Re: [asa] Denyse's advice

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 00:29:21 EDT

On May 3, 2007, at 8:57 PM, David Opderbeck wrote:

> Behe, in sworn testimony
> at Dover, said that the definition of science which will include ID
> also
> includes astrology. Do you have a problem with this?
> This particular criticism of Behe is unfair. I read the
> transcripts of that testimony carefully when the brouhaha over it
> first arose shortly after the trial. The context of the testimony
> was that science is a progressive endeavor; theories such as
> astrology, spontaneous generation, alchemy, luminiferous aether,
> etc. eventually are replaced when they are falsified or when
> stronger, more coherent and descriptive theories come along. Behe
> did NOT testify that astrology constitutes a valid scientific
> theory today. Moreover, Behe's testimony did NOT relate to the pop
> astrology found in newspaper horoscopes.
> Rather, the testimony was that long ago people who studied nature
> believed the movements and positions of the stars exercised some
> causative effect on human affairs. In the sense that this theory
> provided explanations about causation in nature, his testimony was
> that he would call that a "scientific" theory. However, he was
> quite clear that this theory was falsified long ago, along with
> things like alchemy and spontaneous generation.
> In addition, the transcript does not read as though the lawyer
> cross-examining Behe wrangled some sort of admission that ID
> essentially equals astrology in terms of scientific merit, which is
> how popular reports seem to play it (like a sort of " You want the
> truth? You can't handle the truth!" moment). It was part of a
> more mundane sequence of questions about the progressive nature of
> scientific theories. (If Ted was present during this testimony,
> I'd be curious to hear how it came across in the courtroom).

Here's how the judge characterized it -- and he was certainly in the
room -- and it matched almost word-for-word what Dave S. said:

> It is notable that defense experts’ own mission, which mirrors that
> of the
> IDM itself, is to change the ground rules of science to allow
> supernatural causation
> of the natural world, which the Supreme Court in Edwards and the
> court in
> McLean correctly recognized as an inherently religious concept.
> Edwards, 482
> U.S. at 591-92; McLean, 529 F. Supp. at 1267. First, defense expert
> Professor
> Fuller agreed that ID aspires to “change the ground rules” of
> science and lead
> defense expert Professor Behe admitted that his broadened
> definition of science,
> which encompasses ID, would also embrace astrology. (28:26
> (Fuller); 21:37-42
> (Behe)). Moreover, defense expert Professor Minnich acknowledged
> that for ID to
> be considered science, the ground rules of science have to be
> broadened to allow
> consideration of supernatural forces. (38:97 (Minnich)).

While that was probably mundane as David O. noted, the following
admission again recorded in the judge's opinion is nothing short of
stunning and backs George's contention that Behe really discredited
himself on the stand:

> Although in Darwin’s Black Box,
> Professor Behe wrote that not only were there no natural
> explanations for the
> immune system at the time, but that natural explanations were
> impossible
> regarding its origin. (P-647 at 139; 2:26-27 (Miller)). However,
> Dr. Miller
> presented peer-reviewed studies refuting Professor Behe’s claim
> that the immune
> system was irreducibly complex. Between 1996 and 2002, various studies
> confirmed each element of the evolutionary hypothesis explaining
> the origin of the
> immune system. (2:31 (Miller)). In fact, on cross-examination,
> Professor Behe
> was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never
> find an
> evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented
> with fifty eight
> peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology
> textbook
> chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he
> simply insisted
> that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that
> it was not “good
> enough.” (23:19 (Behe)).

In this case Behe truly and literally had a "you cannot handle the
truth" moment.

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Received on Fri May 4 00:30:06 2007

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