Cowardly hypocrite Ed Brayton has refused my challenge
Ed wrote, "You're banned here because you annoy me." OK, you trolls, let's hear again that Ed is tolerant of comments that he disagrees with.
Of course, my blog takes potshots at Ed, too -- but the difference is that Ed and his pals are free to post comments over here (and both Ed and his pals have posted comments here) while I cannot post comments over there. Ed and his pals have been taking potshots at me where I am an unable to respond. I cannot even directly respond to Ed's articles that are entirely devoted to attacking my ideas. That's cowardice on the part of Ed and his pals.
Ed Brayton has no credibility. He is just a big bag of hot air.
POSTSCRIPT (the following section was added several hours after the above section was posted):
In his above article, Ed also attacked my remarks about the Edwards v. Aguillard case in my article (post) titled "The case against expert witness testimony in monkey trials". Ed said,
As usual, Larry completely misreads the opinion. Notice that the statement from the court is very specific in saying that expert testimony would not illuminate the purpose of the Louisiana legislature when it made the law. Why is this important? Because the district court's ruling considered only the purpose prong of the Lemon test, not the effect or excessive entanglement prongs. (emphasis in original)
So? The Dover case could also have been decided solely on the basis of the Lemon test's "purpose" prong, because of the obvious religious motivations of the school board members.
Furthermore, I also addressed the issue of the applicability of expert witness testimony to the effect prong -- I said, "(7) -- in establishment clause cases, expert testimony often does not illuminate the purposes of the government or the perceptions of the local community, i.e., this testimony is a "Monday morning battle of the experts" (emphasis added to original). The "effect" prong in these cases was primarily concerned with the perceptions of the local citizens as to whether or not there appeared to be a government endorsement of religion. However, the highly advanced knowledge presented by the expert witnesses in three weeks of testimony in the Dover case far exceeded what a fairly well-informed but not expert local citizen -- or that citizen's proxy, the imaginary "objective" or "reasonable" observer -- would be expected to know. According to the Dover opinion (page 16), the "reasonable observer is an informed citizen who is more knowledgeable than the average passerby," but there is no requirement that the reasonable observer be exceptionally well informed and I assert that such a requirement would be unreasonable because the reasonable observer is supposed to represent the typical well-informed citizen.
As for the Lemon test's third prong, the "entanglement" prong," Justice O'Connor said that this prong applies only where the government is directly involved with a religious organization, as in giving aid to religious schools. Where this prong is applicable, it is often incorporated into the second ("effect") prong, as noted in the Selman v. Cobb County district-court decision.
Judge Jones didn't need to refer to expert testimony to conclude that the board acted for a religious purpose, all he needed was the fact witnesses' testimony - just like in Edwards.
YES! So you actually agree that the expert witness testimony was not necessary in the Dover case -- Judge Jones could have ruled against the defendants solely on the basis of their religious motivations.
I'll bet that Ed is now going to complain that I "quote mined" him.
Note -- my original statement has been revised as follows:
"Unfortunately, the courts in later cases did not follow Edwards' lead of refusing to hear the testimony of expert witnesses
who had played no part in directly influencing the government policieswhere such testimony was arguably not necessary for deciding the case."
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