There’s a Simpsons episode where Bart manages to make tons of cash off of Homer by betting on the outcome of (IIRC) the chariot race in Ben Hur. “He has to lose eventually,” is roughly Homer’s response when asked to explain why he’d keep betting on the losing horse.

I keep thinking of that scene as I read the Disco. Inst.’s attacks on NOVA’s Judgment Day documentary about the Dover trial. They seem to have hoped that a documentary reenacting the court case would somehow be less embarrassing to the DI and it’s senior fellows than the trial and resulting legal ruling were, an error of Homeric proportions.

The latest Disco. dispatch is especially egregious, claiming that teaching supplements for the show would “Violate the First Amendment?s Establishment Clause.” The offending passage:

?Can you accept evolution and still believe in religion? A: Yes. The common view that evolution is inherently antireligious is simply false.?

Their claims that this somehow encourages teachers to establish religion aren’t even coherent enough to bother quoting. One lawyer is quoted saying that this pass age “explicitly teach[es] students concerning matters of religious belief.”

First of all, this fails to make a distinction that matters a great deal between teaching about religion (no problem) and teaching religion (which would be establishment; ID is religion, so teaching ID is a 1st amendment violation). The existence of religions and religious people who see no conflict between evolution and religion is evidence that evolution is not inherently antireligious. Observing the existence of such people doesn’t require that students adopt one set of religious beliefs or another, it teaches them about the beliefs that exist and lets them draw their own conclusions.


Disco.’s complaints about the definition of ID are equally disingenuous. Judge Jones heard weeks of testimony, and considered additional briefs from the DI after they made their cowardly exit from the case. Jones considered all the evidence, and produced a definition of ID that matched the way IDolators in and out of the DI use the term. They don’t have to like it, but complaining that the documentary is too true to the actual events and result of the trial just shows how silly the Disco. dancers are. Similarly, Jones wrote at length to explain his findings that there are no peer-reviewed papers supporting ID, that it isn’t testable, and that it’s the same as creationism. To simply say that those judgments are “simply wrong” without mentioning how he reached those conclusions is as foolish as expecting a documentary about the trial to change the result.