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Dover School Board Members Investigated

by TChris

In a decision that spanked Dover school board members who wanted to pretend that intelligent design is based on science, Judge John Jones III made clear his belief that some of the board members lied under oath.

In his opinion, Jones accused some of those who testified during the six-week trial in Harrisburg of lying, singling out former board members Alan Bonsell and William Buckingham, the leading proponents of the policy.

Those comments sparked the interest of a prosecutor, who intends to investigate the possibility that perjury was committed. Perjury can be a difficult charge to prove, but Judge Jones was persuaded that the board members were deliberately untruthful.

Buckingham raised money in his church to purchase copies of the book "Of Pandas and People." He then gave $850 to Bonsell's father, who bought the books and donated them to the school district. Neither man admitted knowledge of the fund raising efforts during their deposition testimony.

"The inescapable truth is that both Bonsell and Buckingham lied at their Jan. 3, 2005, depositions about their knowledge of the source of the donation for Pandas. ... ," Jones said in his ruling. "This mendacity was a clear and deliberate attempt to hide the source of the donations by [Bonsell and Buckingham] to further ensure that Dover students received a creationist alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution."

The prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Thomas Marino, says he has "a lot of reading to do" before he decides whether to pursue perjury charges.

(Hat tip to Peter G. for forwarding the link.)

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  • Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 03:56:55 PM EST
    God needs THESE people to get his message across? Puh-leaze. WWJD? Lie in court?

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 04:05:17 PM EST
    this only proves why we need the 10 Commandments posted in School Board meetings to remind members "against bearing false witness" [/snark]

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#3)
    by soccerdad on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 04:22:12 PM EST
    Here's what the dominionists want
    Rev. Kennedy] wrote: ‘As the viceregents of God, we are to bring His truth and His will to bear on every sphere of our world and our society. We are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government ... our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors—in short, over every aspect and institution of human society." Kennedy, the Monitor noted, "regularly calls the United States a Christian nation that should be governed by Christians. He has created a Center for Christian Statesmanship in Washington that seeks to evangelize members of Congress and their staffs, and to counsel conservative Christian officeholders."
    link

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#4)
    by glanton on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 04:33:06 PM EST
    These recent developments in Dover have been a breath of fresh air, proof that reason and liberty still sport a pulse in the American political system. Though in Kansas a backward society just got moreso. Anyway, it's entertaining when one of these goons gets on television and tries to argue, with a straight face, that "intelligent design" is not the same as creationism. Nobody who's not a moron believes them, but they try it anyway. Wanna pop Behe's and Robertson's and Santorum's bubble? Just ask them who the "designer" is.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#5)
    by jimcee on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 07:15:40 PM EST
    I'm not quite sure why these jokers need to be investigated about perjury considering that the school district voters made these fellas go away. Democracy is cool like that. I think it is more productive to just not respond to thier nonsense with seriousness. These board members were political/religious zealots who now need to turn the other cheek and go home. I know that when I get "Johavah's Witness'" or thier door-to-door competitors at my home I'm polite the first time, chilly the next and ignore them in the end and they don't come back. I would suggest that people should just ignore these folks and when they get silly just make them go away, so to speak. It would appear that things took care of themselves in Dover, PA. What is rather ironic is that many of those opposed to the 'Intellgent Design' factions have no problem with thier own fantasmigoric sociological schemes that are just as far fetched as the dopey 'intellegent design' people's ideas. As a fossil collector evolution works for me.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 08:00:42 PM EST
    Jimcee wrote: What is rather ironic is that many of those opposed to the 'Intellgent Design' factions have no problem with thier own fantasmigoric sociological schemes that are just as far fetched as the dopey 'intellegent design' people's ideas. Please fill me in on the "many" opposed to ID and what exactly their "fantasmigoric sociological schemes that are just as far fetched". I really have no idea what you mean. National Health Care? A living wage? Humanism? What?

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#7)
    by Sailor on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 08:06:49 PM EST
    I'm not quite sure why these jokers need to be investigated about perjury considering that the school district voters made these fellas go away.
    Uhh, because they lied to the court!? WTF does an election have to do with perjury?
    I would suggest that people should just ignore these folks and when they get silly just make them go away, so to speak. It would appear that things took care of themselves in Dover, PA.
    They didn't 'take care of themselves' in Kansas, they didn't 'take care of themselves' in the Scopes trial. They don't 'take care of themselves' in D.C.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimcee on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 08:22:23 PM EST
    Dadler, Yeah pretty much the things you name. National health care might be the most achievable because it is the most necessary. What I mean in general is that most of the Leftist social models are based on some idealized version of how everyone should act according to someone else's beliefs. People tend to want to live thier lives as they see fit not dictated by gov't fiat. Who decides how everyone should live? You, Dadler? I wouldn't want to live under your dictates. If not you, who? Perhaps the former Dover, PN education board members? Uhm, no. Most of what you offered up as examples I don't like. I want to live my life the way I choose. I want my bars smokey, drinks strong and my beef rare. In your world I'd have to settle for a tofu sandwich on whole wheat bread and a cream soda in your beige colored world. Because you know what's best for me and the rest of the world. Bleah. No thanks.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimcee on Fri Dec 23, 2005 at 08:39:28 PM EST
    Sailor, The Scopes trial? Eight-tenths of a century late for that one. As far as Kansas is concerned; do you live there? Do you think that folks there won't eventually boot this faux science? If they don't that is thier business. Democracy is funny like that. Schools teach all sorts of things that are rather repellant to some folks. I'm still not quite sure why a fourth grader needs to know how to put a condom on a cucumber but some school systems seem to think that is as important as learning math. Go figure. My point is simply that elections sent these board members packing and prosceuting them will do nothing but draw attention to thier base. They will become some sort of dubious martyrs which will draw more media attention which will piss you off and you'll get nutty and that silly cycle will continue ad infinitum. Ever downward.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 12:01:25 AM EST
    Oh thank you for posting this. You have made the day of this one Professor of Biology. I would humbly suggest that when public officials knowingly tell blatant easily checkable falsehoods in a courtroom and then get caught, they should be prosecuted for perjury. Whether or not they were ultimately re-elected is irrelevant. In fact, one might argue that being an elected official means that you should be held to a higher standard. But I'm not a lawyer.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 07:16:36 AM EST
    Et al - I would love to ask the prosecutor if he thought Bill Clinton committed perjury. Note: I did, but then I thought the question should never have been brought up. Just as I think this guy should leave politics alone and get back to his job. And make no mistake, this is politics. Ba'al - Please show me one new species that you can prove has been created by evolution. jimcee - Here, here! Very well said. glanton - What you have in PA is a judge deciding what is science. Don't be surprised when the same mindset tells you what is true about a host of other things that you may disagree with. For everyone's enjoyment. Read and consider unless you can't stand to have your belief's challenged. I think evolution proves that specifies can change, for the better or worse, due to outside sources. I think ID proves that evolution doesn't create new species. Both are embraced by radicals on each side. Bah hum bug.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#12)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 07:37:57 AM EST
    I think ID proves that evolution doesn't create new species.
    simply not true. ID proves absolutely nothing since it is based on faith ( in the religious sense).
    What you have in PA is a judge deciding what is science
    How wrong can you be, what the judge has decided what is religion.
    Both are embraced by radicals on each side.
    Absolute nonsense. your trying to equate those who believe in evolution as a viable scientifc theory and those who believe in religious doctrine is your usual attempt to confuse what is a very clear situation. Except to those right wing religious extremists who want to force their version of religion onthe rest of us, there is nothing incompatable between evolution and belief in god.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 07:53:21 AM EST
    Jimaka: Uh, hello! Just breed a few thousand generations of bacteria with some random mutations et voila. Better yet, mutate a few viruses et voila. Also, try mules, you jackass. In that case, it would be humankind as the designer. Actually, Jimaka, YOU are the best argument against evolution. 'Magine that!

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#15)
    by john horse on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 08:25:00 AM EST
    The place for deciding if intelligent design is a valid theory isn't through elections or the courts but within the scientific community. If intelligent design is accepted by the scientific community (and DA shows that it isn't - one problem with ID is that you should be able to use a theory to make predictions but you can't with ID) then it should be taught. To get accepted within the scientific community means getting papers published and getting peer reviewed. There are a lot of hoops to jump through but there are no shortcuts in science. I have no problem with a school board deciding if science should be taught or not taught in schools. I do have a problem with those who are not part of the scientific community deciding what is science. Finally, if the school board lied under oath (and they are ones who are holier than thou?) they should be prosecuted. What type of example would that set for our children if those who break our laws aren't prosecuted?

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 08:46:31 AM EST
    You can see evolution at work everyday. If you look at a left winger, you see someone evolving to a higher order, but with right wingers you see reverse evolution. In a few years PPJ will be sharing a tree branch with Bush and Cheney

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#17)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 09:22:42 AM EST
    What you have in PA is a judge deciding what is science.
    Jim acts as though everything is subjective, a matter of opinion. Too much FNC has apparently corroded his perceptions: careful, Jim, lest ye end up accidentally granting the word "perspective" to, say, those French Righties arguing that there was no Holocaust. Facts are facts. Creationism is not science. That you need this explained to you does not flatter you. This judge might as well be saying the sky is blue. Every Christian I've ever met has said that their religion was grounded much more in faith than in facts.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#18)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 09:26:41 AM EST
    And Jim, re your Spectator link (If I'm gonna read a tabloid article, it might as well be during the holidays while I'm wearing green and red socks): If "ID" is not creationism, then praytell, who is the "Designer"? ET? Blech.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 11:22:35 AM EST
    Et al – All of your lovely insults aside, my base problem with evolution is this, which is one of the references Picker Darkly (aka DA) provided for my question for someone to show me a new species that had been created by evolution.
    Evidence that a species of fireweed formed by doubling of the chromosome count, from the original stock. (Note that polyploids are generally considered to be a separate "race" of the same species as the original stock, but they do meet the criteria which you suggested.)
    Note the words “generally considered.” When you can get rid of such qualifiers, come back to see me. Folks, if it could be definitely proven, without doubt, etc., etc., the Left would have whipped it out. “Look, world,” they would say. “The Zork is a new species. See how stupid the religious right is!” My position remains simple. Neither theory satisfies me. Neither the religious one pushed by the religion of secular humanism, nor the religious one pushed by the religions of Christians, Jews and Moslems. Of the two, ID makes more sense. But that, I am happy to admit, and without demanding that you believe, and not calling you an idiot if you don’t, is belief based on what I have read. If you can come down from your mountain without the commandment to slur all who disagree, we might actually have a cup of coffee and decide to worry about more important things.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#20)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 11:33:17 AM EST
    Jim, why so defensive? I for one didn't insult you, though I did point out the dangerous conclusion endemic to your "let's equally weigh all sides on everything stance. As for the Dover ruling, you're missing the point, perhapsd intentionally. All the judge did was point out that these are creationists attempting to push their agenda from behind the proverbial "pasteboard mask." And that, by denying the Board members were straight-up lying. Really, there's no way to disagree with that central aspet of the ruling. Who's the designer? Anyway, and more importantly, Merry Christmas, Jim. You, too, dance well, and I have learned much from you this year. Enjoy your family and friends and here's to another year of health.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#21)
    by soccerdad on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 12:08:01 PM EST
    Hey picker PPJ thatnks for proving our points. Without a doubt for you is impossible when you don't want to know. religion of secular humanism - what a freakin joke you are. Like most of the other neocons who are trying to end the enlightenment you try to equate the scientific method with religious belief. What idiotic crappola. You cant teach a blind man to see.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#22)
    by ltgesq on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 12:25:45 PM EST
    when public officials lie under oath, and that lying results in thousands of dollars in costs to the public, should they then be let off the hook? Is loosing an election enough? I don't think so. A prosecution for perjury would serve as a deterent to the other radicals out there who would use the school board to advance thier own particular religious views. i am all for teaching intellegent design or creationism -- just not as science.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#23)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 03:57:21 PM EST
    New Evolution Breakthroughs Lead Science Mag's Top Ten Discoveries Of 2005... Top ten scientific breakthroughs.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#24)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 01:44:24 PM EST
    Note the words “generally considered.” When you can get rid of such qualifiers, come back to see me. It's generally accepted that a free-falling object subject to Earth's gravity accelerates at 32 feet per second per second. When you get rid of the qualifiers, then you can start lecturing us about science.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 03:12:53 PM EST
    Picker, picks, and picks. Re your comment. It is generally considered.......?? Somehow I don't see why anyone wishing to make that statement would use a qualifier.
    "Generally" is a qualifier: in a general manner: as a : in disregard of specific instances and with regard to an overall picture b : as a rule : USUALLY.
    Sorry Picker, find another pick.

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#26)
    by soccerdad on Sun Dec 25, 2005 at 09:10:42 PM EST
    Good scientists never talk in absolutes because they know better than anyone that science is an ongoing activity in which modifications to theories can be made based on new observations. So PPJ's interpretation of the word generally here is off target as usual. only demogogues, non-scientists, and PPj talk in absolutes. That being said the theory of evolution has been with us for some time and is the best scientific explanantion for all observations. Does that me we understand everything about evolution, no it doesn't but we are talking about details at the moment. Scientists believe that evolution is the best theory based on thousands of studies, observations, and discussions over the last hundred years. people who believe in ID do so based on faith with no observations, or data. They can believe all they want but its not science. Finally evolution is in no way contradictory to belief in God or his role in the universe. *** ppj - here is your kind of science

    Re: Dover School Board Members Investigated (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Dec 26, 2005 at 07:52:21 AM EST
    sd, your analysis is correct, and PPJ has shown his whizzy inability to understand how science works. Typical.