An Interview with the Honorable Judge John E. Jones, III

Our article on Monday about the presentation by Judge John E. Jones was a hit (six deleted comments and one full-on creationist meltdown), so here’s another very interesting interview with the Judge, a George W. Bush appointee who presided over the trial in Dover, Pennsylvania that ended up totally discrediting the “intelligent design” hoax: Taken to School: An Interview with the Honorable Judge John E. Jones, III.

Among other good points, the section I’m quoting describes a phenomenon we’ve seen repeatedly here at LGF: the readiness of hardcore creationists to lie in order to promote their beliefs. In our comments, we’ve seen creationists lie about having scientific backgrounds, lie about being biology professors or physicists, and even lie about being creationists. We’ve even seen creationists pretending to be atheists or agnostics, in order to trick people into listening to their propaganda. As Judge Jones recounts in this interview, the Dover creationists actually got on the witness stand in court and took an oath on the Bible, then proceeded to lie about their discussions of creationism at school board meetings.

Gitschier: I don’t know if you’re even allowed to answer this. Before this case landed on your lap, did you have any thoughts about creationism or evolution, or the debate?

Jones: The precursor to my answer is that it doesn’t matter. A judge could be an avowed creationist, but he’s got to rule based on the facts and the law. In that event, he’d have to hold his nose and do his duty as a judge.

I am a person of faith. I’m certainly not an atheist or an agnostic and I see some divine force somewhere. That said, having had a pretty good education, a great liberal arts education at Dickinson College, I must say that I never had any substantial doubts about evolution generally. I had forgotten, admittedly, a lot of what I had learned about evolution back in college. Moreover, a lot had happened since the ‘70s, so my understanding was rudimentary. But I never had a crisis of confidence about evolution or a reason to doubt that it constituted a valid theory and good science.

Gitschier: Regarding the Memorandum Opinion itself, I found parts of it astonishing. You used words like “mendacity,” “sham,” “breath-taking inanity of the board’s decision.”

Jones: You should have been there.

Gitschier: I wish! Going into this you are impartial. What were some of the highlights? What were the transformational points in the trial that then allowed you to say, “OK, I’m going to rule this way”?

Jones: I don’t think there was an epiphany. The very first witness for the plaintiffs was Ken Miller. He is very invested in this issue. He writes a textbook that is used substantially in high school biology classes throughout the country. And I think it’s fair to say that the plaintiffs knew what they had in terms of their judge. They knew that I was not a scientist, but hopefully that I had a reasonably good head on my shoulders, that they were going to need to take me to school. So their first witness did just that.

I will always remember Ken Miller’s testimony in the sense that he did A–Z evolution. And then got into intelligent design. And having laid the foundation with the description of evolution, got into why intelligent design doesn’t work as science, to the point where it is predominantly a religious concept.

Gitschier: Is the other side objecting all the time?

Jones: They can object to a question that is truly objectionable. But there weren’t a huge amount of objections. I let both parties try their case. They knew they’d have their turn.

Which gets me to the next point. Another remarkable moment on the science side was Michael Behe, who was the lead witness for the defendants, and a very amiable fellow, as was Ken Miller, but unlike Miller, in my view, Professor Behe did not distinguish himself. He did not hold up well on cross-examination.

So on the science side those were the two remarkable witnesses, although there were many expert witnesses in the field of theology, paleontology, biology, pedagogy.

Gitschier: It’s almost like a command performance! There’s no jury, it’s not televised. All of these knowledgeable people …

Jones: Playing to an audience of one. Which was fascinating.

In the realm of the lay witnesses, if you will, some of the school board witnesses were dreadful witnesses and hence the description “breathtaking inanity” and “mendacity.” In my view, they clearly lied under oath. They made a very poor account of themselves. They could not explain why they did what they did. They really didn’t even know what intelligent design was. It was quite clear to me that they viewed intelligent design as a method to get creationism into the public school classroom. They were unfortunate and troublesome witnesses. Simply remarkable, in that sense.

Read the whole thing…

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Some Trump Loyalists Replacing Federal Watchdogs Have ‘Preposterous’ Conflicts Author: Lisa Rein, Tom Hamburger, The Washington Post WASHINGTON - The political appointee President Donald Trump installed last week to investigate waste, fraud and abuse at the Transportation Department is the same official in charge of one of the ...
Cheechako
8 hours ago
Views: 78 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Clean Bandit - Rockabye Ft Anne-Marie #AtHome #WithMe So fun to play in our garden and link up with Anne-Marie via computer airways for International Nurses Day! Watch the full concert: YouTube Click here to subscribe: bit.ly Follow us:Website: cleanbandit.co.ukFacebook: facebook.com Twitter: twitter.com Instagram: instagram.comSoundcloud: SoundCloudSpotify: atlre.co.uk ...
Thanos
11 hours, 4 minutes ago
Views: 125 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
The Unlikely Candidates - Novocaine “Novocaine” by The Unlikely Candidates available now! LISTEN HERE: red.lnk.to Catch us on tour! songkick.com Follow us here:instagram.comfacebook.com@tucband?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthortheunlikelycandidates.com Directed by Mattias Russo-LarssonProduced by Lewis Atallah #UnlikelyCandidates #Novocaine #ArtistOnTheRise #OfficialVideo #Pizza #MusicVideo #AlternativeRock #Rock #TUC #LeftSideBrain #VeronicaMars #Alternative #Unlikely #Candidates ...
Thanos
11 hours, 16 minutes ago
Views: 122 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Larkin Poe Keep Diggin’ (Official Video) 'Keep Diggin'' is the third song off Larkin Poe's 2020 album 'Self Made Man’, out June 12th. Pre-save the album on Spotify or pre-order on iTunes, Amazon, and the official store NOW & get the first 3 songs "Holy ...
Thanos
11 hours, 17 minutes ago
Views: 125 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 200524A number of folks have asked about the pumping out.We do this so we don't have to slog around in a foot of water. This is the pump and with garden hose attached. We run the hose out to the ...
Welcome to The Imbleachment (dangerman)
12 hours, 14 minutes ago
Views: 123 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Joe Needs a Disability PolicyI'd like to remind people that even though world and country are turning to shit, there are 20 to 25% of America, 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 people, who are disabled. I'm disabled, and so are several others ...
Sherlock Hound
3 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 356 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
The Altons - When You Go (That’s When You’ll Know) Available digitally now - daptone.ffm.toAvailable on 45 on April 10th. Pre-order now: shopdaptonerecords.com Directed by Jessica Magaña (Red Heart Media)Though Bryan Ponce and Adriana Flores share the stage with Joey Q as part of the East LA souldies outfit ...
Thanos
4 days, 11 hours ago
Views: 502 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 200517Now when it rains, it looks almost like a real pond. On Saturday we pumped out 8-10” of rainwater. This is gonna be regular thing now. Fortunately it's way easier to get the water out than to keep it out ...
Welcome to The Imbleachment (dangerman)
4 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 400 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
High Pulp - Full Performance (Live on KEXP) kexp.org presents High Pulp performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded January 17, 2020. Songs:Serena WilliamsSermonNikolaEzell's Host: Stas THEE BossAudio Engineers: Drew Pine & Kevin SuggsAudio Mixer: Drew Pine Cameras: Jim Beckmann, Alaia D'Alessandro, Scott Holpainen & Matt OgazEditor: ...
Thanos
5 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 651 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
David Bowie - Ashes to AshesDavid Bowie performs Ashes to Ashes on Later... with Jools Holland. Watch more on iPlayer: bbc.co.uk
Thanos
5 days, 10 hours ago
Views: 687 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook