Foundation for Thought and Ethics Documents

The Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) produced the ID textbook Of Pandas and People and was the originator of the "intelligent design" terminology. The FTE filed 3 separate motions in the course of the Kitzmiller case. The legal filings are attached to the pages below.

FTE Intervention

In the midst of litigation about drafts of the book Of Pandas and People, FTE (represented by lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund) filed a motion to intervene in the case as co-defendants. This motion was opposed by both Plaintiffs and Defense. At an oral hearing on July 14, 2005, FTE argued that if it were allowed to intervene, it would reintroduce expert witnesses William Dembski and Stephen Meyer. This was a dubious argument as FTE's lawyers (working closely with the Discovery Institute) had played a role in the withdrawal of Dembski and Meyer in the first place. At the hearing, Buell was also cross-examined on his claims that "intelligent design" was not creationism, and Plaintiffs introduced a draft Summary Chapter of "Pandas" showing that it was. On July 27, 2005, the motion to intervene was denied on the grounds that the motion was not timely, intervention would extend and delay the case, and the FTE's interests were not substantially different from the current Defendants, who were already receiving vigorous representation from the Thomas More Law Center. FTE was given leave to file an amicus brief, which they later did.

Production of "Design of Life"

On page 10 of his Expert Witness Report, William Dembski cited the unpublished manuscript of The Design of Life, a "third edition" of Of Pandas and People, in support of his claim to expertise in the case. Any materials cited in an expert report must be produced to the other side if requested, and the Plaintiffs requested the manuscript. However, Dembski and the FTE refused, and the Defense filed a motion for a protective order on various grounds, including a claim that they did not want the book subjected to early critique from NCSE. This argument was weakened by the fact that Dembski had posted several chapters of "The Design of Life" on his public website in 2004. The Judge ordered that the book be produced but kept confidential. As Dembski later withdrew from the case, the book ceased to become important, but one chapter (chapter 6, on fossils) was introduced in court during the Behe-cross examination.

Subpoena to FTE for Drafts of "Of Pandas and People"

In April 2005, Plaintiffs issued a subpoena to Jon Buell and the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, located in Richardson, TX. An NCSE staffer, Nick Matzke, suspected (based on material in NCSE's archives) that a 1987 draft manuscript of "Pandas" known as "Biology and Origins" would use the term "creation" instead of "intelligent design." The Plaintiffs issued a subpoena for "Biology and Origins" and any other drafts or material relating to the publication of "Pandas." FTE filed a motion to quash the subpoena in the Northern District of Texas. The motion was denied and the subsequent FTE production included five drafts of "Pandas" that later became key evidence at trial: "Creation Biology" (1983), "Biology and Creation" (1986), "Biology and Origins" (1987), "Of Pandas and People" (a 1987 creationist version), and "Of Pandas and People" (a 1987 "intelligent design" version). Also produced was a draft of the "Pandas" Overview Chapter written by Nancy Pearcey; this was entered into evidence at a July 14, 2005 hearing where Jon Buell testified in support of FTE's motion to intervene. Judge Jones later wrote in his decision that these drafts were "astonishing" evidence showing that "intelligent design" was just "creationism re-labeled" after the Supreme Court's 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard decision against "creation-science."