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.

Editor Revolts Against "Christmas" Cards

By Rick Pearcey

* From a column by Jeff Jacoby: "If Christian belief and practice weren't vanishing from the British scene, Christian-themed cards wouldn't be, either. But some Britons, not all of them devout, are resisting the tide.

"Writing in the Telegraph, editor-at-large Jeff Randall -- who describes himself as 'somewhere between an agnostic and a mild believer' -- announces that any Christmas card he receives that doesn't at least mention the word 'Christmas' goes straight into the trash."

Randall writes: "Jettisoning Christmas-less cards is my tiny, almost certainly futile, gesture against the dark forces of political correctness . . . . It's a swipe at those who would prefer to abolish Christmas altogether, in case it offends 'minorities.' Someone should tell them that, with only one in 15 Britons going to church on Sundays, Christians are a minority."

* Opening lines from Randall's column: "My rubbish bin is full of Christmas cards. I threw them there." The rest of the column.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.