I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Articles on "plagiarism" charge against Judge Jones

This issue is really heating up fast, so I decided to post this list of articles on the subject for the benefit of readers who want to get a head start:


Panda's Thumb

Uncommon Descent

Dispatches from the Culture Wars

My own articles so far are at --

Behe says Judge Jones plagiarized plaintiffs' briefs

-- and --

Brayton's Answer to plagiarism charge against Judge Jones

The Discovery Institute's study is on --

Comparing Jones and ACLU

I may add to this list as more articles come in. I intend to make some more comments of my own later.

I predict that this is going to be a big one. I think that it is one of the best chances ever to discredit Judge Jones and his Dover opinion.



Blogger JanieBelle said...

Well then let me make a counter prediction.

This issue is as dead as ID, and the ID folks will move on to another ridiculous Orwellian proposition to explain why they got their asses handed to them in Dover.

Here's another:

ID will change its name again and expect no one to notice that there's still no science.

And yet another:

ID will never ever never be a valid scientific theory, because it amounts to nothing more than bronze age mythology.

"God dun it" is simply not science.

And lastly:

Dembski et al will continue to make money from the ignorant rubes.

It's the last one that really bothers me.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

This post from PT is a brief and cogent response:

Nick Matzke Dec. 12, 2006 4:29 PM

< Many courts simply decide the case in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant, have him prepare the findings of fact and conclusions of law and sign them. This has been denounced by every court of appeals save one. >

This is not the situation in Kitzmiller v. Dover. Judge Jones did not declare on the last day of the bench trial, “OK, I’m ruling for the plaintiffs. Prepare some findings and I will sign them. Defense, don’t bother.” This is the practice that is frowned upon, although I gather that cases have been upheld even in this situation.

Instead, Jones followed the regular procedure – both sides submitted Proposed Findings, then both sides submitted rebuttals, and then he went through, adopted points he liked, excluded points he didn’t like, added numerous pieces from his own observations (e.g.: “breathtaking inanity”) and synthesized it into a coherent document (rather than just a list of individual points, which is what the parties submit). This constitutes the ruling. This is far different {from} just signing one side’s brief.

The question that the cranks have not answered is: What do you think Proposed Findings are for? Why do you think the parties {write} them in the voice of the court? (e.g., “The Court finds X, the Court finds Y.”) A judge’s job is to judge, not to re-do all of the research from scratch himself, for each of the 100+ cases he will have on his docket at any given time.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 1:50:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said,
>>>>This post from PT is a brief and cogent response:

Nick Matzke Dec. 12, 2006 4:29 PM <<<<<

Had the Dover opinion been written in the judge's own words, it would have more credibility and also Judge Jones would not look so much like a mindless hack.

I am now wondering if the opinion shows any evidence that Jones considered the final "findings of fact and conclusions of law" briefs of both sides and not just the plaintiffs' side.

Also, I previously said on this blog,

To Jones' credit (and he does not deserve much), he did not actually ask the plaintiffs' attorneys to write the whole opinion. But where a judge's opinion directly quotes a large section of another court document or any other document, the opinion should acknowledge the source. Readers of the opinion -- potentially including appellate judges -- have a right to know which words are the judge's own and which are not. Also, aren't opinions that are entirely written by one of the parties clearly identified as such, either in the opinion itself or in other court proceedings? Then why shouldn't an opinion section that is written by one of the parties also be clearly identified as such?

Also, a news report said,

Bruce Green, director of Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham Law School, said although it is not typical for judges to adopt one side's proposed findings verbatim, they cannot face sanctions for doing so.

"There's not a rule that categorically forbids it," Green said. "Courts have sometimes criticized the practice, especially when it looks like the judge didn't do any independent thinking."
(emphasis added)

There is a lot of subjectivity involved in the interpretation of the charges of "plagiarism" here, so I think that these charges will take a long time to sort out.

Also, I am very disturbed about a particular conclusion of law that was adopted verbatim from a plaintiffs' brief -- that is the subject of a future blog article here.

The Kitzmiller v. Dover opinion, as just the opinion of a single district court judge, had little enough precedential value to begin with, and now it looks like it is going to have even less.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 3:53:00 AM  

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