Re: [asa] Denyse's advice

From: PvM <>
Date: Fri May 04 2007 - 21:58:32 EDT

What Behe showed is that no matter how much evidence is presented,
even 'just so stories' ID is forced to never accept them since that
would close yet another gap in which to hid.
The issue is how to deal with this scientific knowledge. ID seems to
be intent on ignoring it, trivializing it, while failing to contribute
to our scientific knowledge in any meaningful manner.

As to Angus Menuge, I have heard his name and read some reviews of his
book so far
I am not too impressed by Menuge's position but this is based on only
a cursory exploration.

I believe that some on this group could surely benefit from
understanding more about why materialistic positions do not
necessarily lead to excesses like compelled euthanasia etc. Such
efforts to honestly understand these issues however requires much time
and effort.

David: Rich, thanks for providing that additional testimony, but I
think it supports my point. I don't agree that it was appropriate for
the trial judge simply to adopt a brief definition of "science"
provided by the NAS or anyone else. I don't think it is the role of a
trial court to make that kind of adjudication. Moreover, if a court
is going to adjudicate that kind of issue, it's duty is to consider a
broad range of evidence, and not merely to accept an argument from

Of course it is appropriate for a Judge to make such a decision
especially since it was insisted upon by both sides of the argument.
If you read the ruling you would see that the Judge did far more than
'accept an argument from authority' here. While ID is quick to point
to demarcation arguments about what is science, it seems much easier
to determine if something is NOT science as opposed to science.
While we may be unable to define a priori what is or is not science,
such a position is much easier a posteriori. One 'rule' covers all may
not be tenable but that does not mean that one cannot decide if
something is science or not. Too much is made by ID proponents of this
'demarcation argument', it suffices to say that ID fails to be
scientifically relevant.

On 5/4/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> Further on Behe's trial testimony, Rich said: [Quoting Judge's opinion:
> "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.
> I don't think this is fair either. Behe and others have responded to the
> articles cited by Ken Miller. does so, for example, pretty
> compellingly, in his book "Agents Under Fire." Most of them are at best
> suggestive of possible pathways; none seem slam-dunk compelling; some are
> just hand-waiving. When I read "Agents Under Fire" about a year ago, I
> asked this list whether Menuge was all wet. There were no compelling
> responses to that inquiry.
> I read this portion of Judge Jones' opinion as a naked argument from
> authority. Whether there are piles of papers and books claiming something
> or other is irrelevant without some idea of the exact nature, strength, and
> merits of what is claimed.
> Let me note again that I'm not impugning Judge Jones, nor am I saying Behe,
> Menuge, et al. are necessarily right about irreducible complexity.
> Irrudicible complexity indeed seems like a gap argument, and the literature
> indeed seems to suggest that the current gaps will someday be closed.
> Moreover, from a theological and historical perspective, one might be
> inclined (as I am) to shy away from gap arguments. But once again, I think
> it's overstated and unfair to suggest that the present state of the
> literature -- at least the literature Ken Miller cited at trial --
> conclusively rebuts the notion of irreducible complexity such that only a
> dishonest moron might accept it.
> On 5/4/07, Rich Blinne <> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 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 21:59:00 2007

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