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7.15 Reactions

Following the Kitzmiller case (see Chapter 17), as Jones had predicted, John G. West, Associate Director of the Centre for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, said: “The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won’t work”. Newspapers have noted with interest that the judge is “a Republican and a churchgoer.

The decision has been examined in a search for flaws, partly by Intelligent Design supporters aiming to avoid future defeats in court. In 2007 the University of Montana Law review published three articles. In the first, David K. DeWolf, John G. West and Casey Luskin, all of the Discovery Institute, argued that Intelligent Design is a valid scientific theory, that the Jones court should not have addressed the question of whether it was a scientific theory, and that the Kitzmiller decision will have no effect at all on the development and adoption of Intelligent Design as an alternative to standard evolutionary theory. In the second Peter Irons responded, arguing that the decision was extremely well reasoned and spells the death knell for the Intelligent Design efforts to introduce creationism in public schools, while in the third, DeWolf et al answer the points made by Irons. However, fear of a similar lawsuit has resulted in other school boards abandoning Intelligent Design “teach the controversy” proposals.