Re: Dover: Witnesses withdrawing

From: janice matchett <>
Date: Wed Oct 26 2005 - 11:08:33 EDT

At 10:57 AM 10/26/2005, George Murphy wrote:
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Ted Davis" <>
>To: <>; <>
>Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2005 8:39 AM
>Subject: Re: Dover: Witnesses withdrawing
>>Why did Warren Nord withdraw? Does anyone know? Was it simply that he
>>no longer wanted to associate himself with a losing case? Nord is a
>>genuinely independent thinker on this issue (and some others). I'm sorry
>>that he
>>won't be testifying. ......"

### ".....Further discussion reveals differences between the two
organizations concerning the withdrawal of defense witnesses for the
Kitzmiller vs Dover trial currently taking place in Federal District Court
in Harrisburg, PA. (See NCSE's Dover page, at
(<>this url)for briefs, transcripts and other
information on this trial.) ..."


MARK RYLAND (DI): "... The Discovery Institute never set out to have a
school board, schools, get into this issue. We've never encouraged people
to do it, we've never promoted it. We have, unfortunately, gotten sucked
into it, because we have a lot of expertise in the issue, that people are
interested in.

When asked for our opinion, we always tell people: don't teach intelligent
design. There's no curriculum developed for it, you're teachers are likely
to be hostile towards it, I mean there's just all these good reasons why
you should not to go down that path. If you want to do anything, you should
teach the evidence for and against Darwin's theory. Teach it dialectically.

And despite all the hoopla you've heard today, there is a great deal of --
many, many problems with Darwin's theory, in particular the power of NS and
RV to do the astounding things that are attributed to them. The new
demonology, as one philosopher calls it, the selfish gene can do anything.

So that's the background. And what's happened in the foreground was, when
it came to the Dover school district, we advised them not to institute the
policy they advised. In fact, I personally went and met with them, and
actually Richard was there the same day, and they didn't listen to me,
that's fine, they can do what they want, I have no power and control over
them. But from the start we just disagreed that this was a good place, a
good time and place to have this battle -- which is risky, in the sense
that there's a potential for rulings that this is somehow unconstitutional.

.....Now, individuals associated with the Discovery Institute were then,
had got involved in, the possibility of becoming expert witnesses in the
case. And I don't, as far as I know there was no institutional decision
made one way or the other, but I think it was the case that those
individuals felt they had somewhat different legal interests being -- it
was often because they were both expert witnesses, but usually fact
witnesses as well, about things like the history of the intelligent design
movement. So they wanted to have their own lawyers involved with
depositions, and I believe there was an argument, a disagreement about
that. I think that was the reason why they decided not to participate. ..."

[Witness] KEN MILLER: "...they cite the Big Bang as an example of an idea
that was once regarded with suspicion, or as heresy, and gradually won
over. But the interesting thing, is not the question as you whether or not
revolutionary ideas occasionally win out in science. The interesting idea,
the interesting question, is *how* do revolutionary ideas win out. And the
Big Bang won out because of scientific research, because Arto & Penzious
found the background radiation to the Big Bang. They completed the theory.
They stitched it together. It was a predictive theory, that says you ought
to go out and find this in nature.

Now the curious thing, is the advocates of that theory did not try to get
themselves injected into curricula. They didn't produce pamphlets on how
you could get the Big Bang taught in your school district and avoid the
constitutional questions. They did the research, they won the scientific
battle. That's how science actually works. And for all the high-minded
statements about design, about the philosophy of Aristotle, about fairness,
and about the implicit theological assumptions of evolution, the
straightforward and simple matter, as Dr. Krauss said, is that science
works, and it is particularly good at predicting stuff that isn't true. If
intelligent design has the facts of nature on its side, it'll win out. And
I don't see any particular reason to fight this legal route, unless,
unless, the battle you are fighting is primarily political, cultural,
social, and religious, and not scientific. And in this case, to use a nice
lawyer term these guys will understand, res ipse loquitor, the facts speak
for themselves. Thanks." ~ Ken Miller

MARK RYLAND (DI): I wanted to say a couple of things very quickly. One is,
I won't get into a tit-for-tat about whether Discovery's employees were
behaving properly or not. I will say that, just to be clear, we're
convinced that if the question before the court is the per se
constitutionality, constitutionality of teaching design, then it's very
clear, as I was arguing when using my thought experiments, that there's
really only one reasonable answer. That, however, is not necessarily the
court's decision that they'll face in Dover, since there's all these other
complicating factors, of actual motive, purpose, and so forth and so on.
And I'll leave it at that. ~

STEVE GEY: Yeah, I don't think you could have any kind of statement that
politically mandates the inclusion into a science class, of religious
ideas. Everything would turn on the nature of the ideas. If the court
decides that the ideas themselves are religious in nature, that's the,
that's frankly the end of the analysis, under the current doctrine.

October 23, 2005 Discovery Institute and Thomas More Law Center Squabble
in AEI Forum

On October 21, the American Enterprise Institute sponsored a forum titled
"Science Wars" that focused on the intelligent design/evolution
controversy. Among the participants in the forum were the Chief Counsel of
the Thomas More Law Center, Richard Thompson, and Mark Ryland, Director of
the Discovery Institute's Washington office. During the course of the
discussion, Ryland claimed that the Discovery Institute had "never set out
to have school boards" teach intelligent design. He was swiftly corrected
by Thompson, who held up a copy of the Discovery Institute's "Intelligent
Design in Public School Science Curriculum: A Guidebook" by Steven Meyer
and David DeWolf (<>available here.)
The sessions are available online at CSPAN and will be for a couple of
weeks. See (<>this url.)
Received on Wed Oct 26 11:09:49 2005

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