Monday, August 11, 2008

Religious organization lawyers = idiots

University of California vs. ACSI

After witnessing the Thomas More Law Center crash and burn in the Dover trial, and witnessing the regular stupidity of Casey Luskin of the Discovery (sic) Institute regarding Intelligent Design, it is perhaps not a surprise that the lawyers for a Christian high school in California were inept.

Besides losing the case (not a surprise), a scan of the ruling for summary judgment on the remaining claims (I'll address this in a later post in a couple of days; maybe I'll even have a reader or two by then) reveals utter incompetence (on several levels). The document reads:
The newly acquired expert affidavits, in which the experts analyze each of Plaintiffs' 38 challenged course rejections, were signed by the experts on June 12, 2008 (Vitz), June 12, 2008 (Stotsky), June 9, 2008 (Behe), and June 13, 2008 (Guevara).

What reveals one layer of ineptitude is the following:
The discovery deadline passed on July 15, 2007. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(C) required all expert discovery to be complete at least by August 21, 2007, 90 days before the trial date. (Docket No. 48.) One month after this expert discovery deadline passed, this Court continued the trial date indefinitely in light of the massive volume of filings and issues presented by the first round of summary judgment motions. (Docket No. 145.) This continuance did not revive the discovery period for experts.

A further ineptitude is when the testimony served as, what one poster or commenter at scienceblogs (probably at dispatches from the culture wars, though I may have read a post at another scienceblog about the trail and this tidbit) a self goal. Scored by Behe.

In case you weren't aware, Michael Behe is a professor at Lehigh University where he has been largely disowned by his department -- both his website and the department's own site include statements about Behe's interest in Intelligent Design and how his colleagues do not see that as science (they are right, but that's another topic). He was an expert witness for the defense in the Dover trial and tried to argue that ID is scientific. Instead, what he admitted was that in order for ID to be scientific, the rules of science need to be adjusted to as they were in the 18th century, when, among others, astrology was a science. Astrology. Horoscopes. Goal! -- for the prosecution.

In this trial he testified that dogmatic points of view were bad for intellectual development. Goal! This time for the defense. Except he was a witness for the plaintiffs. He was apparently trying to say that presentation of modern evolutionary theory without criticism was a dogmatic approach. Of course, there is absolutely no scientific controversy over evolution. The judge decided to use the statement to criticize the fundy school's use of biology textbooks that say that where science and the Word of God (by Bible, presumably in King James translation) conflict, one should take the Word of God over the results that science provides. Goal -- again, self goal.

With lawyers who can't even follow rules of procedure and "expert" witnesses like Behe, the fundies and other allied groups will continue to lose lawsuits.

And here is the rest of it.

No comments: