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Trial Over 'Intelligent Design' Resumes
AP - Science ^ | 2005-09-27 | MARTHA RAFFAELE

Posted on 09/27/2005 9:12:23 AM PDT by Junior

Brown University biologist Kenneth Miller, the first witness called Monday by lawyers suing the Dover Area School District for exposing its students to the controversial theory, sprinkled his testimony with references to DNA, red blood cells and viruses, and he occasionally referred to complex charts on a projection screen.

Even U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III was a little overwhelmed.

"I guess I should say, 'Class dismissed,'" Jones mused before recessing for lunch.

Dover is believed to be the nation's first school system to mandate students be exposed to the intelligent design concept. Its policy requires school administrators to read a brief statement before classes on evolution that says Charles Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." It refers students to an intelligent-design textbook for more information.

Intelligent design holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms. It implies that life on Earth was the product of an unidentified intelligent force.

Eight families sued, saying that the district policy in effect promotes the Bible's view of creation, violating the constitutional separation of church and state.

Miller, whose cross-examination was to resume Tuesday morning, said the policy undermines scientific education by raising false doubts about evolutionary theory.

"It's the first movement to try to drive a wedge between students and the scientific process," he said.

But the rural school district of about 3,500 students argues it is not endorsing any religious view and is merely giving ninth-grade biology classes a glimpse of differences in evolutionary theory.

"This case is about free inquiry in education, not about a religious agenda," said Patrick Gillen of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., in his opening statement. The center, which lobbies for what it sees as the religious freedom of Christians, is defending the school district.

The non-jury trial is expected to take five weeks.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs began their case by arguing that intelligent design is a religious theory inserted in the school district's curriculum by the school board with no concern for whether it has scientific underpinnings.

"They did everything you would do if you wanted to incorporate a religious point of view in science class and cared nothing about its scientific validity," attorney Eric Rothschild said.

Miller, who was the only witness Monday, sharply criticized intelligent design and questioned the work that went into it by one of its leading proponents, Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, who will be a key witness for the district.

The statement read to Dover students states in part, "Because Darwin's theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered." Miller said the words are "tremendously damaging," falsely undermining the scientific status of evolution.

"What that tells students is that science can't be relied upon and certainly is not the kind of profession you want to go into," he said.

"There is no controversy within science over the core proposition of evolutionary theory," he added.

On the other hand, Miller said, "intelligent design is not a testable theory in any sense and as such it is not accepted by the scientific community."

During his cross-examination of Miller, Robert Muise, another attorney for the law center, repeatedly asked whether he questioned the completeness of Darwin's theory.

"Would you agree that Darwin's theory is not the absolute truth?" Muise said.

"We don't regard any scientific theory as the absolute truth," Miller responded.

The Dover lawsuit is the newest chapter in a history of evolution litigation dating back to the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee nearly 80 years ago. More recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that states may not require public schools to balance evolution lessons by teaching creationism.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: anothercrevothread; crevolist; crevorepublic; enoughalready; evolution; makeitstop; onetrickpony
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1 posted on 09/27/2005 9:12:25 AM PDT by Junior
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To: PatrickHenry
Crevo threads for the past week:

2005-09-26 Creationism, Christianity, and Common Sense
2005-09-26 Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution
2005-09-26 Dispute over evolution goes on trial in U.S. court
2005-09-26 Does Genesis hold up under critic’s scrutiny? (Creation/Evolution)
2005-09-26 New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory
2005-09-26 The Problem With Evolution
2005-09-26 With world watching, trial starts
2005-09-25 In Evolution Debate, Creationists Are Breaking New Ground
2005-09-24 The trouble with Darwin (Bush's I.D. comments changed Australia's Educational Landscape)
2005-09-23 Ultimate thread on Dover, Pennsylvania's Evolution v. Intelligent Design trial
2005-09-22 Court Case Threatens to 'Drag Science into the Supernatural'
2005-09-22 Evan Jamieson, hydrometallurgy (Creation/Evolution)
2005-09-22 Insight into our sight: A new view on the evolution of the eye lens (Desperate conjuncture)
2005-09-22 Intelligent Design: An Ambiguous Assault on Evolution
2005-09-22 Intelligent designers down on Dover
2005-09-22 Intelligible Design
2005-09-21 Intelligent design? Not on this campus [Pennsylvania]
2005-09-21 Researchers create functioning artificial proteins using nature's rules

Crevo Warrior Freepdays for the month of September:

2005-09-17 Arnhart
2001-09-06 atlaw
2004-09-22 coffee260
2004-09-15 Diana in Wisconsin
2001-09-17 Dimensio
2003-09-25 gobucks
2001-09-14 Heartlander
2004-09-13 johnnyb_61820
2004-09-09 LouAvul
2004-09-16 ml1954
2003-09-14 neverdem
2003-09-09 RightWingAtheist
1998-09-17 tallhappy
2003-09-25 truthfinder9
1999-09-23 Tumbleweed_Connection

In Memoriam. Fallen Crevo Warriors:

ALS
Aric2000
bluepistolero
ConservababeJen
DittoJed2
f.Christian
goodseedhomeschool
gore3000
jedigirl
JesseShurun
medved
metacognative
Modernman
peg the prophet
RickyJ
SeaLion
Tomax

Bring back SeaLion and Mondernman!

2 posted on 09/27/2005 9:15:14 AM PDT by Junior (Some drink to silence the voices in their heads. I drink to understand them.)
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To: Junior

Oh no. Not another crevo thread


3 posted on 09/27/2005 9:18:29 AM PDT by JamesP81
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To: Junior

I don't see a problem with them mentioning the theory in school. School is a place that people learn, after all.


4 posted on 09/27/2005 9:19:17 AM PDT by JamesP81
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To: Junior
"Eight families sued, saying that the district policy in effect promotes the Bible's view of creation"

Not necessarily...

5 posted on 09/27/2005 9:21:31 AM PDT by NJ_gent (Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.)
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To: Junior
The statement read to Dover students states in part, "Because Darwin's theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered." Miller said the words are "tremendously damaging," falsely undermining the scientific status of evolution.

"What that tells students is that science can't be relied upon and certainly is not the kind of profession you want to go into," he said.


I don't see how the statement read to Dover students constitute what Miller says they constitute. Indeed, don't they simply express the TRUTH relative to anything in science ... that Science is about testing theories as new evidence is discovered? Or, is Evolution supposed to be taught to students as if it were some kind of dogma that is immune to any new theoretical development? From my reading of the Evolutionary literature, the theory (actually, the theories ... for there is more than one Theory of Evolution) is in significant flux and is continually being re-defined by scientists.
6 posted on 09/27/2005 9:24:24 AM PDT by TexasGreg ("Democrats Piss Me Off")
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To: TexasGreg

They are not asking the same disclaimer for gravitational theory, or electrical theory, or atomic theory, are they?


7 posted on 09/27/2005 9:26:28 AM PDT by Junior (Some drink to silence the voices in their heads. I drink to understand them.)
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To: Junior

Isn't it natural and healthy to doubt everything?


8 posted on 09/27/2005 9:29:05 AM PDT by paolop
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To: Junior

I think we've both posted the same article. This is getting confusing. We ought to settle on one thread.


9 posted on 09/27/2005 9:30:12 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Disclaimer -- this information may be legally false in Kansas.)
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To: Junior

Oh my goodness! AP now endorses religion! It filed this under the "science" category! =O


10 posted on 09/27/2005 9:31:53 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (As long as liberalism and I exist, neither one of us is safe.)
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To: Junior
They are not asking the same disclaimer for gravitational theory, or electrical theory, or atomic theory, are they?

No ... but, then, the claims that are made for Evolutionary Theory are not being made for gravitational theory, electrical theory, or atomic theory ... or string theory, for that matter. That's the point. In physics its clear that these theories apply well to what we know regarding how the universe works, but nevertheless it is understood that Science is always open to change, refinement, and further development as new discoveries and advances in knowledge are made. The statement referenced in the court hearing doesn't say anything different about Evolutionary Theory. Yet, Dr. Miller is objecting to it, claiming that admitting this is somehow tantamount to undermining science?
11 posted on 09/27/2005 9:33:47 AM PDT by TexasGreg ("Democrats Piss Me Off")
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To: PatrickHenry

Fine with me. I thought I beat everyone else to the punch.


12 posted on 09/27/2005 9:34:52 AM PDT by Junior (Some drink to silence the voices in their heads. I drink to understand them.)
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To: paolop

Certainly. However, why single out the theory of evolution for a disclaimer?


13 posted on 09/27/2005 9:35:35 AM PDT by Junior (Some drink to silence the voices in their heads. I drink to understand them.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Oh my goodness! AP now endorses religion!

Really? Explain.

14 posted on 09/27/2005 9:36:41 AM PDT by Junior (Some drink to silence the voices in their heads. I drink to understand them.)
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To: Junior
They are not asking the same disclaimer for gravitational theory, or electrical theory, or atomic theory, are they?

Just wait. Someone will notice Joshua 10 verse 13, (The sun delayed going down about a full day), and demand a new theory of Newtonian mechanics that allows for the non-conservation of angular momentum. This conservation is 'only a theory' which 'has never been proven' after all.

Or maybe they will just challenge the heliocentric model of the solar system. All that astronomy may just be unproven theories as well...

15 posted on 09/27/2005 9:39:37 AM PDT by blowfish
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To: NJ_gent
Well, it looks like Italian again tonight! Thanks a bunch!

Can I bill you for my bypass surgery when I need it?

16 posted on 09/27/2005 9:40:06 AM PDT by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Junior
Certainly. However, why single out the theory of evolution for a disclaimer?

"Intelligent Design, on the other hand, does not meet the criteria to be considered a scientific theory. Therefore it is impossible to prove or disprove it, or study it using scientific methods".

17 posted on 09/27/2005 9:43:19 AM PDT by cryptical
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To: TexasGreg
Evolutionary theory is one of the best-supported theories in science, regardless of what your pastor or those creationist websites claim. The theory has been tested and has passed those tests for 150 years. The other theories mentioned are much younger.

Honestly, if folks knew a tenth of what they think they know when it comes to the Theory of Evolution, this trial would never have occured.

18 posted on 09/27/2005 9:43:56 AM PDT by Junior (Some drink to silence the voices in their heads. I drink to understand them.)
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To: blowfish

Try this essay for a possible explanation of the long day.

http://www.zealllc.com/2002/astrology.htm


19 posted on 09/27/2005 10:06:25 AM PDT by itsahoot (Any country that does not control its borders, is not a country. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Junior

`People feel most strongly regarding things about which they know the least.' Montaigne

Or something like that.


20 posted on 09/27/2005 10:06:46 AM PDT by tumblindice
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