Phillip Johnson at Northshore Church

From: Keith B Miller (
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 10:42:48 EDT

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    Johnson's view of his role in defeating darwinism.


    >P Johnson at Northshore Church in Everett, WA. 04/19/2001
    >Question/Answer period
    >The last question is more personal, "You're a lawyer. How did you
    >personally start into this journey of bringing the Darwinian Theory to the
    >table and analyzing the support?
    >Johnson: How did a lawyer get involved in this, a law professor? You know
    >my enemies always say, 'That lawyer from California', like I'm an ambulance
    >chaser. The never say, the Jefferson E. Pfizer, distinguished professor of
    >Jurisprudence. You know that sounds (?)
    >You know, the thing is, this was a lawyers job.
    >When I took up the study of evolution in England in 1987-88 what I
    >discovered was that this isn't really about science. It's about thinking.
    >It's about logical thinking and illogical thinking. It's about given
    >assumptions and definitions. You define the terms so you get the answer you
    >In our legal system when we teach people how to argue cases before a court
    >we have a brief. A written argument to the court. The first section is the
    >question to be presented. What is the question? And you always tell them,
    >if you can get the court to accept your carefully drafted statement of the
    >question presented, they will give the answer you want. Get the question
    >right, it's likely the answer follows. So there is a target that leads to a
    >plan in the question. So, since the Darwinists insist on defining the
    >question asked, "How did creating get done without God?' The rules of the
    >game are that you cannot bring God into the courtroom. I recognize that.
    >Now biologists are not trained to recognize that court sort of thing.
    >They're trying to do what other biologists do. Good thinking is thinking
    >like other biologists do. They would never question things that are
    >fundamental knowledge, the way I did. So it was a matter of finding the
    >tricks. The definitions. The way in which the argument was skewed by tricky
    >words and changing definitions. The very tricks of logic and arguing.
    >Who knows more about dirty tricks, I ask?
    >There's only one thing lower than a lawyer. Lawyers like to tell lawyer
    >jokes. There's only one thing worse than a lawyer and that's somebody who
    >teaches other people to become one. So that's what I do. So what I teach in
    >them is good thinking which is to say how to spot bad arguments. So I feel
    >right at home in this deal in the beginning.
    >The other thing that was different about my approach from the scientists
    >view, lots of people made arguments against Darwinism and they made good
    >arguments. The same kind of ones I made in 'Darwin on Trial." Theres a lot
    >of antecedents for every point. But, they couldn't win. They couldn't win
    >the argument. Why not? They were caught in the "Inherit the Wind"
    >stereotype. They were caught in the stereotype of the argument. They were
    >trying to argue about the evidence and the real problem was the whole game
    >was stacked. It had to come out with the answer 'nature did the creating.'
    >So it was futile to make a specific argument.
    >I understood that and understood how to craft a winning strategy. And
    >that's why I immediately became the leader of the whole movement. That's
    >what everybody wanted. A strategy that would win in the sense of getting
    >the right questions on the table and having a fair debate in which case the
    >proposition that you really do need a creator would tend to prevail because
    >thats what the evidence supports. So that is how we have been able to come
    >in ten years or a dozen from nowhere to the front page of the New York Times.
    >It was a job for someone who understood logic. Who understood how people
    >argue and how they think. And then if you are thinking of becoming, and
    >the point of law school, that, that is the most valuable thing you learn
    >there, if you do learn something. Is, how people think. How they argue. And
    >how illogical and badly reasoned ideas can become powerful by the use of
    >power. Now that is a knowledge can be used for good or evil. But used
    >rightly, it is a powerful way to bring out the truth. And to free peoples
    >minds and that is why I titled one of my books, "Defeating Darwinism by
    >opening Minds." Thats always been my objective. To free people to think
    >their own way to the right answers.

    Keith B. Miller
    Department of Geology
    Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506

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