Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A feature film inspired by Dover's intelligent design trial* is in the works, but it may be a few years before the movie makes it onto the big screen.
And the words 'inspired by' will likely mean some creative liberty is taken in the retelling of the drama.
Pennsylvania native Ron Nyswaner (info), whose writing credits include 'Philadelphia,' starring Tom Hanks, and 'The Prince of Pennsylvania,' starring Keanu Reeves, has begun researching and writing the screenplay for Paramount Pictures.
The writer, who grew up in Clarksville, Greene County, said he can relate to the small-town 'characters' because they are similar to him and his relatives.
Nyswaner said he has met with several of the key players in the trial, and has read 'every word' of the court transcript, every deposition and every piece of journalism written about the trial to prepare for his writing.
He said the film will be 'inspired by true events that took place in Dover' and will incorporate 'lots of humor and lots of compelling drama.'
'I think it's a great subject for a film,' he said. 'I'm trying not to form any opinions on the issues ... but write the truth from every character's point of view. You always treat every character you're writing with respect. Assume their version of the truth is the truth.'
In December of 2005, critics of the theory of intelligent design (ID) hailed federal judge John E. Jones' ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover, which declared unconstitutional the reading of a statement about intelligent design in public school science classrooms in Dover, Pennsylvania. Since the decision was issued, Jones' 139-page judicial opinion has been lavished with praise as a "masterful decision" based on careful and independent analysis of the evidence. However, a new analysis of the text of the Kitzmiller decision reveals that nearly all of Judge Jones' lengthy examination of "whether ID is science" came not from his own efforts or analysis but from wording supplied by ACLU attorneys. In fact, 90.9% (or 5,458 words) of Judge Jones' 6,004- word section on intelligent design as science was taken virtually verbatim from the ACLU's proposed "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" submitted to Judge Jones nearly a month before his ruling. Judge Jones even copied several clearly erroneous factual claims made by the ACLU. The finding that most of Judge Jones' analysis of intelligent design was apparently not the product of his own original deliberative activity seriously undercuts the credibility of Judge Jones' examination of the scientific validity of intelligent design.
And the recent post "Intelligent Design: The God Lab":
Pay a visit to the Biologic Institute and you are liable to get a chilly reception. 'We only see people with appointments,' states the man who finally responds to my persistent knocks. Then he slams the door on me.
I am standing on the ground floor of an office building in Redmond, Washington, the Seattle suburb best known as home town to Microsoft. What I'm trying to find out is whether the 1-year-old institute is the new face of another industry that has sprung up in the area - the one that has set out to try to prove evolution is wrong.
This is my second attempt to engage in person with scientists at Biologic. At the institute's other facility in nearby Fremont, researchers work at benches lined with fume hoods, incubators and microscopes - a typical scene in this up-and-coming biotech hub.(More)
Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., Case No. 04cv2688, was the first direct challenge brought in United States federal courts against a public school district that required the presentation of "Intelligent Design" as an alternative to evolution as an "explanation of the origin of life". The plaintiffs successfully argued that intelligent design is a form of creationism, and that the school board policy thus violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Eleven parents of students in Dover, Pennsylvania, near York, sued the Dover Area School District over a statement that the school board required to be read aloud in ninth-grade science classes when evolution was taught. The plaintiffs were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) and Pepper Hamilton LLP. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) acted as consultants for the plaintiffs. The defendants were represented by the Thomas More Law Center. The Foundation for Thought and Ethics, publisher of a textbook advocating intelligent design titled Of Pandas and People, tried to join the lawsuit as a defendant but was denied.