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Live from Pennsylvania: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
American Enterprise Online ^ | 10/3/05 | Joe Manzari

Posted on 10/03/2005 8:11:37 AM PDT by Valin

This week, the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District opened in federal court. The ACLU is suing the school board of Dover, Pennsylvania for adopting a policy which requires that teachers read to students a three-paragraph statement about the theory of intelligent design. In his opening statement, Eric Rothschild, the attorney for Kitzmiller, argued against the legitimacy of intelligent design (ID). Unfortunately for Rothschild, the testimony of Kenneth Miller–a Roman Catholic biology professor from Brown University who staunchly defends evolution—has already refuted his argument. And even more unfortunately, Miller was his expert witness.

Early in his testimony, Rothschild claimed that “intelligent design is not science in its infancy, it's not science at all.” Yet Miller’s own testimony contradicts this. In cross-examination, when asked by Robert Muise, the defense attorney, if during a debate between Miller and Michael Behe, an ID proponent, at the American Museum of Natural History, “you [Miller] were presenting your scientific argument against intelligent design, and Dr. Behe was presenting his scientific argument in support of intelligent design?” Miller responded: “Absolutely.”

Rothschild then asserted that “…there is no controversy in the scientific community about the soundness of evolution.” But once again, he contradicted his own testimony. In another round of Muise’s cross-examination, Miller explained that one of the three “core propositions” of evolution is “united under the term of ‘natural selection.’” Yet only moments later, Miller pointed to “enormous controversy within evolutionary theory on the relative values and weights to give to forces such as natural selection…”

Rothschild went on to claim that “Intelligent design has arguments … but these arguments are not a positive case for intelligent design, just negative attacks on evolution.” However, when asked about an article he authored, Miller admitted that Dr. Behe's “biochemical argument from design … [states that] the evolution of complex biochemical structures cannot even or ever be explained in principle.” Moreover, this positive argument states that “there is some aspect of this complexity, which means we can say not just, we haven't figured it out yet, but we will never figure it out, and that's where the evidence for design lies.”

Later in his testimony, Rothschild stated that ID proponents have not “publish[ed] original data in peer-reviewed scientific journals.” Attorney Witold Walczak asked Miller if there is “a very recent publication, peer-reviewed publication, that bears on this issue of common descent?” To which Miller responded “Well, the answer to that is, there's more than one. And the one that comes to my mind right away is an issue earlier this month of the scientific journal Nature…” Despite Rothschild’s claim, an article from that group defends ID. An article which Miller alluded to but failed to mention is written by the ID proponent, Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, published in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, called “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories.”

Finally, Rothschild claimed that arguments made by ID rely on “an act of supernatural creation.” Miller admits, however, that ID proponents like Michael Behe accept natural causes all the time—their doubt concerns whether natural causes exhaust all causes. ID proponents admit the limits of science, in that science can only infer design and not the nature of the designer. Although they see it as far fetched, ID proponents like Michael Behe don’t systematically rule out the remote possibility that the designer could be “super intelligent space aliens from Mars or perhaps time traveling cell biologists going into the past from the future and causing the structures to be put together.” In other words, ID is a research program for doing science—devoid of commitments to the supernatural.

As the trial continues, more expert witnesses will take the stand. It’s hard to tell whether Miller’s testimony did his cause more damage than good. At a hearing on September 9th, Judge John Jones addressed Barbara Forrest, another expert witness in the case for the plaintiff. Based on his comments, it’s hard to say whether Forrest will do much better than Miller:

“…. Within Ms. Forrest’s testimony, I see repeated references to quotes that were apparently derived from magazine articles and third persons that look to me to be inadmissible hearsay…. I might find it interesting and others might find it even entertaining, but for the purpose of an expert report, I’ll bet she hasn’t probably testified many times, if at all, as an expert witness.”

Joe Manzari is a research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute.

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: crevolist; dover
Ready on the left.... Ready on the right.... Ready on the firingline.... Commence Firing!
1 posted on 10/03/2005 8:11:40 AM PDT by Valin
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To: Valin

I am so proud of the ACLU for being so concerned with children's education. If we can just keep the Pledge out and Darwin in, we can finally compete with the rest of the world.

2 posted on 10/03/2005 8:15:23 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: mlc9852
Condoms, don't forget condoms. That's work out real well.
3 posted on 10/03/2005 8:26:18 AM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
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To: Valin

You are absolutely right! How could I have overlooked such a necessity????

4 posted on 10/03/2005 8:31:06 AM PDT by mlc9852
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To: Valin; PatrickHenry


5 posted on 10/03/2005 8:42:53 AM PDT by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: From many - one.

check back

6 posted on 10/03/2005 8:48:10 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: Junior


7 posted on 10/03/2005 9:17:42 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Disclaimer -- this information may be legally false in Kansas.)
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Crevo/Science threads for the past week:
  1. 2005-10-03 Live from Pennsylvania: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
  2. 2005-10-03 Returning to Dover [evolution trial in Dover, PA: week 2]
  3. 2005-10-01 ‘Why?’ versus ‘How?’ [evolution trial in Dover, PA, end of week one]
  4. 2005-10-01 For the Anti-Evolutionists, Hope in High Places
  5. 2005-10-01 That Famous Equation and You
  6. 2005-09-30 [Pennsylvania] Gov. Rendell backs evolution
  7. 2005-09-30 150 attend meeting on 'stupid' theory (including Darwin's great-grandson)
  8. 2005-09-30 An Intelligent Design for Education
  9. 2005-09-30 Genes Tied To Recent Brain Evolution
  10. 2005-09-30 Grow Some Testables: Intelligent design ducks the rigors of science.
  11. 2005-09-30 Science and Scripture - 'Intelligent design' theory definitely belongs in biology class
  12. 2005-09-30 Spider 'is 20 million years old'
  13. 2005-09-30 The ‘Darwinist Inquisition’ Starts Another Round
  14. 2005-09-30 The Beauty of Branes [Cosmology & Lisa Randall]
  15. 2005-09-30 The Buckingham school: No civil liberties allowed
  16. 2005-09-29 Darwin and Malthus
  17. 2005-09-29 Have you ever really looked at intelligent design?
  18. 2005-09-29 In defense of science
  19. 2005-09-29 Intelligent Design Advocates Fight Back
  20. 2005-09-29 No Science, Please – We’re British
  21. 2005-09-29 Poll: Most doctors (63%) favor evolution theory over I.D. (However, Protestant Doctors...)
  22. 2005-09-29 Religious idea forced on classes, court told
  23. 2005-09-29 Theory of Evolution -- Not Intelligent Design -- Is Most Like Creationism
  24. 2005-09-29 Witness: 'Intelligent Design' doesn't qualify as science [Day 4 of trial in Dover, PA]
  25. 2005-09-28 Ex-Teacher Testifies in Evolution Case [Day 3 of trial in Dover, PA]
  26. 2005-09-28 Intelligent design on trial
  27. 2005-09-28 Intimidation Alleged On 'Intelligent Design'
  28. 2005-09-28 The Discovery Institute Retreats from Dover
  29. 2005-09-28 Why scientists dismiss 'intelligent design' - It would ‘become the death of science’
  30. 2005-09-28 Witness: intelligent design has identified God as designer
  31. 2005-09-27 Biology expert testifies. Professor: Intelligent design is creationism.
  32. 2005-09-27 Defending “design” in Dover, Pennsylvania (A creationist perspective - for a change)
  33. 2005-09-27 Grammar Analysis Reveals Ancient Language Tree
  34. 2005-09-27 On second day, evolution trial [Dover, PA] delves into topic of faith
  35. 2005-09-27 Science and politics: a dangerous mix
  36. 2005-09-27 Scientific support for 'intelligent design' disputed (MSM Gay Agenda alert)
  37. 2005-09-27 Trial Over 'Intelligent Design' Resumes

Crevo Warrior Freepdays for the month of September:

1998-10-18 AZLiberty
1999-10-14 blam
2001-10-21 Coyoteman
2004-10-26 curiosity
1998-10-29 Dataman
2000-10-29 dila813
2001-10-14 dread78645
1998-10-03 Elsie
1998-10-17 f.Christian
2001-10-26 Genesis defender
2000-10-08 guitarist
2004-10-10 joeclarke
1998-10-03 js1138
2000-10-08 LibWhacker
2002-10-25 m1-lightning
2001-10-10 Michael_Michaelangelo
2001-10-09 Mother Abigail
2004-10-25 MRMEAN
2004-10-03 Nicholas Conradin
1999-10-28 PatrickHenry
1998-10-01 Physicist
2001-10-23 RightWingNilla
2004-10-09 snarks_when_bored
2002-10-22 sumocide
2004-10-21 WildHorseCrash
2001-10-23 yankeedame
2002-10-20 Z in Oregon

In Memoriam.
Fallen Crevo Warriors:

Area Freeper
Ed Current
peg the prophet

Bring back Modernman and SeaLion!

8 posted on 10/03/2005 10:07:19 AM PDT by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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