Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Dover: Supreme Court Bound?

Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War On Science, and blogger at "The Intersection" provides what RSR believes is a sound analysis of the chances for Kitzmiller vs. Dover to go all the way to the Supreme Court:
A lot of journalists are reporting that this case may go to the Supreme Court. (See for example here.) And while it's true that that is a possibility, it doesn't strike me as a very likely one. There are far too many reasons for suspecting a very different outcome: 1) The leading lights of "intelligent design" don't think this is their best case (as I explain in my Seed cover story); 2) the relatively poor Dover district will run the risk of a bigger and bigger legal bill the longer the trial goes on; 3) upcoming school board elections in Dover could lead to the pro-ID board being thrown out by a new board that refuses to appeal the case; 4) there's strong grounds for expecting a firm anti-ID decision from the judge that anti-evolutionists won't want to reinforce through an appeal; and so forth.
We don't want to seem unduly parochial just because RSR writes from Kansas-- being from the flyover zone is nothing to be unduly proud of just now -- but we think Discovery made their big bet here, and this will be where they will want to play out the hand.

To win the pot and rake in all the chips, they'll need to find a way to keep Kansas School Board President Steve "God or Evolution, You've Got to Choose" Abrams from tipping their hand. His recent off-script babbling about the incompatibility of the Bible and evolution -- while they accurately reflect the views of intelligent design insiders -- tend to give the game away. That's called a Tell in poker.

The Kansas case over intelligent design will be heard in the aftermath of the Dover decision, and for that reason, we think there's reason for optimism in both cases.

Oh, by-the-way, they're still more than a year off, but school board elections in Kansas may also determine the fate of anti-science curriculum changes here, as well.


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