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Matt McIrvin's Steam-Operated World of Yesteryear

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Via iayork: Judge John Jones talks to PLoS Genetics about the legal issues in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the Pennsylvania Intelligent Design case.

As I said when it came out, Jones' opinion in the case is actually a pretty good piece of popular science writing as well as a legal review and a harrowing, sometimes funny description of the stupidity that went down in Dover.

What the interview adds to this is some detail about how American judges operate in a case like this one, and what some of the legal terms of art mean. The remarkable thing Jones reveals is that, while he hadn't had doubts about evolution, he hadn't thought much about the subject or had more than a rudimentary education in it before the case began, nor did he do any research on his own. What he learned was entirely on the basis of the expert testimony that he got in the courtroom—expert biologists like Ken Miller on one side, people like Michael Behe on the other. That was actually enough both to see that the Intelligent Design people were blowing smoke and to explain why with some precision.

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That was good reading. Thanks. I don't usually encounter judges talking about their work, so I could stand to become less ignorant.

Thank you! I recently read Miller's book 'Only A Theory' so this was a good addition to that.

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