Good Stuff from CSICOP and Free Inquiry
Be sure to have a look at Chris Mooney's excellent summary of the significance of the Dover decision:
Over the course of a lengthy trial, Jones looked closely at the scientific merits of “intelligent design”--the contention that Darwinian evolution cannot explain the biological complexity of living organisms, and that instead some form of intelligence must have created them. And in the end, the judge found ID utterly vacuous. “[ID] cannot be adjudged a valid, accepted scientific theory,” Jones wrote, “as it has failed to publish in peer-reviewed journals, engage in research and testing, and gain acceptance in the scientific community.”
ID critics have been making these same observations for years; so have leading American scientific societies. Meanwhile, investigative reporters and scholars studying the ID movement have demonstrated that it is, indeed, simply creationism reincarnated--all religion and no science. On the intellectual merits, ID was dead a long time ago. But before Judge Jones came along, it's astonishing how hard it was to get that acknowledged, unequivocally, in public discussion of the issue.
Meanwhile, the current issue of Free Inquiry has an excellent essay from Christopher Hitchens, not available online. Here's an excerpt:
It must be obvious even to the laziest observer that we now have at least a semi-official “religious test” for appointment to the Supreme Court. The test is not the one that the framers of the Constitution feared: the question of “What religion are you?” It is, rather, a test to make sure that the candidate does have a religion. In all the arguments about John Roberts, Harriet Myers, and Samuel Alito, one lement was consistent. Their religious affiliation was bannered as if it were a guarantee, in itself, of integrity. (In the case of Ms. Miers, it was the only thing that was bannered, apart from her devotion to the person of the president.)
However, along with this affirmation came a prohibition. It was, said the Right, quite outrageous to ask any furhter questions about the way in which a confessed allegiance might influence the application of the law. Any such line of inquiry would be construed as anti-Catholic (in the case of Roberts and Alito) or anti-evangelical (in the case of Miers). Rather than be accused of offending any faith-based “community,” the Democrats duly abstained from asking about abortion, creationism, and other salient issues that are well-understood to be of doctrinal as well as legal salience. Quite a neat trick, when you think of it. And now ask yourself what would happen to a nominee for the highest court who, superbly trained, educated, and qualified, announced that he or she had no belief in any deity and thought that an ethical life could be lived without religion. It must say quite a lot that we already know the answer to that question. (Emphasis in original)