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Post-trial filings in Kitzmiller v. Dover now available

by Nick Matzke

All of the available post-trial filings in Kitzmiller v. Dover are now uploaded onto NCSE's KvD website. These include the Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the Plaintiffs' Response to the Defendants' Findings, the amicus briefs of the Discovery Institute and Foundation for Thought and Ethics, and the Plaintiffs' Response to amici.

Amongst the tremendous amount of material now available, the Plaintiffs' Response to the DI and FTE amicus briefs is short and summarizes some of the key points of the case. For example,

In a pre-trial hearing in this case, FTE president Jon Buell attributed religious descriptions of his organization, in legally required public filings he had signed, to mistakes by lawyers and accountants. The Court can decide whether Mr. Buell and the FTE were filing false documents with the federal government and the State of Texas, or whether they were instead misrepresenting themselves to this Court, by disowning the religious agenda stated in those documents. The overwhelming evidence from Mr. Buell's own writings regarding his and FTE's Christian, creationist objectives gives the Court ample basis to make that judgment. P12; P28; P168A; P566; P633; 10:90-92,96-101 (Forrest). Either way, the FTE's submission is entitled to no credence or respect from this Court.

This is particularly true of the FTE's rationalization for the substitution of the phrase "intelligent design" for "creation" in versions of Pandas prepared after Edwards. FTE makes the impossibly silly argument that by discarding the words "creation" and "creationism" found in early drafts, the FTE expressly rejected creationism. FTE Brief at 17. The only way the drafting history of Pandas could be interpreted as rejecting creationism is if the authors had discarded not just the word, but the explanation of what the word means -- "various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact -- fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc." The retention of the central creationist concepts using a different term, "intelligent design," dictates only one inference: intelligent design equals creationism.

If this were not true, surely the FTE would have provided an explanation in its brief for why Pandas was written by two admittedly creationist authors, one of whom was an advocate for creation science in the federal courts, and for why Buell thought that the Edwards ruling on creation science would matter so much to the financial success of Pandas. P350; 10: 102-104, 126-128 (Forrest). But there is no discussion of these facts.

In summary, the amicus originations [sic] have a lot of explaining to do. But they studiously avoid their own words and history, which reveal the religious content of intelligent design.

At the end of the trial, Judge John Jones III stated his intention to issue his ruling in Kitzmiller either in late December or early January. The National Center for Science Education consulted pro bono for the Plaintiffs' legal team on the case.