Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Dover ID trial and rhubarb

It seems that Judge Jones' ruling - amongst other things, that ID is creationism - is not unprecedented. I found this in "The Telegraph" magazine.
Strictly, or rather botanically speaking, rhubarb is a vegetable, but in 1947 the US Customs Court at Buffalo NY ruled that it was a fruit, as that is how it is normally eaten.
Well, that's settled, then. The botanists were wrong: the judge was right.

Of course, this has great potential for helping humanity to deal with all sorts of messy and inconvenient supposed "facts". For example, if we could get a US court to rule that "its" needs an apostrophe, because that is how it is normally spelt these days - as in "the court was acting beyond it's competence" - then all of a sudden the significant number of people who don't know how to use apostrophes would suddenly find that they were right all along. We could also use it to settle once and for all the debate about global warming. All we need is a judge to say whether it is happening or not. And it would be really helpful if we could get a judge to rule that the value of pi was not an irrational number, since that is how it is used by everybody except a few armchair theoreticians....