Legal Cases

The Dover Victory

On the morning of December 20, 2005, we were sitting in the law offices of Pepper Hamilton in Harrisburg, waiting for the judge to deliver his verdict in the Dover trial. It was expected to come sometime that day, or maybe the next day; no one could be completely sure. We had heard that the decision was a long one. An office pool had been started, and the bets were in on what time the verdict would be announced. The waiting was getting unbearable. Finally, at about 10:30, the e-mailed attachment began showing up on the office computers.

My Role in Kitzmiller v Dover

Philosophers expect to be in classrooms, not courtrooms. Yet in October 2005 I found myself in federal court as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller et al v Dover Area School District. As the co-author of Creationism’s Trojan Horse, which documents that "intelligent design" (ID) is both a religious belief and an extension of traditional creationism, I was called to demonstrate this to Judge John E Jones III, who presided over this first ID legal case.

Closing Statement for the Plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v Dover

"What am I supposed to tolerate? A small encroachment on my First Amendment rights? Well, I'm not going to. I think this is clear what these people have done, and it outrages me." That’s a statement of one citizen of Dover, Fred Callahan, standing up to the wedge that has been driven into his community and his daughter’s high school by the Dover School Board’s anti-evolution, pro-"intelligent design" policy.

Can I Keep a Witness?

In the Kitzmiller v Dover Area School District (Kitzmiller) case, the defense went to trial with a fraction of the expert witnesses that the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) originally named to help make its case. The story of how this came about and what it meant for the case reflects events similar to those in McLean v Arkansas.

"Ties" to Canada

It was the morning of the trial and I was in my hotel room trying to decide which of two neckties I should wear. It’s funny how such a seemingly trifling thing can become notable. One of the ties was traditionally sedate, the type no one would think twice about. The other was a tie I wore often and never thought that it might be considered inappropriate. It was purchased in a museum; the tag stated it was “Designed for Dr Richard Leakey and the National Museums of Kenya.” The tie depicts skulls of Homo erectus, Homo habilis, and Australopithecus boisei.

"Ties" to Canada

It was the morning of the trial and I was in my hotel room trying to decide which of two neckties I should wear. It’s funny how such a seemingly trifling thing can become notable. One of the ties was traditionally sedate, the type no one would think twice about. The other was a tie I wore often and never thought that it might be considered inappropriate. It was purchased in a museum; the tag stated it was “Designed for Dr Richard Leakey and the National Museums of Kenya.” The tie depicts skulls of Homo erectus, Homo habilis, and Australopithecus boisei.

Whither "Intelligent Design" Creationism?

Since the 1960s, creationism has evolved, with the pressure of "judicial selection" giving rise to new species. The most prominent 1960s program — young-earth creationism or YEC — was based explicitly on the Book of Genesis. It aimed at teaching K–12 science students that God created the universe in six days by a series of fiats and that nearly all of geology could be explained in terms of the action of Noah's Flood.

Moves and Countermoves in Texas

The end of 2008 was replete with moves and countermoves in the controversy over the place of evolution in Texas's state science standards, beginning with the release of proposed drafts of the state's science education standards on September 22, 2008.

Creationism and the Law

Legal challenges to anti-evolutionist policies began with the Scopes Trial of 1925, a case the evolutionists actually lost.

Since 1968, however, U.S. courts have consistently held that "creationism" is a particular religious viewpoint and that teaching it in public schools would violate the First Amendment of the Constitution.

For a one page summary of important court cases, see Ten Major Court Cases about Creationism and Evolution.