25 November 2007

The Dover intelligent-design trial (2)

I just viewed a DVD recording of this NOVA program about the trial, and I strongly encourage anyone who didn't see it when it originally aired to watch it however they can. It affirms that the struggle against the anti-evolution movement is slowly but surely moving in the right direction. Some highlights:

- The science teachers at Dover's high school showed admirable firmness in standing up to the school board's efforts to smuggle creationism* into the classroom. They, at least, knew very well what is and is not science, and did not knuckle under when the ignorant school authorities tried to introduce flagrantly false statements into the curriculum.

- While the controversy was raging, the people of Dover voted out the anti-evolution element on the school board in a high-turnout election. While the vote was close, it showed that the majority in the community supported keeping science classes for science.

- The judge in the case, himself a conservative Christian and Bush appointee with no particular training in science, allowed himself to be educated during the trial, and considered the issues with admirable impartiality. The result was a ruling which completely repudiated ID's claim to be a scientific theory.

- Several Dover residents who opposed ID, and even the judge himself, received death threats; the judge and his family are actually under special protection because of these threats. As frightening as this must be to the principals, it also suggests an increasing level of desperation among the enemy. Of course, no one on the pro-ID side received any death threats.

A telling moment at the trial occurs during the testimony of pro-ID witness Michael Behe, when a short passage from one of his books is cited which claims that the theory of evolution offers no explanation for the development of the immune system. The opposing counsel presents Behe with articles and whole books addressing that very subject, which eventually form a sizable stack in front of him. When evaluating any kind of fringe belief system, don't take on faith their assertions that the "orthodox" scholarship "has no answer" to their various claims; most of the time the statement is simply false, and such claims have in fact been abundantly refuted.

Note: If you follow the link in the first sentence of this posting, scroll down through the comments thread to the comment by "DaVinci" which includes the full text of a review by Richard Dawkins of Michael Behe's latest book.

*I am not going to dignify the anti-evolutionists' threadbare pretense that "intelligent design" is something other than creationism disguised with an euphemistic name.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The judge in the case, himself a conservative Christian and Bush appointee with no particular training in science, allowed himself to be educated during the trial, and considered the issues with admirable impartiality.

LOL. I guess that must be why he parroted back the ACLU brief almost word for word in his ruling.

The result was a ruling which completely repudiated ID's claim to be a scientific theory.

Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it; namely, politicians, lawyers and judges deciding what science is.

... it also suggests an increasing level of desperation among the enemy.

An atheist Crusader. Interesting.

26 November, 2007 07:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I guess that must be why he parroted back the ACLU brief almost word for word in his ruling.

It merely means he applied the law without allowing his own religious beliefs to distort his reasoning, just as a judge is supposed to do.

It's not unusual for a judge to use language from the winning side's statements in his ruling. Why not, when the argument he found persuasive is already well set forth there?

politicians, lawyers and judges deciding what science is.

No, it's scientists who know what the definition of science is. The judge was simply recognizing this.

"Enemy" may be strong language, but when it comes to people who are trying to wreck the teaching of science in America's schools, not excessively so.

26 November, 2007 18:10  

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