Three Notes About Antonin Scalia

This scary person sits on our highest court...
Apparently a Supreme Court Judge thinks humans have only been around about 5000 years...

At a graduation ceremony for the students at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Maryland...

"Class of 2015, you should not leave Stone Ridge High School thinking that you face challenges that are at all, in any important sense, unprecedented. Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or, alas, even much different, from what they ever were."

He is only wrong by a factor of 20 or so (for modern humans... by a factor of several hundred if we include some ancestor species)...

And on the topic of 5000 year old human species, Pharyngula reminds us that Scalia seems to think that the theory of evolution is just a "guess".

"The body of scientific evidence supporting creation science is as strong as that supporting evolution. In fact, it may be stronger…. The evidence for evolution is far less compelling than we have been led to believe. Evolution is not a scientific "fact," since it cannot actually be observed in a laboratory. Rather, evolution is merely a scientific theory or "guess."… It is a very bad guess at that. The scientific problems with evolution are so serious that it could accurately be termed a "myth."…"

If he can be so wrong on basic and simple (and thoroughly established) science, what else is he getting wrong? Can we trust him to make informed decisions about other technical/scientific things?? Do we need to worry he will not rule on a problem because he worries the devil is causing it so it is not solvable by laws???


Scalia liked to point to the conviction of Henry Lee McCollum as a case study on why we need capital punishment.

From a 1994 ruling: "For example, the case of an 11-year-old girl raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat. How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared with that!"

Unfortunately for Scalia, McCullum was pardoned after being on death row for 30 years. It seems the confessions were coerced and DNA evidence implicated another man in the crime. (also at NYTimes).

via Patheos, The MaddowBlog and Pharyngula

- sroberts

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