The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsyvania's memorandum on the Dover, PA school board's Intellgent Design debacle
is a masterpiece of deadpan comedy. Seriously, the whole thing is funny as hell. The judge had the board members' number, and the latter end up looking like complete tools (emphasis in quotes is mine):
In fact, one unfortunate theme in this case is the striking ignorance concerning the concept of ID amongst Board members. Conspicuously, Board members who voted for the curriculum change testified at trial that they had utterly no grasp of ID. To illustrate, consider that Geesey testified she did not understand the substance of the curriculum change, yet she voted for it.... Second, Buckingham, Chair of the Curriculum Committee at the time, admitted that he had no basis to know whether ID amounted to good science as of the time of his first deposition, which was two and a half months after the ID Policy was approved, yet he voted for the curriculum change. Third, Cleaver voted for the curriculum change despite the teachers’ objections, based upon assurances from Bonsell. Cleaver admittedly knew nothing about ID, including the words comprising the phrase, as she consistently referred to ID as “intelligence design” throughout her testimony. In addition, Cleaver was bereft of any understanding of [Of] Pandas [and People] except that Spahr had said it was not a good science book which should not be used in high school. In addition, Superintendent Nilsen’s entire understanding of ID was that “evolution has a design.”
Not only that, but one of the ringleaders, Alan Bonsell, blatantly lied about his interest in creationism
It is notable, and in fact incredible that Bonsell disclaimed any interest in creationism during his testimony, despite the admission by his counsel in Defendants’ opening statement that Bonsell had such an interest. Simply put, Bonsell repeatedly failed to testify in a truthful manner about this and other subjects.
It repeatedly points out that Bonsell's testimony is not remotely credible, to the point that it almost becomes a running gag. The memorandum concludes with a snipe at the inevitable whining about "activist judges", and all but calls the defendants assholes:
Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.
All that, and a brief history of fundamentalism and creationism (including the previous attempt to sneak creationism past the First Amendment, "creation science"), a clear and nearly jargon-free explanation of why ID is not science
and what that means (not something you'd expect from a legal document
about science), and point-by-point rebuttals of ID's supporting claims
They got owned so hard it hurts.