Creationism on trial

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Judge William Overton's Memorandum Opinion in the case of Rev. Bill McLean et. al. v. The Arkansas Board of Education et. al. occasioned a small flurry of papers by philosophers of science debating the merits of the judicial decision. Almost twenty years have now elapsed since the conclusion of the trial, and the time seems ripe for a retrospective assessment of the merits of the judge's decision, and of the criticisms of that decision which were made by the philosophers of science in question. Although I think that there wasn't much wrong with the judge's opinion, I propose to argue that the claims made by the various philosophers were also substantially correct. This might sound surprising, given the heat generated by the discussion. However, it seems to me that what happened was a classic case of misunderstanding: people talked straight past each other because they placed different construals on the key terms involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-127
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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