the science lessons of students was declared to be an act of "breathtaking inanity" by the judge. The judge accepted the documents prepared for the prosecution by the National Center for Science Education. The president of the NCSE is none other than the reviewer, Kevin Padian. According to him, after the trial, "Intelligent-design proponents sputtered and fumed; the usual right-wing commentators fulminated; no one has since taken the Discovery Institute seriously."
Spin is ubiquitous in this review. The DI scholars are likened to "persecuted pilgrims who then turn around and ostracize anyone who doesn't agree with them"; after mentioning the textbook Of Pandas and People, the judge is said to have "proscribed bogus criticisms of evolution in science classes"; apparently, "Behe's notions of 'irreducible complexity' and the status of intelligent design as science were shredded by attorney Eric Rothschild", and Dembski gets "withering criticism from actual mathematicians". Needless to say, these comments (and others like them) are content-free. There is nothing offered that goes beyond opinion. This review is a sop to those who want to be associated with the victors (identified by Padian as those who side with the Enlightenment). For an antidote, read "Setting the Record Straight about Discovery Institute's Role in the Dover School District Case". It is unfortunate that Nature is prepared to treat such a partisan essay as though it were a work of scholarship.
Churchill is also responsible for this thought: "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it". I like to think that he was in a humorous mood at the time. However, Padian and the historical revisionists appear to be deadly serious and so it behoves us all to check things out and take people to task for indulging in spin.
The case of creation
Last year's Dover trial resulted in intelligent design being removed from the science curriculum
Nature, 448, 253-254 (19 July 2007) | doi:10.1038/448253a
First para: Three new books use as a centrepiece the court case of Kitzmiller et al. versus Dover Area School District, which played out for six weeks in late 2005 at the state capital of Pennsylvania. This trial was the latest in a series of American 'Scopes trials', named after the 1925 prosecution of Tennessee teacher John Scopes, who was fined $100 for flouting a state law that prohibited the teaching of evolution in state-run schools. Scopes volunteered to be the test case, knowingly breaking the law. Famed attorneys Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan argued the case. Scopes lost, Tennessee was ridiculed, a few other states passed similar legislation, and the divide between fundamentalists and secularists in the United States was irrevocably cleft.
Dembski, W., Kevin Padian: The Archie Bunker Professor of Paleobiology at Cal Berkeley, Uncommon Descent, 20 July 2007.
[putting the record straight about Dembski receiving "withering criticism from actual mathematicians."]
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Evolution has become a favorite topic of the news media recently, but for some reason, they never seem to get the story straight. The staff at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture started this Blog to set the record straight and make sure you knew "the rest of the story".
A blogger from New England offers his intelligent reasoning.
We are a group of individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and not speaking for any organization, who have found common ground around teleological concepts, including intelligent design. We think these concepts have real potential to generate insights about our reality that are being drowned out by political advocacy from both sides. We hope this blog will provide a small voice that helps rectify this situation.
Website dedicated to comparing scenes from the "Inherit the Wind" movie with factual information from actual Scopes Trial. View 37 clips from the movie and decide for yourself if this movie is more fact or fiction.
Don Cicchetti blogs on: Culture, Music, Faith, Intelligent Design, Guitar, Audio
Australian biologist Stephen E. Jones maintains one of the best origins "quote" databases around. He is meticulous about accuracy and working from original sources.
Most guys going through midlife crisis buy a convertible. Austrialian Stephen E. Jones went back to college to get a biology degree and is now a proponent of ID and common ancestry.
Complete zipped downloadable pdf copy of David Stove's devastating, and yet hard-to-find, critique of neo-Darwinism entitled "Darwinian Fairytales"
Intelligent Design The Future is a multiple contributor weblog whose participants include the nation's leading design scientists and theorists: biochemist Michael Behe, mathematician William Dembski, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, philosophers of science Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson, molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, and science writer Jonathan Witt. Posts will focus primarily on the intellectual issues at stake in the debate over intelligent design, rather than its implications for education or public policy.
A Philosopher's Journey: Political and cultural reflections of John Mark N. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at