Here's my short version of the book review for Traipsing into Evolution. A book this bad deserves a detailed review, but for now, here it is.
Losing a court case is like suffering a poker "bad beat." Nobody really wants to hear your story, and it's considered "whining" if you don't get over it after one beer. Amazingly, losers comprise more than 50% of all lawsuit participants. Most go away muttering under their breath about judges who don't understand them. Some can't get over their legal "bad beat" and write books about their loss.
So say it, so be it. The Discovery Institute has published its whine after the Dover bad beat. Entitled "Traipsing Into Evolution," it appeals to the court of public opinion. Appeal denied. This is a wretched book.
The Discovery Institute PR campaign for Intelligent Design bears a laughably strong resemblance to Baghdad Bob, the Iraqi "Information Minister" who claimed there were no Americans in Iraq's capital city as those same Americans pounded up the stairs into his own studio. His mere statements of fact served as their own proof, no matter how outlandish. Traipsing continues in this tradition. None of the factual assertions in this book are to be taken seriously.
The book overlooks a peculiar idiosyncrasy of courts. Unlike Iraq's ministry of Information, courts rely on something called "evidence." There are two components to that concept. First, only evidence actually admitted in court "counts." Out of court, self-serving press releases are not evidence and don't count. Second, the evidence proffered in court must meet certain minimum requirements. Witness testimony, for example, must be both under oath and subject to cross-examination.
That means witnesses must answer questions from an attorney who is not sympathetic to the witness's own position. The witness cannot decline to answer and the witness must tell the truth. In the Dover trial, the Intelligent Design side offered: (1) out of court press releases; (2) proffered witnesses who waffled, equivocated, and finally admitted the lack of factual support for ID when cross examined; and (3) some of the Intelligent Design witnesses got caught lying under oath.
The trial judge's opinion detailed ID's lack of evidence and the witness testimonial defects, including the falsehoods, throughout his 139 page decision. Any intellectually honest post-mortem would have addressed these issues head on. If you expect Traipsing to do so, you'll be disappointed.
Traipsing argues that ID is good science and that it is not creationism. In "Baghdad Bob" fashion, the book only offers Discovery Institute press releases as "evidence" in support of its arguments. No real evidence is offered and the evidence actually offered in court is not analyzed. The court rejected both propositions based on the evidence actually offered at trial. As just one example of actual evidence, two Discovery Fellows, Michael Behe and Scott Minnich testified as experts. Both were asked under oath if ID was science. Both had the choice to answer truthfully or to lie and prevaricate. To their credit, they answered truthfully. Minnich testified that ID was not science and Behe testified it was as scientific as astrology. Based on this evidence from ID's own proponents, the judge not surprisingly found that ID was not science. Frankly, the authors distort both the in-court and out of court evidence in their book.
The book makes much of the fact that the judge concluded that there was a lack of peer reviewed literature, apparently overlooking the "vast" ID-favorable literature enclosed in the book as Appendix B. There are two reasons why the judge did not consider this literature: (1) it was out of court hearsay, not subject to cross examination; and (2) It is not scientific research, it is essentially propaganda. This second point explains why nobody was willing to actually testify in court that such peer reviewed ID-specific scientific research existed. Nobody was willing to take the perjury rap in court.
If you are interested in what really happened, get it from the horse's mouth. Read the opinion itself and the actual evidence and trial testimony. Both are online.