Dispatches from the Creation Wars

This is hands down the winner of April’s Robert O’Brien Award. Nothing I read over the next 4 weeks could possibly match the stupidity of this.The DI’s newest blogboy, Michael Francisco, has posted one of the dumbest arguments ever uttered in a new post about the Cooper and Manzari article that Wes Elsberry blasted earlier. You have to see this. He actually wrote this as a serious argument:

Manzari & Cooper explain in detail how the newly elected Dover Area School Board, which campaigned on removing the ID policy actually voted to keep the policy during their first meeting. Why? Because the Board members understood that removing the policy would have ended the legal controversy. Without the school board voting to keep the policy, the same policy that board publicly opposed, the ACLU & AUSCS would not have been able to claim attorneys fees.

That’s right, folks. With a straight face, this moron is arguing that the Dover school board deliberately cost the Dover Area School District a million dollars when they could have gotten rid of the entire issue just by voting to rescind the policy after the trial had taken place. Why would they do this? Because they were “in league” with the ACLU and wanted to make sure they got their money. Okay, there’s a point where a bad argument crosses over into sheer imbecility. Let me point out a few of the blatantly obvious reasons why this is total nonsense:

1. In order for this to be true, the Dover school board would have to be A) immoral cretins (for wasting a million dollars of taxpayer money and causing harm to the school district that they were just elected to serve); and B) utter fools, since such an action would destroy any chance they had of getting reelected.

2. All three of these people are diligently trying to hide the fact that the school board’s counsel, the plaintiffs’ attorneys, the Thomas More Law Center, every legal scholar cited in the press on the subject and the judge himself all said that changing the policy would not void the ruling and would not save the school district any money. The judge was going to rule on the case regardless of whether the school board reversed the policy or not because the voluntary cessation doctrine demands it.

3. There is absolutely no incentive for the school board to have done what they claim they did. The much simpler explanation for why they didn’t immediately vote to overturn the ID policy was that they wanted to wait until the whole board was seated (one seat was still not determined because of a recount) and because they knew that reversing the policy would not affect the ruling in the case at all.

Despite these obvious facts, he makes his accusations very clear:

In essence, the new Dover school board was fully aware that keeping the policy in place risked a large sum of Dover taxpayer funds. Manzari & Cooper explain why it now appears that there was collusion between the ACLU, AUSCS, and Dover school board members. This alleged collusion allowed the school board to effectively purchase the Kitzmiller decision at a price of $1 million dollars. This appropriation of public funds should be cause for outrage. Check out the Manzari & Cooper article for more shocking details.

This is nothing more than a hatchet job on the new board backed up by nothing but false claims. They are accusing the board of intentional fiscal mismanagement, of knowingly and intentionally making sure that the school district lost a million dollars when they could have easily made sure that didn’t happen. That is a baldfaced lie, plain and simple, and these cretins know it. There simply are no depths to which they will not stoop, none whatsoever. And frankly, Francisco’s post is so blunt that it may well be grounds for a defamation suit.

And naturally, over at Dembski’s place, at least one person who posted information, including case law, on why the claim that the new board could have mooted the ruling is completely false, had that information quickly deleted. It seems that DaveScot and Dembski have succeeded in making it a fact-free zone. Keep those tinfoil hats on, boys (shiny side out, remember) and you’ll keep those nasty little facts from getting through.


  1. #1 Karl
    April 4, 2006

    Not only that, but (as I understand it), the previous Board was warned by DI that they were risking the very thing that happened. If that is so, the citizens of Dover should sue all the members of that previous Board for the $1M that it’s going to cost.

  2. #2 Joe Shelby
    April 4, 2006

    Francisco’s post is so blunt that it may well be grounds for a defamation suit.

    Hey, collect up enough of those and you can save the Dover residents thousands of the debt they currently have… 🙂

  3. #3 RBH
    April 4, 2006

    Francisco is a second-year law student at Cornell. Cornell might want to look at its admissions standards a little more closely.

  4. #4 Roger Tang
    April 4, 2006

    Guess they haven’t covered voluntary cessation yet at Cornell.

  5. #5 raj
    April 5, 2006

    After the complaint was filed and answered, the case could not have “gone away” absent a settlement agreement between plaintiffs and defendant, which probably would have included an injunction. The defendant could probably have saved themselves some money–attorneys’ fees–by settling early, but that’s about it.

  6. #6 Ginger Yellow
    April 5, 2006

    I don’t know much about US libel law, but especially with the deletion of the relevant info, the DI wouldn’t have a chance in the UK. I wouldn’t advocate a defamation suit against a private individual, but the DI isn’t one. It’s a well funded political movement engaged in a bitter political campaign. It needs to be fought with whatever methods are available, legal and ethical.

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