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As I'll post in a follow-up, the Dover lawyers fought like demons to keep this testimony out of the court record; it's (IMHO) a devastating blow to the 'ID is science' case.
1 posted on 10/06/2005 9:06:48 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: PatrickHenry

Day 6 ping!

2 posted on 10/06/2005 9:07:45 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Right Wing Professor
I hope those ID people don't think St Peter is as dumb as the people they're selling books to.
4 posted on 10/06/2005 9:14:51 AM PDT by shuckmaster (Bring back SeaLion and ModernMan!)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Another column from the very amusing Mr. Argento.

Dover trial, horns (or lack thereof) and all

Thursday, October 6, 2005

HARRISBURG — Along about the 658th hour of Dr. Barbara Forrest's stay on the witness stand, during Day Six of the Dover Panda Trial, I started looking for her horns. Never did see them.

It was right about the time that defense lawyer Richard Thompson was repeatedly asking about her various memberships in such seditious, treasonous and just plain evil organizations as the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association and the ACLU that it occurred to me to look for her horns.

They weren't there.

Now, it could be that she was hiding her tail under her trim black pantsuit, but frankly, I didn't really look.

The defense tried very hard to keep Forrest, a philosophy professor from Southeastern Louisiana University, from testifying by portraying her as being in league with the devil. The defense had a pretty good stake in keeping her off the stand. She is probably the foremost expert on the genesis, such as it is, of the movement to introduce unsuspecting kids to the idea of intelligent design creationism and, through that, to overturn our very idea of what science is and what it does.

But before asking her about that, Thompson wanted to probe her membership in the American Civil Liberties Union.

"When did you become a card-carrying member of the ACLU?" Thompson asked in a tone that suggested that such membership put her in league with Satan and the forces of evil.

Not just a member. "A card-carrying member."

Forrest answered that she joined the organization in 1979 because she believes in the Constitution and the ACLU defends that vital document.

Thompson then asked whether she supports everything the ACLU does.

Forrest said she believes in defending the Constitution.

And then Thompson asked whether she knew whether the ACLU has defended child porn as protected speech under the First Amendment.

Before Forrest could answer, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, Eric Rothschild, rose and objected on the grounds of relevance. In other words, his objection was, essentially, what does this have to do with anything?

The judge cut Thompson off.

Which was too bad because the way it was going, I figured Thompson's next question would be something on the order of, don't you and your friends get together to watch snuff films while snacking on aborted fetuses?

It didn't get that far.

It did get into a discussion about logical fallacies, which was interesting because while accusing Forrest of committing logical fallacies, Thompson committed some himself.

So in addition to providing lessons in critical thinking and philosophy, the participants — Thompson, mostly — provided a literary lesson, giving the audience an ample dose of irony.

See, while he was accusing of Forrest of employing an ad hominem argument — an argument in which you don't address the merits of the issue under debate and attack the messenger instead — he was employing an ad hominem argument.

What great fallacy did Forrest commit?

Near as I can tell, she used the words of the people who came up with the idea of intelligent design to show that it's a religious idea — one based on a narrow view of Christianity — and not a scientific one.

She used their own words against them.

Evil, evil woman.

Using one's own words against him is not, in and of itself, an ad hominem argument. The words can be used that way, but if they speak for themselves, it's not ad hominem.

Now, if I were to call Thompson a doody head, that would be an ad hominem argument.

Forrest described the intelligent design movement's "wedge strategy," described in a document that the intelligent design people wrote, cleverly titled "The Wedge."

At one point, an attorney for the defense asked her whether she knew that that document was intended to raise money, that it was part of a fundraising plea. Forrest didn't know.

But by asking, was the defense saying that the intelligent design people had portrayed their theory as a religious idea just to get money out of people? Were they saying that they intended to prey upon people's faith to get them to open their checkbooks? Were they saying that it's OK to say anything when you're trying to wrest dollars from an unsuspecting public?

At the end of her direct testimony, it was clear how the so-called theory of intelligent design came about. In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism in public schools was unconstitutional. The people who wanted to teach creationism in public schools — people who believe teaching science in general and evolution in particular is responsible for all of society's ills — had to come up with something else.

So they thought about it and rubbed a few brain cells together and came up with intelligent design.

Now, they admit, they have no theory and they don't really have anything in the way of science on their side.

Essentially, what they did was take their creationist literature and replace the word "creationism" with the phrase "intelligent design."


So in addition to committing sloppy scholarship, Forrest's testimony suggested they were lazy, too.

At one point, Forrest pointed out a document in which one of the authors of the intelligent design nontheory posited that belief in evolution leads to belief in, among other things, Scientology.

So that's what's wrong with Tom Cruise?

And now, for today's Moonie reference.

One of the founding fathers of intelligent design, Jonathan Wells, went to school to study biology and dedicate his life to bringing down Darwin after being urged to do so by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

Couldn't he have just sold flowers at the airport like the rest of them? It would have saved us all a lot of trouble.

5 posted on 10/06/2005 9:18:06 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: Right Wing Professor
But...but....good Christians would never lie about their intent....
6 posted on 10/06/2005 9:21:37 AM PDT by jess35
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To: Right Wing Professor

If "intelligent design" theory fits in with all the facts,
would that make it a legitimate theory? If so, what would
the difference make what it's "roots" are?
Couldn't someone argue that evolutionary theory is based on
the fact that ONLY one causation of physical findings is
allowed,(namely "nature" --whatever "nature" really is) and
its roots are in atheistic philosophy, and therefore it is not legitimate? Richard Lewontin has admitted that modern science won't let in creative acts by an outside agency, because it is not of the paradigm of raw, untrammelled "nature" which is widely accepted by many
observers and experimenters.
A good philosophical question to ask, is this...
Is the realm of "nature" only what we can observe (by any purely physical means), or is "nature" that which exists, whether we can observe it or not? How one approaches that
question will indicate where their bias, and experimental
methods will lead them.

8 posted on 10/06/2005 9:29:25 AM PDT by Getready ((fear not...))
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To: Right Wing Professor

" Intelligent design did not spring from Genesis, an expert testified Wednesday in the federal lawsuit against the Dover Area School District.

Rather, its inspiration came from the Gospel of St. John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

And yet the very first line in the Book of Genesis is:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. "

12 posted on 10/06/2005 10:03:15 AM PDT by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Right Wing Professor
"Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory," William Dembski, one of the movement's chief proponents, said in a 1999 interview in Touchstone, a Christian magazine that Forrest cited in her testimony."

Can you say: "BUSTED"?

Hoist by his own petard! Game, set, and match!

17 posted on 10/06/2005 11:02:29 AM PDT by longshadow
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To: Right Wing Professor

So it has roots in Creationism. You say that as if it's a bad thing.

22 posted on 10/06/2005 11:32:02 AM PDT by balch3
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To: Right Wing Professor; connectthedots
In the sixth day of the trial in U.S. Middle District Court, plaintiffs' attorneys used the testimony of Barbara Forrest, a Southeastern Louisiana University philosophy professor, to connect a series of dots regarding the history of the intelligent design movement and creationism.
23 posted on 10/06/2005 11:32:53 AM PDT by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: my sterling prose)
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To: Right Wing Professor
William Dembski: "Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory."

So Dembski is claiming that the Logos is the stage designer? How theatrical.

27 posted on 10/06/2005 11:51:01 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Right Wing Professor

Interesting article from about 1o months ago

ACLU won’t put Darwin on trial
Sunday, December 26, 2004

So the Dover Area school board’s decision to challenge evolution by requiring the teaching of intelligent design has — as many people warned — provoked a lawsuit, one that the district is not likely to win.

By ruling in other cases that theories contrary to Darwin’s theory of how life developed “lacks a clear secular purpose” in regards to public education, the Supreme Court has established a legal doctrine that American Civil Liberties Union lawyers are sure to seize upon in the Dover case.

It’s a pity, really, because instead of addressing the facts about science, all the ACLU has to do is show how Darwinism conforms to the prevailing secular dogma — and argue that intelligent design is likely to stir up trouble in public schools by invoking the divine and the miraculous.

The irony is that some of the parents who sued the Dover Area School District said they were worried that under the proposed curriculum students would not be taught “sound science.” And yet, in a trial focusing on science and which theory best fit the facts, it’s the Darwinists who would be put on the defensive.

Indeed, for some scientists (albeit what Time magazine characterizes as “tiny pockets” within the scientific community), the basic arguments supporting the theory that life arose by a happy accident in a cosmos ruled by chaos simply don’t stand up. What’s more, when building a case for intelligent design, its supporters draw from discoveries across a range of scientific disciplines.

These scientists point to cosmology and the Big Bang theory, which holds that the universe suddenly burst forth, in the beginning, from what can only be described as some unfathomable source of creative energy. They point to physics, which declare that the basic forces that hold the universe together (and make it suitable for life) are fine-tuned with a mathematical precision that defies belief. They gape at the massive amounts of genetic information filed away inside every single living cell, then take a closer look and ask how anything so complex and perfectly ordered could be formed by a gradual, random process.

Now, it’s not as though Darwinists are unaware of these grand enigmas or that they fail to feel a sense of awe when confronted with the mysteries of the universe. In fact, many people who believe in evolution have found a way to reconcile the theory with their own religious faith.

But when it comes down to it, the usual response of present-day science to extraordinary phenomena that some would say point to God, is either to relegate it to the “soft” disciplines of philosophy and theology, or simply to ignore it.

After all, science as it is currently defined deals only with material things and processes. Anything that smacks of the miraculous, then, is of no scientific consequence. It doesn’t exist.

So denial serves as a useful tool for many Darwinists. When confronted with the reality of human consciousness, for instance, they vaguely assert that it must be something that emerges when brains reach a certain size, or they pretend it isn’t there.

One school of thought among Darwinists holds that what we perceive as consciousness, that yearning to understand why we are here and how we should live, is just an illusion, a byproduct of an organ whose only function is to make sure our physical bodies survive long enough to reproduce. As MIT’s Marvin Minsky famously put it, the human mind is nothing more than “a computer made of meat.”

Other glaring flaws in Darwinism follow a similar strain. Its adherents can’t produce all the facts they need to bolster their case, so they trot out absurd assertions that they trust can’t really be disproved. So in the end Darwinism draws its strength not from rigid scientific truth, but by offering a rather vague philosophical catch-all.

This may seem a rather blatant accusation, but it is echoed even by Darwinists themselves.

Consider the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. A popular champion of modern Darwinism and a pop-culture icon (he was depicted on an episode of “The Simpsons”), he also came to criticize some of the orthodoxies of the theory.

This is not to suggest that he rejected evolution. His reflections are more like those of an aging bishop who candidly confesses to problems within the faith.

But in an article published this year by Scientific American, Gould seems to be stating that he believes in Darwinism despite what he knows about the facts.

Gould’s criticisms are actually quite damaging. He can offer no explanation of how life first emerged, other than to say that geology seems to hint at its “inevitability.” He declares the fossil record woefully inadequate for showing how various species developed, and that fossils for higher life forms “do not even constitute an evolutionary series.” He suggests that evolution is not a constant, gradual process but instead occurs in “quick and quirky episodes.” He argues that there is no reason to believe that evolution moves automatically toward more complex life forms, and that natural selection often is overrated and misused as an explanation for how or why evolution occurs. He says the truth is that evolution is so random that there is no way to predict how life forms ultimately will develop.

Gould feels free to make these statements and then insist that Darwinism holds true. And yet he knew full well, as various York College instructors pointed out in denouncing Dover’s proposed intelligent design curriculum, that science is supposed to concern itself with facts that are “testable, reproducible and observable.”

But if life is nothing more than a cosmic lottery, it’s hard to see how it can be studied as science. And how does one conduct a controlled experiment for randomness?

Gould ended his article by calling for a rethinking of what he labeled the icons of evolution. Prominent intelligent design advocate Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute in Seattle uses similar language in his criticism of Darwinism.

Does that mean there’s common ground here? Not really, because what’s at issue isn’t the scientific method, or even fossils, field studies and ancient rocks. No, the debate in Dover (and in some 40 other states around the country where Darwinism is being challenged) ultimately has to do with picking an official philosophy of origins.

The science of life, it seems, can’t be taught without making some references to design and purpose — or the lack thereof. And if it’s one particular philosophy that earns teachers their paychecks and gets scientists grant renewal, then there really isn’t much incentive to explore the others — no matter how much religious dissenters might complain. Scientific materialism wins.

Still, it’s worthwhile to consider what law professor Phillip Johnson had to say on the subject. Johnson wrote: “Any true metaphysical theory must account for two essential truths which materialism cannot accommodate: first, that mind is more than matter; and second, that such things as truth, beauty and goodness really do exist even if most people do not know how to recognize them.”

Just don’t expect these essentials to be addressed in science class.

Dave Dentel is a copy editor for the York Daily Record/Sunday News,

31 posted on 10/06/2005 12:23:35 PM PDT by connectthedots
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To: Right Wing Professor

Kill me now.

34 posted on 10/06/2005 12:33:49 PM PDT by Skooz ("Political Correctness is the handmaiden of terrorism" - Michelle Malkin)
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The CrevoSci Archive
A service of Darwin Central
"The Conspiracy that Cares"

CrevoSci threads for the past week:

  1. 2005-10-06 Scientist defends Big Bang and God
  2. 2005-10-06 Seeing Creation and Evolution in Grand Canyon (quote below is the most significant item)
  3. 2005-10-06 U of I president:teach only evolution in {University}science classes (Connection to PA court fight)
  4. 2005-10-06 Witness: 'Design' Replaced 'Creation'
  5. 2005-10-06 Witness: Movement's roots in creationism (Dover trial 10/6/05)
  6. 2005-10-05 Professor, teachers to testify in intelligent-design trial [Dover, PA, 05 Oct]
  7. 2005-10-05 Supernova Storm Wiped Out Mammoths?
  8. 2005-10-05 The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2005 goes to Yves Chauvin, Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock
  9. 2005-10-04 A space station view on giant lightning (May play role in global warming!)
  10. 2005-10-04 Ancient Peruvians Loved Their Spuds
  11. 2005-10-04 "Cardinal backs evolution and ""intelligent design"""
  12. 2005-10-04 Potatoes came from Peru, US study finds
  13. 2005-10-04 Space Scientists Seek Sprites, Elves and Jets
  14. 2005-10-04 Spider fooled into sex by drop-dead male
  15. 2005-10-04 The Bottom Line: Darwinism Promotes Social Disintegration
  16. 2005-10-04 The Nobel Prize in Physics 2005 is awarded to Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch
  17. 2005-10-03 How Long Did It Take to Deposit the Geologic Strata? (Hint: Maybe it wasn't millions of years)
  18. 2005-10-03 Live from Pennsylvania: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
  19. 2005-10-03 Returning to Dover [evolution trial in Dover, PA: week 2]
  20. 2005-10-03 Systemic determinants of gene evolution and function
  21. 2005-10-03 The timeless truth of creation
  22. 2005-10-01 ‘Why?’ versus ‘How?’ [evolution trial in Dover, PA, end of week one]
  23. 2005-10-01 Eugenie Scott Makes False Claims About Peer-Reviewed Paper on MSNBC
  24. 2005-10-01 For the Anti-Evolutionists, Hope in High Places
  25. 2005-10-01 Liars’ brains make fibbing come naturally
  26. 2005-10-01 Study: Sun's Changes to Blame for Part of Global Warming
  27. 2005-10-01 That Famous Equation and You
  28. 2005-09-30 [Pennsylvania] Gov. Rendell backs evolution
  29. 2005-09-30 150 attend meeting on 'stupid' theory (including Darwin's great-grandson)
  30. 2005-09-30 A remarkable Cassini picture: Hyperion (moon of Saturn)
  31. 2005-09-30 An Intelligent Design for Education
  32. 2005-09-30 Genes Tied To Recent Brain Evolution
  33. 2005-09-30 Grow Some Testables: Intelligent design ducks the rigors of science.
  34. 2005-09-30 Orthodoxy and Creationism
  35. 2005-09-30 Science and Scripture - 'Intelligent design' theory definitely belongs in biology class
  36. 2005-09-30 Spider 'is 20 million years old'
  37. 2005-09-30 The ‘Darwinist Inquisition’ Starts Another Round
  38. 2005-09-30 The Beauty of Branes [Cosmology & Lisa Randall]
  39. 2005-09-30 The Buckingham school: No civil liberties allowed

CrevoSci Warrior Freepdays for the month of October:

2003-10-09 antiRepublicrat
2004-10-10 Antonello
1998-10-18 AZLiberty
1999-10-14 blam
2000-10-19 cogitator
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
2002-10-08 FairOpinion
2001-10-26 Genesis defender
2000-10-09 Gil4
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
1998-10-25 plain talk
1998-10-12 Restorer
2005-10-04 ret_medic
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 CrevoSci Warriors:

Area Freeper
Ed Current
peg the prophet

Bring back Modernman and SeaLion!

38 posted on 10/06/2005 12:47:54 PM PDT by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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To: Right Wing Professor
It really makes no difference where the ID "movement's" roots are in evaluating the substance of their argument. When are we going to learn that an ad hominem argument is not logically valid.
41 posted on 10/06/2005 1:21:26 PM PDT by rob777
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To: Right Wing Professor
Witness: Movement's roots in creationism (Dover trial 10/6/05)

I think on the face of it this is a fallacy.
46 posted on 10/06/2005 1:51:38 PM PDT by aruanan
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