Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Plagiarizing Judge Not Talking About "His" "Masterpiece" ID Ruling

By Rick Pearcey

"A historic judicial ruling against intelligent design theory hailed as a 'broad, stinging rebuke' and a 'masterpiece of wit, scholarship and clear thinking' actually was 'cut and pasted' from a brief by ACLU lawyers and includes many of their provable errors, contends the Seattle-based Discovery Institute," reports WorldNetDaily.

One Year Ago: "U.S. District Judge John E. Jones' 139-page ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover declared unconstitutional a school board policy that required students of a ninth-grade biology class in the Dover Area School District to hear a one-minute statement that said evolution is a theory and intelligent design 'is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view.'"

Praise: "University of Chicago geophysicist Raymond Pierrehumbert called Jones' ruling a 'masterpiece of wit, scholarship and clear thinking' while lawyer Ed Darrell said the judge 'wrote a masterful decision, a model for law students on how to decide a case based on the evidence presented.' Time magazine said the ruling made Jones one of 'the world's most influential people' in the category of 'scientists and thinkers.'"

But: "An analysis by the Discovery Institute, the leading promoter of intelligent design, concludes about 90.9 percent -- 5,458 words of his 6,004-word section on intelligent design as science -- was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU's proposed 'Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law' submitted to Jones nearly a month before his ruling.

"Judge Jones' decision wasn't a masterpiece of scholarship. It was a masterpiece of cut-and-paste," said the Discovery Institute's John West in a phone conference with reporters yesterday," reports WND.

In Other Words: The judge's decision is a 90.9% masterpiece of plagiarism, according to the figure released by the Discovery Institute.

Is plagiarism an unfair assessment? Apparently not, according to Princeton University's Wordnet, which defines plagiarism as a "piece of writing that has been copied from someone else" and "presented as [his] own work."

Questions of character are raised as well, for we appear to have in Judge Jones a person who is willing to take credit for work done by others. This kind of willingness to deceive does not engender confidence in the federal bench.

This critiques obtains even if the ACLU is a willing participant, an enabler, as it were, in the struggle for Darwinian survival. Most people understand that two wrongs -- two parties willing to deceive -- don't make a right. Not even if they are consenting adults. Not even if they have contracts. Not even if they are all "team players."

Note the parallel: Darwinism as a worldview tries to give credit to impersonal nature (or nothingness) for work done by the true Creator. On the other hand, a Darwinian judge tries to give credit to himself for work done by the true creators of "his" "masterpiece" of a ruling.

In both cases, truth is suppressed and the public is misled. It wouldn't be the first time a so-called "masterpiece" was not written by a so-called "master." These things matter much, of course, whether we are talking about the real authors of books and articles, or about the real author of life and of the human drama lived out by choice each day on this stage we call the universe.

WND says it "reached Jones' deputy, Liz O'Donnell, at the judge's chambers in Williamsport, Pa. But she said Jones would not comment. 'He appreciates being given a chance to comment; however, other than advising anyone to read his opinion, he will not comment on any Discovery Institute release,' she said."

Given the judge's previous performance in certain aspects of this case, one might wonder whether he is waiting for the ACLU to show him what to do.

Additional Articles:
* Darwinian Meltdown Reaches England, by Rick Pearcey
* Why Intelligent Design Will Win, by Nancy Pearcey
* Christianity a Science-Starter, Not a Science-Stopper, by Nancy Pearcey

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.


William Bradford said...

I just found this blog. I have been reading Nancy's writings for years and enjoy her clear thinking and eloquence.

Judge Jones has been roaming the country giving speeches since the decision. His sudden reluctance to comment is therefore all the more noticable.

Diane said...

What, besides blogging about this, are folks doing about this blatant denial of truth? I am (though shouldn't be) shocked by this. Though I am new to the I.D. debate scene, I assumed that even nonbelievers would acknowledge what it quite plain to them...
Makes reading Romans again all the more enlightening.

Boo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian said...

Let's be careful not to equivocate. In their decisions, judges routinely copy supporting documents which have been submitted to them. This is not plagiarism in the commonly accepted use of the word.

Much more concerning is his effort to define what science is and is not.

I suggest reading David Opderbeck's posts on this : here, here, and here.

Larry Fafarman said...

I am far more disturbed by the one-sidedness of the ID-as-science section of the opinion than I am by the extensive copying. Both the plaintiffs and the defendants submitted "opening" post-trial briefs and "answering" post-trial briefs. All or almost all of the ID-as-science section came from the plaintiffs' "opening" post-trial brief. An opening brief is going to be very one-sided. And if the defense arguments were really bad, Jones had all the more reason to put them in the opinion in order to attack them.

For more details, see --