Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Devil in Disguise

With the Louisiana decision to promote Intelligent Design (a particular form defined by the Discovery Institute) I have bought a book from Amazon and read it straight away, which is unusual for me. I found “The Devil in Dover”, both informative and concerning. Lauri Lebo, the author and resident of the area where the events took place gives us a very personal and detailed account of how the Fundamentalist Christian Creationists brought shame and expenses to the Dover Pennsylvania School Board, as well as personal heartache and stress.

Watching “Judgment Day” and “Flock of Dodos” is not enough, after Lebo there is a satisfaction that we can understand both sides of the Kitzmiller et al vs. Dover Area School District in the narrative Lebo gives us and we end up with a deeper understanding of the effects on both sides of this case. From Lauri Lebo herself to the two who started the whole thing, William Buckingham and Alan Bonsell.

The invitation to the Discovery Institute and the Thomas More Law Centre for the Defendants, The ACLU and the Pepper Hamilton LLP for the Complainants. The battle lines were drawn by a thorough research on one side and a lazy attitude to research on the other. An example was Barbara Forrest's testimony, the amount of work she and her associates did on the Of Pandas and People book was a detectives nightmare, yet they persisted with the tenacity only someone who understands science could do. This sort of dedication to their case was not evident in their testimony, in fact they managed to contradict and show their lying. Which must have been embarrassing for they were claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ!!

Buckingham’s health became an issue unfortunately and his addiction to a prescription drug became evidence about his inability to remember what happened. Bonsell just failed any test given him, remaining ignorant about the costs to the School Board he had personally caused due to this whole Creationist nonsense.


In the US the influence of the Fundamentalist Christian Evangelical people is built into the current Government of George W Bush, in the Military and within State Republican Parties. For example, an anti-evolution statement is in the Texas Republican Party Platform, so we can expect trouble there, and guess what, yes, it has happened. More about that later perhaps. What about Florida and Louisiana?

Articulation, forthrightness, subtle reasoning but lucid expression, skepticism--these are the traits of intellectuals, not of untrained and undeveloped minds, nor of neat scholars, capable only to serve as curators of the past, but not as critics of the present. Jacob Neusner, 1977, The Glory of God is Intelligence, p8

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