Dispatches from the Creation Wars

A major development in the Dover trial yesterday. The Discovery Institute had submitted a brief in the case last week and Judge Jones issued an order denying that brief’s use in the case. Our attorneys had filed a motion to strike that brief from the proceedings on the grounds that it was an attempt to get the expert testimony of Stephen Meyer and William Dembski on the record in the case after they had pulled out as expert witnesses, thus avoiding being cross examined on their claims. The judge agreed, ruling:

As all parties and amici filers are well aware, both Mr. Dembski and Mr. Meyer are no longer expert witnesses for the Defendants. Over the course of this trial we have provided both parties with every opportunity to present their expert witnesses, and accordingly the parties have engaged in thorough cross-examination of the opposing experts. We thus find it to be fundamentally unfair to receive a brief that frequently references an expert report, that was originally prepared for use in this case when Mr. Meyer was to be offered as a defense expert witness, and which contains the full revised report of Mr. Meyer as an attachment to the brief. The inclusion of such information in an ad hoc unsolicited fashion, when Plaintiffs have not had the opportunity to cross-examine such expert witness is clearly inappropriate under the circumstances. In fact, “Appendix A” of the amicus brief
is entitled “Revised Report of Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D., May 19, 2005” and it is clearly an expert report prepared in anticipation of Mr. Meyer’s testimony at trial. We will not countenance what is clearly a “back door” attempt to insert expert testimony into the record free of the crucible of trial and cross-examination.

In addition, after a careful review of the Discovery Institute’s submission, we find that the amicus brief is not only reliant upon several portions of Mr. Meyer’s attached expert report, but also improperly addresses Mr. Dembski’s assertions in detail, once again without affording Plaintiffs any opportunity to challenge such views by cross-examination. Accordingly, the “Brief of Amicus Curiae, the Discovery Institute” shall be stricken in its entirety.

Huge development in the case. Stay tuned for more.


  1. #1 Dave S.
    October 25, 2005

    It makes perfect sense they’d try to do this. After all, this case is all about back-door attempts to teach the notion of intelligent design to 9th graders while swerving wildly to avoid the front door of actual scientific justification first.

    So what’s another back-door tactic?

  2. #2 Ginger Yellow
    October 25, 2005

    What Dave S said. And the great news is that it looks like the judge gets it.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    October 25, 2005

    The funny thing is that, as the judge noted, they never filed a motion for submission of the brief in the first place. He was willing to overlook that and let them correct it, but still it makes you wonder if they were sick the day they taught civil court procedure in law school.

  4. #4 Ginger Yellow
    October 25, 2005

    Well it’s no more ridiculous than, when fighting a first amendment case, hiring a law firm whose stated mission is to “restore” America’s legal system as a Christian one.

  5. #5 Ed
    October 25, 2005

    Um, it seems to me they were sick the day they taught civil pro — except that’s a whole semester. They were also sick the day they taught con law — oops, another whole semester.

    As undergrads they were sick all through bio 101.

    Creationism is a virus, I tell you.

  6. #6 spyder
    October 25, 2005

    Would it be too much, to paint the ID/DI folks with the same brush as the White House leadership choosing to put up Miers??? There seems to be this consistent layer of incompetence that flows from these like-minded, possibly well-intentioned, purveyors of corporate theocracy.

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