"Traipsing Into Evolution": Legal Experts Analyze the Impact of the Dover Intelligent Design Trial in New Book

Staff
Discovery Institute
May 19, 2006
Traipsing Into Evolution: Intelligent Design and the Kitzmiller vs. Dover Decision (DI Press 2006) is the first book to critique federal Judge John E. Jones' decision in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, the first trial to address the constitutionality of teaching intelligent design in public schools. In this concise yet comprehensive response, Discovery Institute scholars and attorneys expose how Judge Jones' decision was based upon faulty reasoning, non-existent evidence, and a serious misrepresentation of the scientific theory of intelligent design. Despite Jones' protestations to the contrary, his attempt to use the federal bench to declare evolution a sacred cow turns out to be a textbook case of good old American judicial activism.

"The Dover trial was hardly the final word in the debate over evolution," says attorney Casey Luskin, a co-author of the new book. "Mark Twain once allegedly refuted his own obituary by proclaiming that 'the report of my death was an exaggeration.' Traipsing Into Evolution disproves similar exaggerated reports from Darwinists about intelligent design in the wake of the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision."

The authors conclude that because of Judge Jones' ruling, "teachers seeking to 'teach the controversy' over Darwinian evolution in today's climate will likely be met with false warnings that it is unconstitutional to say anything negative about Darwinian evolution."

"Even students who ask critical questions about Darwinism may now be censored by nervous school administrators," said Luskin. "There already has been a chilling effect on open inquiry in places such as Ohio and South Carolina. Judge Jones' message is clear: give Darwin only praise, or else face the wrath of the judiciary."

"The mainstream science establishment and the courts tell us, in censorious tones that sometimes sound a bit desperate, that intelligent design is just a lot of fundamentalist cant. It's not," said Steven D. Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego and author of Law's Quandary (Harvard University Press, 2004). "We've heard the Darwinist story, and we owe it to ourselves to hear the other side. Traipsing Into Evolution is that other side."

Chapters in Traipsing Into Evolution include: Kitzmiller's Partisan History of Intelligent Design; Kitzmiller's Unpersuasive Case Against the Scientific Status of Intelligent Design; Kitzmiller's Failure to Treat Religion in a Neutral Manner; Kitzmiller's Limited Value as Precedent; and The Need for Academic Freedom. Also included is a lengthy response to the ruling from Dr. Michael Behe, entitled "Whether ID is Science: Michael Behe's Response to Kitzmiller v. Dover." Dr. Behe was the lead expert witness for the defense at the trial.

The book was written by David K. DeWolf, professor of law at Gonzaga University; Dr. John G. West, associate professor and chair of the political science department at Seattle Pacific University; Casey Luskin, attorney and program officer for public policy and legal affairs at Discovery Institute; and Dr. Jonathan Witt, senior fellow and writer-in- residence at Discovery Institute.

The book is priced at $14.95 and is available at bookstores throughout the country and online at Amazon.com. It also can be ordered directly by calling 800-643-4102. A limited number of copies are available by contacting the publisher at cscinfo@discovery.org.

Traipsing Into Evolution is part of a series published by Discovery Institute Press. Previous books include Are We Spiritual Machines?: Ray Kurzweil vs. The Critics of Strong A.I. by Jay W.Richards et. al., Getting the Facts Straight: A Viewer's Guide to PBS's Evolution by the Discovery Institute, and Why Is a Fly Not a Horse? by Italian geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti, published in 2005.