Salon's feature story this morning is an examination of the aftermath of the Dover evolution trial. A telling remark:
Despite [Judge John E. Jones III's] ruling, the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based engine of the I.D. movement, is claiming victory. "Anyone who thinks a court ruling is going to kill off interest in intelligent design is living in another world," says John West, associate director of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, in a press release. "Americans don't like to be told there is some idea that they aren't permitted to learn about. Banning intelligent design in Dover will likely only fan interest in the theory." [emphasis minefull article]
Tough, Americans. It's not that you can't learn about intelligent design. It's that you can't learn about intelligent design in public schools,
at least in the Dover school district. You can't learn that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and died for your sins and rose from the dead in public schools either, but you don't hear many complaints about that.
Margaret Talbot's December 5th New Yorker
article covering the trial is not available online, though it's very much worth seeking out. I wish I could have attended the trial, but this article is the next best thing. Not only is it remarkably thorough, it's the most genuinely funny thing I've read in that magazine in recent memory. (Sorry, "Shours & Murmurs" contributors.)
However, a good Q&A with Talbot on the subject is available online, and it's worth reading too. One of the more interesting points:
Has any one of these factors in particular—politics, religion, age—been an indicator for which side of the case Dover residents come down on?
Interestingly, the division didn’t conform neatly to any of these lines. One consistent division I noticed, and that I wrote about, was between people who read and trusted the very good local newspapers (nearby York has two, which is pretty unusual for a small American city these days) and those who just didn’t trust them. The plaintiffs were the newspaper readers; the pro-intelligent-design school-board people were the newspaper rejecters. [full interview]
Brings a whole spectrum of nuance to the phrase "informed consent," eh?