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The Paladin's smite evil ability states:

Smite Evil (Su): Once per day, a paladin can call out to the powers of good to aid her in her struggle against evil. As a swift action, the paladin chooses one target within sight to smite. If this target is evil, the paladin adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack rolls and adds her paladin level to all damage rolls made against the target of her smite. If the target of smite evil is an outsider with the evil subtype, an evil-aligned dragon, or an undead creature, the bonus to damage on the first successful attack increases to 2 points of damage per level the paladin possesses. Regardless of the target, smite evil attacks automatically bypass any DR the creature might possess.

(My emphasis)

Does this mean that a Paladin can use "smite evil" on a non-evil target with DR (Such as a Clay Golem) and ignore the targets DR, but get no other bonuses?

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No. The next paragraph in the description states:

If the paladin targets a creature that is not evil, the smite is wasted with no effect.

The ordering is a little confusing—I think this should be further up in the description—but smite evil has no effect on non-evil creatures, not even bypassing DR.

"Regardless of the target..." refers to and counters "if the target of smite evil is an outsider with the evil subtype, an evil-aligned dragon, or an undead creature..." and not "if this target is evil".

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahhh walls of text, completely missed that! Nice one, cheers. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Apr 9 '13 at 15:02

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