Kitzmiller v. Dover, Wedge Document, and the FFRF

A new thread to hang comments split from:

Why should a school board charged with educating the children of a local school district in Pennsylvania be talking to DI at all? Did anyone at DI have children in this district at the time?

Can we turn this into a scientific discussion and include Kansas? Because, you know, scientists can’t tell the difference between the two. :smiley:

@mung this is a serious question for @Agauger to answer. Why was DI talking to a local school board at all?
Was DI an educational advisory group to the public education system? Why this particular school district and not at the Pennsylvania state or Federal Department of Education level?

DI did not want them to do it. They were trying to conscript DI into their cause. They should not have been doing this, and it appears that DI agrees.

And at the same time DI was promoting the Kansas hearings as a positive alternative. That was equally a disaster but was more effective at avoiding a legal challenge.

You should be thankful for Dover, because is led to precisely the ruling that DI was desperately trying to avoid. They did not want it to happen, but it seems their rhetoric caught up them. The Dover school board and Thomas Moore took them at their word that they were ready for prime time.

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When did Ann join the DI and what was her role in Kansas and Dover? Those would be the serious questions for @Agauger to answer.

Should we hold you to answer for all the decisions made by the FFRF? That’s a rhetorical question.

The fact that Discovery Institute scholars submitted an amicus brief certainly created the impression (at least for non-lawyers of the general public) that the DI was in some way or other endorsing what the Dover School Board was doing. Of course, that is not an accurate understanding of the purpose of an amicus brief—but such subtleties are routinely missed by the general public and even much of the news media.


DI should not have talked with the school board formally or informally. And the school board shouldn’t have gone to DI to ask for advise or counsel. The school board was elected to follow the State Curriculum in science education in order to give the children of Dover the State approved science education. DI is not nor has ever been an authorized voice in science education like the NCSE. This was an easy case for the Judge. And I have always wonder why it wasn’t appealed to the District Appellate Court level? Because with no appeal, the ruling became national.

That doesn’t make sense Patrick. The school board shouldnt have forced ID into public schools. Having done this, DI and everyone else should have contacted them to tell them not to do this.

The issue with DI is that still wanted ID in schools and were pursuing it ok no Kansas and other places too. There are much cleaner ways to explain what they did wrong. No need to invent new rules that they supposedly broke.

Who wrote the Wedge Document?


I truthfully know nothing about Dover or Kansas. I was off in the lab doing experiments at Biologic, and had little to no contact with Discovery.

But from what I have heard, @Mung and @Swamidass are right. DI tried to stop Dover. Beyond that I don’t know a thing about Kansas or any other state board of education.


Someone at Discovery. Of course they wanted to insert ID into schools. They did not however want to do it in a stupid way that would put them in Federal court.

I believe you. However, you are now a senior official in that same organization. And as a senior official, don’t you think you have a responsibility to know the truth about what happened and how it happened? And to give full disclosure as an organization?

I had always heard that it was authored by Phillip Johnson, but I’ve never tried to verify that. I guess I just took it for granted because I had a colleague who was a friend of Johnson’s, and he had said that Johnson was very happy to be associated with it. Is that just second-hand rumor? Probably. Yet, from what I’ve read of Johnson’s publications, they strike me as very much in harmony with what has been called “The Wedge Document.” So perhaps it is not all that important if Johnson was the author. It sure sounded like Johnson at least made major contributions to it.


I’ve said it before and will continue saying it:

ID as espoused by the Discovery Institute has never been a scientific movement. It’s a 100% religion-based political movement whose sole purpose is to get Christian creation beliefs sneaked back into public school science classes. Pretty much everyone in science knows it too which is why the DI gets such push-back.


My understanding is that several people ran for Board of Education in Dover with a specific plan to insert creationism into the schools. They won the election and immediately implemented their plan. Eleven parents sued. And that is how it got to Federal court.

Are you implying that these local Dover residents (all Evangelical Christians from the same church) thought of the Wedge Strategy Document on their own?

I’ll stand by my assessment. Even the tiny bit of science they attempt is not to further ID as a scientific discipline. It’s done to provide more fodder for the DI’s anti-evolution propaganda machine. You are certainly free to disagree.

I am not that senior. I do not set policy or have any oversight in those areas.

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Oh, just a pawn on the chessboard. I am sorry to hear that. I thought that with many years at a organization that you would be in a position to set policy and have oversight in those areas. I have been in that situation several times in my career. Why stay? Why not go elsewhere? Why not be independent? As in active retirement?

The School Board had a majority of Creationists on it. And over the course of the trial, this majority had been replaced in election.

Who was it that actually edited the document for Creationism to Intelligent Design???