Thursday, December 22, 2005
Discovery Disses Dover's "Darwinist" Judge
Now that Judge John Jones has ruled it unconstitutional to teach intelligent design in public schools, we are beginning to get a glimpse at the portrait of intelligent design and its boosters that the boys in Seattle have tried to keep locked away, out of view, in the attic. It's not a pretty picture. In fact, it's just the sort of portrait Oscar Wilde must have had in mind when he wrote "The Picture of Dorian Gray."
We get a glimpse behind the curtain that hides the real nature of intelligent design from public view, not so much from Judge Jones ruling, although it revels a great deal. Rather, it is Discovery's frenzied reaction to the judge's ruling that shows the true ugliness that lies at the heart of their movement.
Judge John E. Jones III is a conservative, and a lifelong Republican . He was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002. He's an assistant scoutmaster. A close friend of Republican senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum. His mentor, reportedly, is Tom Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania and Secretary of Homeland Security. Jones has been praised by Republicans and Democrats alike as a man of integrity and intellect.
Those are facts.
Here's the way he's now described by the fellows of the Discovery Institute:
- "Dover's Darwinist Judge"
- "activist federal judge"
- "Judge Jones got on his soapbox"
- "he wants his place in history"
- "an activist judge who has delusions of grandeur"
Journalists now have a choice to make. They can accept at face value the sanitized public relations version of intelligent design and its boosters, or they can take note of the ugly disparity between what is known about Judge Jones and the false portrait Discovery paints of him.
For our part, the unconvincing distortions contained in posts published on Discovery's Evolution News and Views blog reveal far more about the dishonesty of the intelligent design movement than it does about Judge Jones.
Journalists might now reasonably ask themselves. If the picture ID activists paint of Judge Jones is so at odds with the known facts, how much weight should be given to anything else they might have to say?