Argento on Dover
For a humorous description of the goings-on in Dover, have a look at Mike Argento's essay here.
He got into what some people believe later. Young Earth creationists, for instance, believe our planet is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old, based on analysis of Scripture. Sure, you can believe that, Pennock said. But it ignores the evidence or claims that the evidence was placed there by God to fool us, which, when you think about, is a kind of odd way to describe the deity, as some kind of cosmic prankster.
And that's when Pennock unloaded this: “For all we know, the world may have been created five minutes ago and we've all been implanted with memory chips.”
And thus did intelligent design somehow join the wow-have-you-ever-looked-at-your-hand-I-mean-really-looked school of stoner intellectual epistemology.
Later, the trial took a fun turn, if your idea of fun is watching a lawyer badger some woman.
You knew it was going to be fun when Richard Thompson, another of the lawyers for the school district, referred to “a bit of street wisdom” while questioning Julie Ann Smith, one of the plaintiffs in the case and the mother of two.
Thompson, a white guy in a dark blue suit on the descending side of middle age, is all about the street, homey.
The street wisdom was “don't believe everything you read in the newspapers.”
And yet, that wasn't the most entertaining aspect of Wednesday's proceedings.
That came when Robert Muise, the third member of the school district's legal team, rose to object when plaintiff Beth Eveland began to testify about a letter to the editor she had written.
“Hearsay,” he intoned.
In general legal terms, hearsay is essentially a witness testifying to something they learned from a third party, and, except for some exceptions, is not permitted in court since the person repeating the words has no idea whether they are true because they were obtained third-hand. (And some people say this column has no educational content.)
In this case, Muise was objecting to Eveland testifying about her own words.
Judge John E. Jones III, the federal jurist hearing the case, looked at Muise, bearing an expression that he couldn't really believe what he just heard.
The judge asked Muise, “Who wrote the letter?”
Muise said, “She did,” and sat down.
As they say on the street, the judge punked him.