Monday, April 9, 2007

An accusation of plagiary in the Dover court ruling

Transcript of today's show:

Scholars at the Discovery Institute claim that a key section of last year’s influential Dover court decision on intelligent design was plagiarized. Their investigation has revealed that part of Judge John Jonesruling was copied nearly verbatim from a document he received from the ACLU a month before the ruling. The Discovery Institute says that this finding seriously undercuts the credibility of the ruling, which abolished intelligent design from Pennsylvania classrooms. [source: Discovery Institute]

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
The idea that a Bush-appointed Republican judge would be swayed by an ACLU document in his Dover Court ruling strikes me as ludicrous. I have not seen the ACLU report nor the final ruling, so I cannot comment on the veracity of the Discovery Inst.’s accusations. But for fun, let’s assume that the accusation of plagiary is true. Does that really mean the ruling itself – its intent and meaning - is flawed? Or are the guys at Discovery naive enough to believe that Judge Jones was, in the end, hijacked and brainwashed by the ACLU rep
Publish Postort, causing him to reverse his original intention in the final ruling he handed down. I think not.

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
The question we must ask ourselves (and Judge Jones particularly), is: Was Judge Jones thinking for himself? A plagiarism of this magnitude can certainly lead one to believe that the judge was influenced by the plagiarized material. This does not appear to bode well for Judge Jones nor for the ruling. Should a mistrial result, I know there will be many Christians who celebrate the opportunity for a second chance on this very important issue.