US District Judge John Jones just found that Intelligent Design (ID) is not a scientific idea, and therefore it has no place in state-funded education. Here is a pdf of the judgement: http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2005/images/12/20/kitzmiller.pdf
The ruling holds that (ID) is inseperable from its religious roots, and thus teaching it in public schools would violate the seperation of church and state, a separation protected by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
ID is the idea that because the biological world is so complex, it must come as the result of an intentional being. This apparent intentionality comes of course, as a direct result of the rigid logic ruling natural selection: live and breed successfully, or your genetic contribution withers. (See most recent blog for more on this).
Criticism from the Christian Right has rained upon this decision. Associate director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute Dr John West called the decision "an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won't work".
Judge Jones disagrees with this claim about his activism. He claims that in contrast, the case is a "result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on intelligent design". The judge characterised the school board's decision as "breathtaking inanity".
The sentence that struck me most however though, was that the judge "totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it." What research do they do please? How is this science? I don't believe there is any foundation for this implicit claim.
Here is some faux science in favour of ID: http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1136
The flaw in this "research" is the utter irrelevance of anything said on this page to Science. Strongest example of this: the claim that we are observing the existence of ID when we see intelligence. In sum, "From our understanding of the world, high levels of complex-specified information are always the product of intelligent design". Errr, what? Does "I am a moron therefore the world is flat" carry the same weight? Observing intelligence is NOT the same as observing ID. You really can't get off that lightly.
Another cracker example of appalling science is headed "putting ID to the test". How is this done? By observing the process of design (by people). Turns out, people typically do "NOT create completely functionless objects or parts". Yeah? And? So? What?! This certainly doesn't eliminate the possibility of a designer-less world. Cats typically meow, but this doesnt have many implications beyond cats. In the same vein, the existence of designers does not imply that the absence of a designer is impossible.
Judge Jones has made a wise landmark decision. ID does not have scientific weight. It comes from a religious worldview, and this does not make for good science. Im looking forward to the demise of ID stupidity (though I'm sure it'll be too slow).